By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read: Genesis 3:1-6
“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die.’” (Genesis 3:4)
First, The Tempter. God is not the author of sin, nor does he tempt people to sin; this is the work of the devil (James 1:13).
We have already seen that Satan fell into sin prior to the work of Genesis 1:3. He was a beautiful angel originally, rejoicing at God’s creation (Job 38:4-7), but he sinned and was judged by God (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel. 28:11-19).
Notice that Satan came to Eve in the guise of a serpent, for he is a masquerader and appears to people in his true character. In Genesis 3, Satan is the serpent who deceives (2 Corinthians 11:3); in Genesis 4, he is the liar that murders (John 8:44). We must take care to avoid his deceptive ways.
Second, The Target. Satan aimed at Eve’s mind (2 Corinthians. 11:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:9-15) and succeeded in deceiving her. Man’s mind is a part of his being created in God’s image (Colossians 3:9-10), so Satan attacks God when he attacks the human mind. Satan uses lies. He is a liar himself and the father of lies (John 8:44).
Third, The Tactic. As long as the mind holds to God’s truth, Satan cannot win; but once the mind doubts God’s Word (the Bible), there is room for the devil’s lies to move in.
Satan questioned God’s Word (Genesis 3:1), denied God’s Word (Genesis 3:4) and then substituted his own lies (Genesis 3:5). Notice that Satan seeks to undermine our faith in the goodness of God — he suggested to Eve that God was “holding out on them” by keeping them from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When we question God’s goodness and doubt his love, we are playing right into the hands of Satan. Satan made the temptation sound wonderful by making an offer: “You will be like God!” Satan himself had wanted to be “like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14), and centuries later he offered Christ “all the kingdoms of the world” if He would worship him (Matthew 4:8).
Fourth, The Tragedy. Eve should not have “given place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27); she should have held to God’s Word and resisted him.
We wonder where Adam was during this conversation. At any rate, Eve took away from God’s Word by omitting “freely” (Genesis 3:2); she added to the word by adding “touch it” (Genesis 3:3); and she changed the word by making God’s “you shall surely die” into “lest you die” (Genesis 3:3, NKJV).
In Genesis 3:6 we see the tragic operation of the lust of the flesh (“good for food”), the lust of the eyes (“pleasant to the eyes”), and the pride of life (“desirable to make one wise”) — see 1 John 2:15-17.
It is difficult to sin alone. Something in us makes us want to share the sin with others. Adam deliberately sinned and plunged the world into judgment (1 Timothy 2:14).
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines free at rcpbibleoutlines.com. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.