Lesson 3

Restoration

(Genesis 3)
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Introduction: What impact did sin have upon God's original plan for marriage? Did it change God's plan for the relationship between husband and wife? If so, did Jesus' death on the cross bring us back to the original plan? We are going to review some things we have studied about marriage and then look at how sin affected the relationship between Adam and Eve. Let's dive into our study!

  1. The Plan


    1. Read Genesis 2:22-23. How would you describe Adam's reaction to God making a woman to be with him?


      1. Do you remember how it felt to date someone who you liked and who seemed to really like you? (These are some of the best emotions in life.)


        1. Would you say this is something like what Adam felt right after God made Eve?


    2. Read Genesis 2:24. Are Adam and Eve now married?


      1. What are the elements of marriage as described in this verse? (Leaving parents, becoming united with your spouse, becoming "one flesh.")


      2. Dr. Izak F. Wessels points out a fascinating comparison between the two institutions established during Creation: Marriage and the Sabbath. Read Isaiah 58:13-14. Isaiah is writing about the Sabbath. How many of the instructions for honoring the Sabbath are also important elements of a successful marriage? (Fidelity, honor, unselfishness, care in language, care in actions, create joy in a marriage just as they create joy in Sabbath-keeping.)


      3. Back to Genesis. Who do you think is speaking in Genesis 2:24? Is this Adam or God? (This is God's declaration of marriage.)


    3. Read Genesis 2:25. Is a point being made here? If so, what is it?


  2. Perverting the Plan


    1. Read Genesis 3:1. The text says that the serpent "was more crafty than any of the animals the Lord God made." What is the Bible telling us? That we are dealing with a really smart animal?


      1. Is this an animal?


      2. Read 2 Corinthians 11:3. What does this suggest about the nature of the serpent?


      3. Read Revelation 12:9. What does this suggest about the nature of the serpent?


      4. Read Genesis 49:17. What does this suggest about the way the Bible uses the term "serpent?" (Revelation clearly tells us that the "ancient serpent" is Satan. Genesis 49 shows us how a person (here, Dan, one of Isaac's sons)can be described as a "serpent.")


      5. Was Satan created? (Read Ezekiel 28:13-14. This text is often accepted as a description of Satan (although it also refers in some sense to the King of Tyre). You can see that Satan was "created" and "anointed" as an angel ("guardian cherub"). Thus, when Genesis 3:1 tells us that the "serpent" was made by God and was more crafty than the "other animals," we are given a correct picture of Satan.)


      6. We have spent some time here trying to sort out the nature of the serpent. What does this suggest about the methods of Satan? (That he tries to approach us in a way that is not so obviously evil.)


      7. Let's finish with Genesis 3:1: Are the words of Satan true? What is the correct answer to Satan's leading question?(Read Genesis 2:16-17.)


        1. Is Satan trying to make God appear to be too strict?


    2. Read Genesis 3:2-3. Did Eve correctly state the requirements of God? ( Genesis 2:17 only mentions eating, not touching. However, not touching it would be consistent with the idea to steer clear of this fruit.)


    3. Read Genesis 3:4-5. How much of what Satan said was true?


      1. Contemplate these verses. What was the temptation for Eve? What was Satan's "pitch?"(An appeal to become "like God." God could not be trusted. Eve, by eating, would become like God so that she could make her own decisions about life.)


    4. Read Genesis 3:6. According to this verse, why did Eve eat the fruit? (It was good for the body, pleasing to the eye and great for the mind.)


      1. Is there any implication that Eve held the fruit before she ate it? If so, did the fact that she was able to touch the fruit without suffering harm (see Genesis 3:3) embolden Eve to disobey God by eating? (She must have held it. Verse 6 tells us that she "took some" fruit. Thus, it appears that when she touched the fruit and felt no harm she believed that God was also wrong about the harm in eating.)


        1. What is the impact of being too strict with our children? If we command them to refrain from doing harmless things which God allows, can we embolden them to do real evil?


    5. Genesis 3:6 makes the startling point that Adam "was with her." Has he been with her the entire time? Is he just being left out of the conversation? (Matthew Henry's Commentary suggests that Adam was not with Eve at the time of the temptation. Instead, he arrived after she had eaten. Paul's commentary in 1 Timothy 2:14 makes it nearly impossible to believe that Adam was standing by the entire time.)


  3. Beginning of Marriage Problems


    1. Read Genesis 3:7. Remember when we read Genesis 2:25, where it says they were naked and felt no shame, I asked you what point was being made? What point is being made now? (The perfect, innocent relationship between Adam and Eve has ended. They are now embarrassed to be seen together.)


    2. Read Genesis 3:8-12. What further deterioration is there in the marriage relationship? (Adam is blaming Eve(and God!))


    3. Read Genesis 3:13. Who did Eve blame?


  4. Punishment


    1. Let's skip down and read Genesis 3:16. What punishment (besides death)does God impose on Eve? (Suffer pain when bearing children, desire will be for husband, husband will rule over her.)


      1. Is desiring your husband a punishment? (This must mean that no longer were the two on an equal footing. She now had some sort of an emotional need for him that he did not have for her.)


      2. Consider the punishment for a minute. What is odd (or unique) about Eve's punishment? (It is all centered on the marital relationship. Becoming "one flesh" now brings pain. Instead of being Adam's equal, she desires him and is ruled by him.)


    2. Read Genesis 3:17-19. Why does God start the punishment for Adam by saying "Because you listened to your wife?" Why not start instead with "Because you disobeyed me...?"


      1. Should men take from this a warning against listening to their wives? (It is a warning against listening to your spouse as opposed to listening to God when the two conflict. I remember one Godly leader who I was convinced was getting ungodly advice from his wife. He would say to me, "I've learned it is good to listen to my wife.")


      2. What is Adam's punishment?


      3. How are the punishments of Adam and Eve similar? (They will both have to struggle to maintain life. He will have to struggle to produce food. She will have to struggle to produce children.)


        1. How many of the disputes in modern marriage center on these subjects?


  5. Redemption


    1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. Has Jesus wiped away the punishment of Adam and Eve?


    2. Read John 6:48-51. How did the coming of Jesus directly respond to the sin of Adam and Eve? (They lost life when they sinned. Their punishment reminded them of the precious nature of life. Maintaining life was not easy. Jesus tells us that He came to give us "living bread" so that we can have life again.)


    3. Read Galatians 3:13. According to this text, has Jesus accepted the punishment given to Adam and Eve?


    4. Read Revelation 22:1-3. When is the curse finally removed? When do we receive life in its fullness without having to struggle to maintain it?


    5. Adam and Eve sinned. Eve led Adam into sin (although, it was his choice) and God said that thereafter, as punishment, man would play the dominant role in marriage. Has Jesus fully removed this punishment? (No - at least not right now. We still live daily with the effects of sin. We still struggle with life. Jesus has taken the curse, He has given us eternal life, and He is working to move us back to the ideal of the Eden relationship. That is why Jesus pointed to Eden as the model for marriage ( Matthew 19:4). This is the ideal to which we should work.)


    6. Friend, how is your marriage? Are you closer to Eden or closer to the punishment model? By God's grace, determine to move towards Eden.


  6. Next week: Living With Lambs.

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