When you hear the word “Temptation,” what comes to mind? Well, probably the thing that tempts you the most! It might be gossip, stealing, lying, violence, greed, sex, porn, or any number of other things. Last week we explored how temptation works and what sin does by looking at the very first sin.
The other week we remembered that God created the world and made us in his image so we would glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. But something clearly went wrong… except it wasn’t because God messed up. When Adam and Eve sinned, all creation fell into sin along with them.
Genesis 3 tells us about “The Fall” into sin. I believe that Gen. 3:6 sets the pattern for how temptation works, check it out:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
There are a few things to notice here about how temptation worked on Eve (and how it works on us):
- Eve “Saw the fruit of the tree was good for food.” The fruit would fill a physical need. How often have we said, “If God didn’t want me to _________, then why would he give me this need/desire? It can’t be wrong!”
- Eve “Saw the fruit of the tree was… pleasing to the eye.” It simply looked good and pleasurable. If it makes you happy and feel good, then it can’t be wrong… right?
- Eve “Saw the fruit of the tree was… desirable for gaining wisdom.” There was so much to gain by eating the fruit. She would learn all sorts of things that she didn’t know. Afterall, who wants to be naive and simple-minded?!
- Eve “Gave some to her husband, who was with her.” Sin spreads. It’s contagious. Eve sinned first, but Adam didn’t step in to protect her. At some point, he should’ve stepped in and said, “Eve, honey, it’s time to walk away. Let’s go.” But he didn’t. Maybe he “cared too much about their relationship” to risk stepping in, or maybe he was just as intrigued as she was – but either way, Adam didn’t help Eve resist temptation and once she sinned he soon followed her.
What actually happened here and what can we learn about temptation?
- Doubting God’s Word. Satan started off, “Did God really say…” (v.1). How many times do we convince ourselves that something isn’t sinful while we’re being tempted even though we really know it is. When we doubt God’s Word and lose confidence in what God has said, then we give the enemy an open door to tempt us.
- Adding to God’s Word. Eve responded to the serpent that the cannot eat from the tree or touch it or else they will die (v.3). The problem here is that God never said they couldn’t touch the tree, He simply said not to eat its fruit. On the surface, this really isn’t a big deal, but I think this points to the importance of remembering what God’s Word actually says. It’s good to generally know what God has said, but it’s another thing completely to actually have His words memorized.
- Forgetting who God says you are. Satan’s promise in v.5 is, “when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Eve (and Adam, who was with her) obviously forgot that SHE ALREADY WAS LIKE GOD! God created us “in his image.” We don’t need to seek additional wisdom and promises from the enemy… we have more than we can even remember through God’s Word!
The rest of Genesis 3:14-21 describes what happened because of the Fall into Sin. Everything changed because of Adam and Eve’s sin. When they sinned, we all became sinners. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Scripture repeatedly teaches that all people fell into sin when Adam & Eve sinned.
We are all natural born sinners. We still bear God’s image, but we are like broken mirrors – reflecting God’s image, but not well. Because of our sin, we have separated ourselves from God and have made ourselves guilty of sin and deserving of his wrath.
Next week, we will examine God’s amazing grace and how He redeems us from sin and judgment.
Final Questions to Consider:
- What sins are most tempting to you?
- How are those sins “Good for food, Pleasing to the eye, and Desirable for wisdom” to you?
- Are you spreading sin to others, or are they sharing their sin with you?
- How can you grow more confident in God’s Word? What verse will you commit to memorize (I recommend starting off with Romans 12:1-2)?
- Do you see yourself as a sinner, in need of God’s grace and mercy? Or do you minimize sin so it’s not a big deal?
- What Christian friend can you commit to be “accountability partners” with, helping each other resist temptation and encouraging each other to pursue God’s grace when you do sin?