Are You Smarter Than Eve?

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In Genesis 3:1-7, we are given the biblical narrative concerning the fall of man.  The characters are:  Eve, Adam and the serpent (Satan).  The transition that takes place involves the relationship between Eve, Adam and God.  It is a transition from a spiritual state of innocence to a state of guilt before God due to sin.  Satan is the tempter.  By a series of seductive appeals and direct contradiction of God’s Word, he appeals to the mind and flesh of Eve (Eph. 2:3).  The Bible indicates that Satan is subtle, i.e. crafty, deceitful.  Eve is drawn away by her own lusts and enticed.  Satan uses the avenues of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.  Satan’s nature and methods have not changed for over 6,000 years!  Eve was the first to sin and then Adam followed Eve, who became a temptress, in disobedience to God (Gen. 2:17).
Eve sinned against her own soul.  She sinned against God.  She sinned against her husband (by tempting him).  She failed to be morally responsible.  She believed a lie.  She rejected God’s Word and by doing so, she rejected God.  She permitted her own thoughts and desires to guide her instead of God’s Word.  She made a choice to act while disregarding the consequences of her actions.
Eve shows us that there is a fundamental difference between human beings and animals.  Human beings are created by God.  They are created in the image of God.  Human beings have free will (the power of volition and so free moral agency); intellect (rational thought and a conscience); emotion (feelings such as guilt); and a soul (a spiritual aspect to their nature).  Human beings are dualistic.  Each person has an “outward man” (physical aspect of his/her being) and an “inward man” (spiritual aspect of his/her being).  The fact of sin in human beings means that there is a fundamental difference between humans and animals.  Animals are never charged by God with sin.  There is no moral law that restricts the conduct of animals.  However, human beings are responsible to God’s laws and God holds them accountable for disobedience to those laws.
There were consequences to Eve and Adam’s sin against God.  They both felt shame and guilt.  They both came to know sin by experiencing it.  They both feared God and hid themselves from God.  Both were separated from the tree of life in the midst of the Garden of Eden and were banished from the Garden of Eden.  Both began to die physically.  Both dies spiritually at the time of their sin.  Both lost the intimacy of fellowship with God.
The consequences the serpent suffered involved: (1) a curse by God involving a change of form; and (2) enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of Satan whereby the seed of the woman would destroy the power of Satan (Heb. 2:16).
Eve suffered the following consequences:  (1) she was placed in subjection to her husband; (2) she was told that she would have pain in child birth; and (3) condemnation due to sin and death entered the world, Rom. 5:12).
Adam suffered the following consequences:  (1) God cursed the ground so that it brought forth thorns and thistles; (2) Adam’s work would be more demanding and (3) he would die physically (from dust thou art, unto dust thou shalt return.
Are you smarter than Eve?
Do you know the enemy?   In John 8:44, we are told, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  Satan lied to Eve, but Eve did not discern the lie and reject it.  How about you?  Are you smarter than Eve?
Do you know yourself?  Every temptation is a lie.  Temptation is the enticement to sin either by the external presentation of evil allurement or the internal desire to participate in that which is forbidden by God or both.  James states that we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed (James 1:14). Temptation to sin involves appeals to the mind and the body.  Eve did not practice self-control in the face of temptation.  How about you?  Are you smarter than Eve?
Do you know God?  God knows all and sees all.  We cannot sin without God knowing about it.  We are accountable to God.  God will punish the evil doer.  God means exactly what He says.  We sin when we disobey God.  Eve disregarded God and God’s Word when she sinned.  How about you?  Are you smarter than Eve?
It is possible to be smarter than Eve.  James states, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).

No Excuses!

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Who can forget Flip Wilson’s famous line, “The devil made me do it?”  Yes, I admit that being able to recall the phrase dates me.  But, it is a classic statement of the blame game.  This is a common phenomenon.   Political leaders are notorious for doing this.  Admission of guilt is one of the hardest things we do.  Eve blamed the devil.  Adam blamed Eve.  Since this first couple, people have been blaming someone else for their own failures.  When we sin, we have given in to temptation.  We are responsible.  There are no excuses.

In I Corinthians 10:13, Paul declares, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”   What is temptation?  Temptation is “an enticement through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life to transgress God’s law.  The purpose of the temptation is to bring us to condemnation before God.  Satan is the tempter (Matt. 4:1-11).  Satan is an adversary (I Pet. 5:8).  Satan is out to defeat and destroy us.  When we sin, we create a memory of the sinful pleasure and that memory coupled with the inordinate lust creates an even stronger impulse to perform the sin again.  The mind works with the body to produce a craving or desire to be involved in the sin again. Repeated sinful conduct does several things.  First, it builds desire (strengthens lusts).  Second, it diminishes guilty feelings by searing the conscience (I Tim. 4:2).  Third, it destroys desire for the sacred.  It estranges one from God.
The experience of temptation is common to man.  Temptation to sin is an ordinary yet serious experience for mankind.  What happens in the moment of temptation is not extreme or superhuman.  No one is forced or coerced (made) to sin.  When we are tempted, we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed (James 1:14).
God is faithful. God has promised that He will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear.  God limits, strengthens, and provides a pathway to escape.  The message to us is:  you can resist and endure (overcome) the temptation.  You have a power within you to act freely and choose between the alternatives to do good or evil.  This is the power of volition.  You can choose to do good as well as evil.
In the moment of temptation, three persons are acting.  Satan is presenting the evil in an enticing manner.  God is limiting Satan, strengthening you with His love and providing a pathway to escape.  You either resist and overcome or else yield and sin.  The free act makes you responsible for your decision in that moment.
God makes the way of escape possible. The way of escape is illustrated in many Bible stories.  Joseph fled from the presence of Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:7-12).  Paul recommends fleeing from sin on several occasions:  flee fornication (I Cor. 6:18); flee from idolatry (I Cor. 10:14); flee these things (covetousness, love of money) (I Tim. 6:11).  Another way of escape is a verbal rebuke (Eph. 5:11).  Jesus used the Scriptures to defeat Satan’s temptations (Matt. 4:1-11).  We must look for the way of escape.  This is our part.  To escape is to remain free from sin by resisting Satan’s temptation and avoiding God’s wrath.
God makes it possible for us to bear (endure and overcome) the temptation. This passage stands as a rebuke to those who argue that they have no choice in partaking of some sinful situation.  No one has an excuse for sinning against God!  Weaknesses, social pressures, peer pressure, and financial pressures are not excuses.  When we sin, we are responsible before God for our sin.  When we sin, we must take responsibility for it and do something about it.  The universal call to repentance (Acts 17:30-31) is based upon individual responsibility for our sin.  We can work with God and overcome temptation thus preserving purity.  In the moment of temptation, we make a choice and that choice makes us responsible. If we yield to the temptation, it is our failure to keep covenant with God.

Factors in the Fall

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     Every person is confronted with temptation.  There is much to be learned from the fall of Eve.  The record is given in Genesis 3:1-24.  First, Eve was isolated.  Satan often works one on one.  Eve relied upon herself to resist Satan.  She could have turned to God for help.  She could have talked to her husband, Adam.  Perhaps she thought she could handle the situation on her own.  The decision she made proved to be the wrong one.  Jesus advised his disciples to watch and pray (Matt. 26:41)!  In the moment of temptation, we need to strengthen relationship with God.
     Second, Eve manifested unbelief.  She knew what God had said.  “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”  Satan said, “Ye shall not surely die.”  Eve rejected what God said and accepted what Satan said–  a fatal mistake.  In order to overcome temptation, we need a strong faith in God.
     Third, Eve indulged the lusts of the flesh.  The sacred record states, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6).  The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are all actively working within Eve.  See I John 2:16.  Peter commands us to “abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul” (I Pet. 2:11).
     Fourth, Eve multiplied her sin by becoming a temptrest.  The Bible says that she “gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”  She is the first temptrest in the Bible.  Often those who practice sin want others to join them in their sin.  When sinners entice you, do not consent (Proverbs 1:10). 
     Fifth, Eve attempted to conceal her sin.  “And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8).  In the presence of God’s holiness, Adam and Eve were keenly aware of their own unholiness.  They hid from God’s glory and feared His justice.  When confronted by God, Adam and Eve attempted to shift the blame for their sin onto someone else.  This is the first recorded instance of the “blame game.”  Many have played it since.  We lie to conceal personal responsibility for our sin.  The remedy for this is confession of sin.  When we can honestly admit our sin, we have taken the first step toward renouncing it.  
     Eve’s pathway to failure should be a warning to all of us.  “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41)