Genesis 3 • Sin Enters the World


Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

—Romans 5:14

The fact that Old Testament characters are “types” that teach and point to something spiritually greater than themselves is not something made up at seminaries; we can see from Scripture that this is one of the ways God teaches us. Adam is a “type” of Christ. There is something to be learned about the Messiah in what Scripture reveals concerning Adam.

Man begins life as God’s creation, living in a garden, fellowshipping with God, and failing to resist the temptations introduced by Satan. In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ will fellowship with God, resist all temptation, and provide man the means to become a recreation of God through Him. In the final garden of paradise revealed in Revelation, man will fellowship with God forever as His new creation with Satan completely eliminated. The interesting thing about this is that the Tree of Life is present in all 3 gardens! What begins here in Eden will be continually referenced in one way or another throughout the rest of Scripture and mankind’s history.

Read verse 1

Q: What are the exact words used to describe God in Genesis all the way through this first sentence in v.1?

A: “Lord God”.

Q: What are the exact words that Satan uses to describe God?

A: “God”.

Point: Satan “believes” in God but does not accept Him as Lord and King.

Q: What are the 2 subtle devices that Satan employs?

  1. He carefully refers to God in such a way that, on the surface, he appears to acknowledge God, but in reality gets Eve to think of God as less than absolute sovereign and King. Satan undermines God’s authority.
  2. He mis-quotes God’s Word. Satan uses enough of God’s Word to make it sound authentic, but changes its substance so that you actually end up questioning the very word of God rather than affirming it. This further erodes God’s authority.

Point: Whenever Satan acts in his role as the serpent he is employing the tools of deception. His deceit is always framed with the words and phrases that give it the surface appearance of legitimacy, but in reality work to undermine both God’s authority and His Word.

Application: In what areas do you struggle with God’s authority or Word? Do you or someone you know seem to argue a lot about justifying behavior through reinterpretation of God’s Word? Do you realize this may be Satan’s attempt to work deception in your life?

Read verses 2-5

Q: What is wrong with Eve’s reply? What would have been a better reply?

A: Eve does not question Satan’s misrepresentations, but gives them credibility by responding to him as if he’s raised a legitimate issue. The entire matter would have been immediately resolved if instead she asserted that it wasn’t her or Satan’s place to question God, or pointed out his misrepresentations.

Q: How would you characterize Satan’s response?

A: It’s an outright lie, but mixed with some truth. He knows that it will result in death, but that it will also result in “knowing good and evil”.

Q: Why do you suppose Satan gets away with this lie?

A: First, because Eve opened the door by not challenging him, and second because his primary appeal is to Eve’s pride: “You will be like God”.

Point: Satan’s attacks are designed to (1) undermine the person and authority of God, (2) undermine the authority and meaning of His Word, (3) render the truth ineffective by laying it alongside with a lie, and (4) working these things together so that pride and self combine to replace the rightful place of God in our life.

Application: How should you deal with these devices? How can you identify and address what the enemy is attempting to do?

Read verses 6-7

Q: So how was Satan ultimately successful? What did he get Eve to do that led to sin?

A: He got her to focus on her own desire, ignoring completely the desires (instructions) of God. The lust of her eye led her to choose to please herself rather than God

Q: How was Satan successful in getting to Adam? What does this reveal to us?

A: Satan couldn’t get to Adam directly, so he got to Adam indirectly through Eve. It reveals what Jesus refers to in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30) that every generation of Believer has to deal with: Satan’s infiltration of the church and working through others to influence the otherwise righteous.

Q: What is even more devastating about Adam’s response than Eve’s?

A: He doesn’t appear to question anything at all. It’s the assumption that “it must be OK because others are doing it” when one knows it’s wrong to begin with.

Q: What is the typical response to sin?

A: To run and hide and cover it up.

Application: Is there any behavior or life choice that you live out in private that you know is not acceptable at church on Sunday morning? Will you ultimately be successful hiding this sin? What do you need to do to permanently address it?

Read verses 8-13

Q: What seems to be wrong with BOTH of their responses to God as to what has happened?

A: Neither takes direct responsibility for their actions nor do they acknowledge that it is God that they have wronged; they seem completely self-focused. Adam blames Eve, Eve blames the Serpent. Neither directly responds to God’s questions.

Q: What might be the subtle justification Adam specifically makes in his response in v.12?

A: “The woman whom You gave to be with me”. Adam might be implying that the Creator is responsible for His creation, even when it chooses to follow actions contrary to His will.

Point: What may have started out as “the things of God” may be mis-used by man or Satan to act contrary to God. What is given for holy purposes can be misused. The Creator does not intend for the created to commit evil; it does so out of its own free-will of choice.

Read verses 14-19

Q: How would you summarize the results of each person’s choices?

A: Each of them had consequences.

  1. Satan (v.14-15) Since it was God’s authority that he challenged then it will be God’s authority through God’s Son that Satan will be subdued and conquered.
  2. Eve (v.16) Since she allowed God’s authority to be set aside, she will have to learn to apply it through the lessons of earthly subjection to male authority. And since she threatened all life by allowing sin and rebellion, the pain of bearing new life will provide a permanent reminder of the consequences of choosing to live outside God’s guidelines for true life.
  3. Adam (v.17-19) He is held ultimately and finally responsible for allowing sin to enter and take hold on earth. The price of sin is death to not only teach of the consequences of sin but to markedly differentiate between the holiness and person of God and man who is mortal and subordinate. Since creation was a victim of Adam’s sin, creation would not “cooperate” and instead provide resistance as a reminder of what Adam did.

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

—Romans 8:19-22

Q: If Eve sinned first, why is Adam held the most responsible?

A: He may have not challenged the serpent face-to-face, but neither did he question Eve’s actions nor enforce God’s commandment. If Adam had taken such a stand, sin would have been identified and limited to Eve alone and not passed on through him to all mankind.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

—Romans 5:12-14

Q: What is the overwhelming demonstration of God’s grace revealed within these verses?

A: That although Eve “delivered” everyone and everything over to sin, through her would come the “Deliverer” to make all things right.

Read verses 20-21

Q: Every “cute” cartoon and reference to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden always shows them wearing fig leafs. What is the reality and what does it mean?

A: The fig leaf was man’s attempt at his own cover-up. They should be shown wearing animal furs/skins by which God showed them that the penalty of sin is death, that blood is required to atone for sin.

Read verses 22-24

Q: What is significant about the cherubim? Where else are Cherubim used and what might that teach?

A: It will be cherubim that cover the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat of God. It speaks of the extraordinary lengths to which man is going to have to go to come back into the presence of God.


Q: What is the first thing that happens to Christ after being baptized by John? How is this addressing Adam’s failures?

A: He is tempted by Satan in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13) Satan unsuccessfully tries all of the same devices that worked on Adam and Eve but Christ rebuffs them completely.

Q: What is the contrast of the results of the way Adam dealt with sin as opposed to Christ?

A: Death as opposed to life. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

—1 Corinthians 15:20-22

Q: Genesis 1:27 states, “God created man in His own image”. How does Christ restore the original “image” of man as God intended?

So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

—1 Corinthians 15:45-49

Q: What was God’s original plan for man?

Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

—Genesis 3:15

Q: Where does man end up according to God’s plan through the work of Christ?

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

—Revelation 22:1-5