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The Eyes of Both Were Opened
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The harmony of God’s good creation and tranquility in the garden of Eden is disrupted by the sin of Adam and Eve. The description of the serpent’s craftiness is the first indication that such a disruption is possible, and the method by which he lures the first couple to sin confirms his malevolent intent. He questions the Word of God and the goodness of God, then proceeds to contradict God while promising they will become like God. Eve’s curiosity and Adam’s passivity result in their crossing the line between temptation and sin. They are immediately aware of their downfall and seek to rectify their situation with outward coverings, but their sense of guilt and shame cannot be cured by such superficial acts.
01. Temptation is an ever-present reality in our lives, yet we can overcome it by being familiar with the tempter’s ways.
02. Sin is an ongoing struggle in our lives, yet we cannot overcome it without a sense of guilt and shame.
03. Guilt and shame have only a temporary place in our lives if we have overcome both through the blood of Jesus Christ.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Why is the serpent described as being “crafty” in Genesis 3:1? How do this description and his presence in the garden prefigure the events that follow? What is the true identity of the serpent? See Revelation 20:2 for further insight.
2. The Bible teaches us that God cannot sin, nor does He tempt others to sin (James 1:13; 1 John 1:5). How do you suppose sin originated since it does not originate in God? What would you say to someone who suggests that their sins are due to the fact that “God made me this way”?
3. In what ways does the serpent question God’s Word and God’s goodness in this text? What other examples of questioning God’s Word and His goodness can you find in Scripture? How can you recognize the tempter’s voice when you start to think, “Has God actually said?” How can you recognize the tempter’s voice when you doubt God’s goodness?
4. What does the serpent promise Eve regarding the benefits of disobeying God? What is the actual outcome of her actions—was she better off than before or not? Discuss the following statement: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
5. In what ways does our society deny the reality of sin and dismiss the concepts of guilt and shame? How can we faithfully communicate these biblical concepts to those who believe there are no absolutes? How can we help those who have a right sense of guilt and shame find forgiveness and freedom in Christ?
For Further Reading: Richard Owen Roberts, Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel (Crossway, 2002)