The Origin of Sin

(A discussion between five friends about the incident recorded in Genesis 3)

Roshan: Welcome to all for this discussion on “The Origin of Sin” recorded in Genesis 3. All: Hi Roshan: If you have your Bible please turn the pages to the portion Genesis Chapter 3. Rohit will read it aloud for us. Others please listen & follow carefully. Rohit:
The Fall of Man (NKJV)
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Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
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And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

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Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
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So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
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And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
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Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

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So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
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And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
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Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
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And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
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So the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
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To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
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Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
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And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

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Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Roshan: Thank you Rohit. Before we continue, let us pray “ Our Loving Heavenly Father, we pray that you would open the eyes of our understanding as we discuss about your word. Please speak to us. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen” I think all of you would have understood the story that we read. Please spend a few minutes reading once again silently. Roshan: This incident teaches how sin came into the world, the consequences of sin and shows us God’s plan for restoration of the fallen mankind.

Preeti: The incident begins with a serpent talking to a woman. How can that be possible? Nobody has ever heard of animals talking in human language. I think this incident is just a mythological story. Pooja: Yes, I think it is just a story to teach mankind some good morals. Rahim: I have heard that people possessed by evil spirits, speak what the evil spirit wants through their mouth. But can snakes speak human language? Roshan: The book of Genesis was written by a prophet of God called Moses. He was a man who spoke face to face with God. He wrote the first five books of the Bible being inspired by God himself. According to the Bible, this incident is a true historical account of events as they happened. God revealed whatever man needs to know through the prophet Moses. Genesis 1 and 2 shows how God created the entire universe, all living things and humans. Everything that God created was very good. God placed the man and the woman in the Garden of Eden, a paradise on earth. Rohit: When did Moses write the book of Genesis? When did the above incident happen? Roshan: Moses wrote it about 1500 B.C. We cannot be sure when this event happened but it must have happened in 4000 B.C or earlier. Preeti: This event in Genesis 3 has happened more than 6000 years from today and 2500 years before Moses. I am not sure if such old records could be reliable. Rohit: I think if we study the event we could find out about its reliability. I believe it is God’s word and that God would speak to us through this event even today. Roshan: In the last book of the Bible i.e in Revelation 12:9, this serpent is referred to as the Devil or Satan, the deceiver. The Devil used the serpent as an instrument to deceive Eve. Pooja: If God created everything, then who created Satan? Why would God create Satan?

Rohit: I know how Satan came into being. There was a glorious angel called Lucifier who was incharge of the worship in Heaven. He became proud and wanted to take over God. He along with a third of the angels was cast down from Heaven by God because of the rebellion. Since God made man to worship Him, Satan wants to deceive mankind into worshipping him rather than his creator. Satan has an army of evil spirits with him, who work for him. What did the serpent ask the woman? Rahim: Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Roshan: If you read the second chapter of Genesis Verses 16 and 17, you would find that God had commanded that man can freely eat of any tree of the garden but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had told man that on the day he eats he shall surely die. Preeti: Why did God tell them not to eat the fruit of that one particular tree? Roshan: It was harmful for him. God is almighty, He knows what He is doing, we cannot question His Wisdom. There were trees of all types which were pleasant including the tree of life (2:9, 3:22) in the garden. The work of the devil is to make us doubt the goodness of God. He made Eve to shift her focus from the hundreds of trees which God had given as food to the one tree he has forbidden. As the creator and owner God has every right to refuse the fruit of one tree. What was the woman’s answer to the serpent’s question? Pooja: “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Rohit: God had only told you shall not eat it but Eve added something to what God had told “you shall not touch it” Rahim: I think she should have added more rules like “you shall not go near it”, “you shall not see it” etc., then only she would have not broken God’s command.

Preeti: I disagree, we know many rules and regulations but we are hardly able to follow them. We are not even able to keep our New Year Resolutions for more than few weeks. Roshan:Let’s continue with the discussion, What was serpent’s reply? Pooja: You will not surely die. Preeti: That was an emphatic lie Rahim: He also added “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Rohit: I think that was partial truth. It is true that their eyes would be opened but the fact is they were already created in the image of God and eating the fruit would only tarnish that image. The woman became convinced to eat the fruit. She felt that the fruit was not only good for food but that it was pleasant to the eyes and it would make her wise. She not only ate but convinced her husband also to eat it. What happened to them after they ate it? Preeti: Verse 7 says “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. Roshan: What happened next? Pooja: It says in Verse 8 “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” Rohit: God would have known where they were hiding, then why is asking Adam “Where are you?” Roshan: He is asking that question so that Adam would confess his disobedience and ask for forgiveness but instead what did Adam do? Preeti: His answer seems to be evasive. He said “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Rahim: God is asking him the questions which will make him confess what he did. “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Pooja: He is blaming the woman for the disobedience. Rohit: He is not only blaming the woman, he is also blaming God for giving him the woman. He said “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Roshan: The Lord then asked the woman “What is this you have done?” What was her reply? Preeti: She is shifting the blame on the serpent. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Roshan: The Lord is not questioning the serpent because he is in rebellion and has already been cast down from heaven. He therefore pronounces curses on the serpent. What was the first curse on the serpent? Rahim: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.” Preeti: You said that it was the devil who used the snake as an instrument to deceive the woman, then don’t you think it was unfair to curse the snake for the devil’s fault. Rohit: I have never thought of it Roshan: I think God probably wanted to give a symbolic message to mankind and the Devil. Whenever they see a snake crawling they will remember the consequences of disobedience to God. Pooja: I don’t think any snake eats dust. Preeti: Have you heard of the phrase “Lick the Dust”. It is used to mean humiliating defeat. I think that is what is meant by it.

Rohit: Yes, God is telling the devil that He is in sovereign control and that he should not celebrate his success of creating enmity between God and man by deceiving the woman. In verse 15, He is telling the serpent that “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Roshan: The Verse has lot of depth. It is a prophetic message to mankind, that God would raise a Saviour who would crush the head of the Devil. “Bruising His heel” refers to His death on the cross. Seed of the woman refers to Virgin birth of Jesus Christ. We talked about this in our discussion on “The Birth of the Messiah”. What curse does God pronounce on the woman?

Pooja: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Preeti: So God is responsible for the monthly periods of a woman and also the pain in delivery. I think it is not fair to punish all woman for the sin of one woman. Rahim: The man is ruling over the woman for centuries we can practically see it happening. Roshan: Actually the first phrase of the sentence “Your desire shall be for your husband” means “You shall desire to control your husband”. But this does not give the husband the right to dishonor or ill-treat his wife. The Bible gives clear instruction on how the husband and wife should relate to one another. God made it that way because whenever a woman goes through pain in child birth or in her family relationship she will remember that sin has consequences. But God had also pronounced a curse on the man. What was it? Rohit: In Verses 17 to 19 we find God saying “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the

field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Rahim: God is pronouncing the curse to the man specifically for listening to the woman. Is it a guideline that husband should never listen to his wife? Roshan: The husband should not listen to the wife only when she says something that is contrary to God’s commands. The curse on the man is related to his work life. Though most of us are not required to till the land, we still have to face work stress in any profession. God also says that all of mankind would have to face physical death. Though God could have stuck the man and woman dead immediately after their disobedience, He did not do so. God showed his grace to mankind. Do you think that the man and the woman would have repented? Rohit: I think they would have repented, they would have realized that God is on their side and that the Devil is their enemy. Their life would have been filled with hope because God had promised a Saviour who would crush the Devil and deliver mankind from sin and death. That is why even though God had pronounced death Adam is naming Eve, as the “mother of the living”. Of what material does God make coat for Adam and Eve? Rahim: He made a coat of skin it must be some animal skin. The first leather coat was made by God himself. Pooja: God is killing an animal for covering Adam and Eve. Why should God kill an innocent animal for the sins of mankind? Roshan: The garments of fig leaves were inadequate to cover their nakedness. By doing this God is showing the principle of sacrifice by substitution. A day will come when a Saviour will come, He will be innocent but the sins of mankind will be laid upon Him and He will die on behalf of the sins of the mankind to redeem man from his sins. This was done by Jesus Christ when he died on the cross for all of our sins. What happened later to Adam and Eve?

Preeti: God drives Adam and Eve out of the garden, so that he will till the ground. He also ensures that man will not eat from the tree of life and live forever by placing a cherubim and a flaming sword to guard that tree. Pooja: Why is God driving them out from the garden of Eden. Was it another of God’s punishments for man? Roshan: Just think what will happen to man who is already living in pain and toil, if he lives forever. He would have to live a life of never ending pain and distress. It was for man’s good that God prevented man from eating from the tree of life. Through the Saviour God is going to resurrect man from his spiritual death as well as physical death. Rahim: Is the Tree of life there on earth even now. Rohit: I think the Tree of life is no longer there on earth. It may have been destroyed when God sent a great flood to destroy the earth during Noah’s days. Roshan: I have always wondered why it is easy to do bad things but so difficult to do good. This incident shows that man is in fallen state. To put it another way, man is infected with a deadly virus called sin. In fact when a child is born though it does not know what is good and bad it is infected with the virus. We don’t need to teach a child to tell a lie, it comes naturally. What have you learnt from this discussion? Rohit: The tree of life was in the garden and so was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Initially God had not forbidden from eating of the tree of life but man chose to eat only what was forbidden. Today also each man has a choice to make. He has to choose one of the two ways. Either the way that leads to eternal life or the one that leads to eternal death. Either the way that leads to holiness or the one that leads to sin. Either the way that establishes one’s relationship with God or one that separates us from God. Either the way that leads to blessings or the way that leads to curses. I have chosen the one way that leads to life, blessing and holiness and the one that establishes my relationship with God.

Rahim: I have learnt that God is on my side. Though he punishes sin, he is gracious and saves us from sin. Pooja: I have learnt that I should not blame God or others for the mess that I get into regularly. I should learn to take responsibility. I should be humble enough to confess my sins on a regular basis. Preeti: I have learnt that sin has consequences, I should choose to live the right way. God is all powerful and wise; I do not have the right to question His wisdom. God is good all the time. I am going to study the Bible to find out the way that God wants me to take. Roshan: When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they hid from the presence of God. Today also man is hiding from God in various ways, some are saying there is no God, some are skeptical about the existence of God by pointing to pain and disasters in the world, some make a God according to their imagination, they make a god who does not punish sin, but only loves, forgives and blesses always. But the God that we see in the Bible is one who comes seeking these men who are hiding. He is expecting them to repent of their sins. He is ready to offer covering for their sins and give them the gift of eternal life because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. May I request Rohit to pray for all of us. Rohit: “Loving Heavenly Father, we accept our sinful condition. We have displeased you by the sins we have done, please forgive us and cleanse us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Please make all of us recipients of the eternal life that you freely give to all who believe in Him. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen” Roshan: May all of us experience God’s love reaching out to forgive our sins and to save us. May the Lord God take care of you all. Bye. See you soon.

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