The First Successful Temptation

Peter Barnes: Genesis 3:1-13, Romans 5:12-21 (9 February 2020)

How do we explain the evil that is in God’s world? Samuel Angus
used to speak of a ‘fall upwards’!! We will focus especially on Satan’s
temptation of Adam and Eve. Satan fell first (2 Pet.2:4).

1. Satan tempts by insinuation.
– 3:1. Satan speaks through the serpent just as God speaks through
Balaam’s donkey, and the Holy Spirit assumes the form of a dove. The
serpent is Satan – Rev.12:9. When you go fishing, you hide the hook
under the bait.
– Matt.4:5-6. Satan even quotes Psalm 91.
– 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15. Eve is drawn into dialogue (3:2-3) which
is a mistake.

2. Satan boldly attacks God’s Word.
– 3:4. This is a bold attack on God’s truth. God had said otherwise –
Gen.2:17. ‘That is not true’, says Satan – Gen.3:5. Thomas Brooks,
said: ‘Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises
honour, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with
pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and
pays with death. But God pays as He promises; all His payments are
made in pure gold.’

3. Adam and Eve succumb thinking the outcome will be good.
– 3:6; see 1 John 2:15-16. Eve convinced herself that she would obtain
something good by doing something bad. See Gen.13:8-11.
– ‘O wretched free will’, wrote Augustine, ‘which, while yet entire, had
so little stability.’
– Eph.6:11; 2 Cor.2:11. Our first need is Christ (Rom.5:19).