There are two pieces of creation in the Garden of Eden which are prominent features as the story of humanity moves from the creation account into what is known as "The Fall." The first is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 2:16-17, God puts a single boundary in Adam and Eve's lives. They are free to eat of anything in the garden except this particular tree. God tells Adam, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Everything is available to them minus the fruit of that single tree. Living in right relationship with God requires that Adam and Eve lovingly obey this single command.
The second important piece of creation in the story is a serpent. Genesis 3 describes the serpent as the craftiest of all the creatures which God created. Satan speaks through the serpent, tempting Adam and Eve to eat from the tree, thus breaking the only command God has given them. With this act, sin enters the world. Sin is any failure to perfectly obey God's moral law. Think of it as missing the mark of God's holy standard in action or attitude. Once sin comes into the world, there are consequences for Adam and Eve. Among them are death, illness, fear, insecurity, and pain. None of these were part of God's original design. Every human born since the fall is born with a sinful nature at work inside them, a natural bent toward breaking God's moral law. From this point forward, the Bible is the story of God saving humanity from their sin and restoring them to a right relationship with Him through the life and work of His Son, Jesus.
FOR THIS WEEK'S SERMON ON GENESIS 3, LISTEN BELOW
FAMILY INGREDIENT: COURSE CORRECTION
Today's reading highlights the family ingredient of Course Correction in its purest form. In Genesis 3:1-24, we see God, the Father, do the correcting. Adam & Eve choose to listen to the voice of Satan speaking through a serpent instead of believing and obeying the single command of the voice of God. Because of their disobedience, bad consequences result for them and all of humanity thereafter. Sin enters the hearts of all mankind and God's creation is forever marred. God's discipline and course correction result. But the Lord promises He will someday crush Satan’s head, defeating the power of sin, and offering humanity new life. This happens when Jesus pays the penalty of our sin on the cross and rises from the dead to new life. It will come to an ultimate conclusion when Jesus returns! God is the perfect Father who always corrects our course for our good and His glory. As parents, we must be willing to apply the family ingredient of Course Correction, for the sake of our children, to help them to keep from straying.
- What was the Garden of Eden like before Adam and Eve sinned?
- What instructions did God give Adam and Eve?
- Who tempted them to disobey?
- Why do you think Adam and Eve didn't obey God's instructions?
- What happened when Adam and Eve disobeyed God?
- Does disobedience have consequences for adults and children?
- What kind of relationship did Adam and Eve have with God before they disobeyed? For a clue, look at the first part of Genesis 3:8.
- Thinking question: Do you think creation is still good?
Bible Memory Activity: Introduce the verse, Psalm 119:11. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Decide on different actions to do to help you remember the verse. With older children, discuss what it means to hide God's Word in your heart. How will that help you? Knowing God's Word is the best way for us to keep from sinning.
Bible Activity: Materials needed: small Bible, picture of treasure chest to tape on Bible (optional). Say, "The Bible is like a treasure chest." Hide the “Treasure Bible” and challenge your kids to find it. Give hints of how close they are by telling them if they are "hot" or "cold."
ADAPTED FROM KATELYN FAGAN'S, 5 Ways to Memorize Scripture With Your Children
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION
- Is there a command to obey? - The Bible is filled with divine commands for us to obey. There is clarity about God's will is in these areas. Our obedience to His commands leads us into the center of His will. Why is it that when we read God's commands in scripture, it is so difficult for us to obey?
- Can you identify areas of your life where you are tempted to be disobedient to God's commands? How might you live and approach life differently to fight against those temptations?