Sermon on Genesis 3:1-7 | The Fall of Man

An apple

The Fall of Man (Genesis 3:1-7)

I’m having some real trust issues with doctors right now. When we lived in West Virginia, I had a neurologist up in Morgantown who really put me through the ringer. She did a nerve biopsy. They must do that while you are fully awake, and they can’t even use local anesthesia. Trust me–it is quite excruciating to have a piece of muscle yanked out of you. She also ordered an EMG. That is far less painful, but it’s still no fun. Some of you have required EMGs on your arms or legs, and you could testify that it’s no fun. I got tickled at one of the techs doing the test. He kept telling me to just relax while he’s twisting the needle in my leg trying to get an accurate reading. I really wanted to ask him to trade places and ask him to relax, but I didn’t. Every time I’d have one of those tests, the doctor would say, “I still don’t have any idea what’s wrong.”

About a week and a half ago, I take all of my test results and doctor’s notes to my new neurologist. He looks through her notes and looks at me and says, “Why did she do the muscle biopsy and these other tests?” Come to find out in her own notes, this neurologist had noticed certain clinical features in my reflexes that meant the problem had to be in the upper motor neurons of the brain. Why, then, did she run painful tests that had nothing to do with the upper motor neuron pathways? I’d really like to know the answer to that. I guess what it boils down to is that she’s human and she made an error.

I know that many of you have had people shatter trust. Maybe it was a doctor. Maybe s/he made a mistake, prescribed the wrong medication, or simply didn’t listen. As I think most of you know, my dad almost died because a doctor made a very serious mistake during an operation–We are very blessed to still have him with us. Maybe it was a salesman who promised the sky but failed to deliver. Maybe it was a friend who betrayed your trust in a big way. We know, of course, that all humans are but mortal and God is the only One in Whom we may place absolute confidence.

In this morning’s text, Eve places her absolute confidence in a talking serpent. The fact that the serpent talks and Eve doesn’t freak out indicates that before the Fall man and animal may have had a different relationship than we have now. Regardless of what relationship Adam and Eve had with serpents in the Garden, Satan uses the serpent that speaks with Eve. Eve trusts the serpent and buys his lie hook, line, and sinker. All of humanity suffers to this day because Eve trusts this serpent.

We want to look at Eve’s misplaced trust this morning that we might learn not to trust the serpent. When we leave the text this morning, we want to have learned a very important lesson: “Satan cannot be trusted.” You know that Satan cannot be trusted. Jesus says to the Jews of His day: John 8:44. This morning, as we think about “The Fall of Man,” we’ll see Satan in action, we’ll take off his mask, expose him as a liar and learn that “Satan cannot be trusted.”

Text (Genesis 3:1-7)

verse 1:

The serpent was more cunning than any other beast of the field God had made. In some way, the serpent was more subtle and crafty than other created beasts. I’m not sure how he was more cunning, but Satan was able to use that craftiness for his own plan.

The serpent asks, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Nope. . . God had said nothing like that: Genesis 2:16-17. Satan takes the positive words of God and twist them to make them negative. Satan wants Eve to focus on everything she’s missing out on; he wants Eve to see that God is depriving her of something good.

verses 2-3:

Eve somewhat corrects the serpent. . . . She and her husband could freely eat of the trees of the garden, save one.

Eve says, “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.’” She gets what God had said only partly right. . . . God had indeed said that in the day Adam and Eve ate of that fruit they would surely die (Gen 2:17). Nowhere, however, do we find that God said anything about touching the tree or its fruit. Eve adds to what God had said, and I think that’s significant. Eve seems to be seeing God as a little too restrictive here–He won’t even let her touch that harmless fruit.

verses 4-5:

Satan earns Eve’s trust here in a big way. . . . It’s almost as if they are sharing a secret no one else knows. God has it all wrong. . . . Adam is wrong because he’s been listening to God. Satan seems to be stroking Eve’s ego. . . . He’s getting her to believe that she possesses secret knowledge.

Eve will not surely die from eating that fruit. Physically speaking Satan is very right. . . . God doesn’t strike Eve dead for her disobedience. Spiritually speaking, that’s another matter altogether.

  • “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek 18:20).
  • “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).
  • “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Js 1:15).

God knew that when Eve ate of the fruit her eyes would be opened and she would be like God, knowing good and evil. Did God know that when Adam and Eve ate of this fruit that they would become like Him, knowing good and evil? I believe that He did; God cast the man and woman from the garden because they now knew “good and evil” (Gen 3:22). The problem is that Satan makes the knowledge of good and evil sound like a good thing–Eve could become like God.

Why didn’t God want mankind to have the knowledge of good and evil? There is a loss of innocence. . . . Before the Fall, Adam and Eve are naked and unashamed; they are innocent. Before the Fall, there wasn’t a need for the knowledge of good and evil, for Adam and Eve only knew the good.

verse 6:

Eve lusts after this fruit in a big way. She sees that the fruit is good for food–Eve is apparently hungry and this fruit is going to hit the spot like nothing else in the garden–she’s lusting with every ounce of her flesh. She sees that the fruit is pleasant to the eyes– it’s easy on the eyes and she’s lusting with her eyes. She sees that the fruit is desirable to make one wise–this fruit will make her like God, and she’s lusting with her ego.

She eats of the fruit, and she gives to her husband who was with her. Eve has committed the first sin. But, she’s no fool. . . . she is going down by herself, so she drags her husband into her sin.

verse 7:

Innocence is shattered.

Their eyes are opened. Adam and his wife realize their nakedness. Shame enters the picture. They clothe themselves with fig leaves. Yes, Adam and Eve need to cover themselves, for they now know that they are naked. Yet, there is certainly a desire on their part for a cover-up and to hide what they had done.


Satan cannot be trusted.” He certainly could not be trusted when he used the serpent in the garden. He promised Eve freedom, but he delivered captivity. He promised knowledge, but he brought shame. He so slightly twisted the word of God, and the whole of humanity has had to pay the price. What should we do because “Satan cannot be trusted”?

You must remember that sin deceives.

Sin is deceptive by its very nature. Hebrews 3:12-13. Sin must be deceptive. Who would knowingly trade life for death? Who would knowingly become enslaved to destructive habits? Who would knowingly choose hell over heaven? But, even we buy into the deceitfulness of sin and expect something different than what sin really offers.

Moses chose “to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb 11:25). Sin can indeed give you pleasure–there is no sense in trying to deny that truth; Moses even recognized that sin brings pleasure. But, any pleasure sin brings is “passing,” for heartache follows that pleasure.

You must remember that sin deceives. When Satan comes to you and offers you so very much, you must remember that he is a liar! Don’t ever believe all the promises temptation seems to offer.

Examine your past sinfulness.

Here’s the point: By exploring our past sins, we’ll see the lies we believed, expose Satan as a liar, and be better equipped to deal with temptation in the future.

Make a list of ten sins from the past year. If you need help thinking of ten sins, go to Galatians 5:19-21 and read the list of sins there. Make two columns as you list your sins–Put your sin on one side and the lie you believe right out from it. Maybe you believe, for one reason or another, that you didn’t really believe a lie. Well, ask yourself some questions:

  • What pleasure did you intend to get?
  • Did you think maybe this sin was okay just once for one reason or another?
  • What was your reasoning process? I guarantee you that Satan was telling you some lie. Take off Satan’s mask and expose the lie for what it is.

Know the truth about sin.

Do you want a good antidote to the deceitfulness of sin? Know the truth about sin.

  • Know that Jesus died for your sins. Jesus didn’t go to that old rugged cross because it sounded fun; he went on account of your sins. “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt 26:28). He “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet 2:24).There can be absolutely no good in sin, for sin caused the death of the only begotten Son of God!
  • Know also that sin kills.
    • “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek 18:20).
    • “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).
    • “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Js 1:15).

If you persist in sin, it will cause you to be dead, to be lost forever in a devil’s hell. Don’t ever forget, no matter what great promises sin makes, that sin will ultimately lead to your death, unless you are covered in Jesus’ blood.

Do you need to come this morning and claim Jesus’ life as your life?

This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Dale Ridge church of Christ in Roanoke, Virginia.

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