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Sermon Outline

Life Everlasting: On Death, Dying, and the Future Hope

Death in a Sinful World

Lesson #2 for October 8, 2022

Scriptures:Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 115:17; John 5:28-29; Romans 5:12; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

  1. Numerous passages in Scripture (John 1:1-3,10; Colossians 1:16; andHebrews 1:2) make it very clear that the Father, in cooperation with the Son, created everything in the universe. We do not know exactly what the time sequence for all of that was. However, we do know this: When God the Father conferred special honor on Christ and announced that together They would create this world, Lucifer “was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ.” (See Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy,* vol. 1, 18.1 [1870]; The Story of Redemption*1; FLB* 67.3; LHU* 18.4; TA* 33.1.) Lucifer plotted against God.
  2. Are we certain that God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—created everything in our universe? Do we believe that only God has creative power? Yes!
  3. Do we believe that God has given all of His created beings the freedom to choose to follow Him or to rebel? Freedom is absolutely essential for love to exist.

[From the writings of Ellen G. White=EGW:] Satan was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge his supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, Satan bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred. Christ had been taken into the special counsel of God in regard to his plans, while Satan was unacquainted with them. He did not understand, neither was he permitted to know, the purposes of God. But Christ was acknowledged sovereign of Heaven, his power and authority to be the same as that of God himself. Satan thought that he was himself a favorite in Heaven among the angels. He had been highly exalted; but this did not call forth from him gratitude and praise to his Creator. He aspired to the height of God himself. He gloried in his loftiness. He knew that he was honored by the angels. He had a special mission to execute. He had been near the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glorious light enshrouding the eternal God, had shone especially upon him. Satan thought how angels had obeyed his command with pleasurable alacrity. Were not his garments light and beautiful? Why should Christ thus be honored before himself??Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy,* vol. 1, 18.1 [1870].†‡ [How did Ellen White learn these things? We are talking about Satan’s thoughts! Only God could know.]

  1. Do we believe that Ellen White was given visions of events that happened in heaven before the rebellion of Lucifer/Satan? Do we believe that Ellen White has correctly presented the issues in the great controversy?
  2. Think of the condition of Satan and his angels right after they were cast out of heaven. Revelation 12 suggests they were cast down to this earth. We do not know if that was because they chose to come to this earth, or whether that was God’s plan. But, it is clear that when Satan discovered that God was creating a new group of individuals on this earth, Satan determined to attack them.
  3. It is obvious that Satan was cast down to this earth before this world was created because as soon as the Bible talks about the Garden of Eden, there was a tree of knowledge [of good and evil] in that garden.
  4. God knew that Satan would attack Adam and Eve in some way to try to deceive them. Satan imagined that:

[EGW:] If he could, in any way, beguile them [Adam and Eve] to disobedience, God would make some provision whereby they might be pardoned, and then himself and all the fallen angels would be in a fair way to share with them of God’s mercy.?Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy,* vol. 1, 30.4 [1870].†‡ The Story of Redemption* 27.3.†‡

  1. God, of course, knew of Satan’s plans; and He warned Adam and Eve. So, what was the purpose of having the tree of knowledge so close to the tree of life?

Genesis 2:16-17: 16He [God] said to him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, 17except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”CAmerican Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation* (2nd ed.,Genesis 2:16-17). New York: American Bible Society [abbreviated as Good News Bible].†‡

  1. Do we believe that sin leads to death as God told Adam and Eve? (SeeGenesis 2:17.)
  2. Why did God place the tree of knowledge [of good and evil] in the Garden of Eden?

[EGW:] The tree of knowledge had been made a test of their obedience and their love to God. The Lord had seen fit to lay upon them but one prohibition as to the use of all that was in the garden; but if they should disregard His will in this particular, they would incur the guilt of transgression. Satan was not to follow them with continual temptations; he could have access to them only at the forbidden tree. Should they attempt to investigate its nature, they would be exposed to his wiles. They were admonished to give careful heed to the warning which God had sent them and to be content with the instruction which He had seen fit to impart.?Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets* 53.3.†‡ [So, was the tree a test? Or, protection?]

  1. The tree of knowledge was intended to be a protection for Adam and Eve. Satan was not allowed to follow them wherever they went throughout the garden; he was confined to that one tree. All they had to do to avoid trouble was to stay away from that tree! If they went to the tree, it became a test.
  2. Was it fair to Satan and his angels to allow them to have only that one spot in the Garden of Eden? Was it fair to Adam and Eve to have that tree so close to the tree of life? Did God owe anything to Satan that required Him to allow Satan to have access to the first couple? Was that necessary for freedom?
  3. Unfortunately, as we know the story, Eve separated from Adam and wandered close to that tree. No doubt, she was surprised to find the serpent which was considered to be one of the wisest of the creatures, hanging in the tree of knowledge and eating of the forbidden fruit! (See Patriarchs and Prophets)
  4. Looking up at the tree, Eve began to ask herself about God’s restrictions. She wondered why God had given the warning that He did. Suddenly, she heard a voice, a strange voice, addressing her.

[EGW:] By partaking of this tree, he declared, they would attain to a more exalted sphere of existence and enter a broader field of knowledge. He himself had eaten of the forbidden fruit, and as a result had acquired the power of speech. And he insinuated that the Lord jealously desired to withhold it from them, lest they should be exalted to equality with Himself. It was because of its wonderful properties, imparting wisdom and power, that He had prohibited them from tasting or even touching it. The tempter intimated that the divine warning was not to be actually fulfilled; it was designed merely to intimidate them. How could it be possible for them to die? Had they not eaten of the tree of life? God had been seeking to prevent them from reaching a nobler development and finding greater happiness.?Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets* 54.2†‡

Genesis 3:1-4: 1 Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the LORD God had made. The snake asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”

2 “We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden,” the woman answered, 3“except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it; if we do, we will die.”

4The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die.”?Good News Bible.*

  1. The fact that the “serpent” speaking on behalf of Satan knew what God had told Adam and Eve should have been a clue that this was not just an ordinary serpent. Consider these aspects of Satan’s challenge to Eve that are apparent to us as readers:

[From the Bible study guide=BSG:] The reader is alerted to the fact that our first parents dealt with Satan and not a mere reptile, because the serpent spoke and opposed God directly. God used “surely” or “certainly,” and Satan emphasized it too. The devil then supported his claim with two deceptive lies: “ ‘Your eyes will be opened’ ” (i.e., you will gain special new insights, become wise), and “ ‘you will be like God, knowing good and evil’ ” (Gen. 3:5, ESV) (i.e., able to decide what is good and what is evil). Satan, a master of intrigues, presented disobedience as a matter of freedom and gain.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 27.†‡§

  1. Do you think we have the entire conversation of Satan and Eve? Or, do we only have the key parts? Ellen White suggested that Satan started by flattering her!
  2. Logically, from a human standpoint, there were a couple of reasons to support the serpent’s claim: (1) No one had died up to that time, and no one on this earth had experienced sin. (2) The serpent appeared to be eating the fruit and claimed that it had given him the power of speech.

[BSG:] Unfortunately, in deciding between the two conflicting statements, Eve ignored three basic principles: (1) human reason is not always the safest way to evaluate spiritual matters; (2) the Word of God can appear to be illogical and senseless to us, but it is always right and trustworthy; and (3) there are things that are not evil or wrong in themselves, but God has chosen them as tests of obedience.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Sunday, October 2. [Was the tree really a “test of obedience”? Or, as we discussed earlier, a protection?]

  1. So, on what basis did Eve choose to eat the fruit of the tree?

Genesis 3:6-7: 6 The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it. 7As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Eve chose to use her own senses, the empirical method with personal observation, to decide between the conflicting versions of truth.

[BSG:] First, she saw that from a dietary perspective, “the tree was good for food.” Second, from an aesthetic viewpoint, she saw that “it was a delight to the eyes.” Third, from a logical analysis, “the tree was desirable to make one wise.” Hence, in her own mind, she certainly had good reasons to heed the words of the serpent and to eat from the forbidden tree. Unfortunately, this is what she did.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Monday, October 3.‡§

  1. Did God create the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Only God can create. Did He make that tree too attractive? Look carefully at Satan’s arguments to Eve.

[BSG:] First, he generalized God’s specific prohibition. He asked her, “ ‘Has God really said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” ’ ” (Gen. 3:1, NASB). Eve counterargued that the prohibition was in regard only to that specific tree, for if they were ever to eat from it or touch it, they would die.

Then, Satan contradicted God’s statement. He asserted categorically, “ ‘You certainly will not die!’ ” (Gen. 3:4, NASB).

And finally, Satan accused God of deliberately suppressing essential knowledge from her and her husband. The deceiver argued, “ ‘For God knows that on the day you eat from it [the forbidden fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil’ ” (Gen. 3:5, NASB).?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Monday, October 3.†‡§ [Note that the brackets and the content in the brackets in the paragraph are in the Bible study guide, but brackets in the introduction are added.]

  1. Was it God’s fault that we sinned? He made the tree with all those attractive attributes.
  2. If he succeeded in causing Adam and Eve to sin, what did Satan plan to do immediately after that?

[EGW:] His [Satan’s] followers were seeking him; and he aroused himself and, assuming a look of defiance, informed them of his plans to wrest from God the noble Adam and his companion Eve. If he could, in any way, beguile them to disobedience, God would make some provision whereby they might be pardoned, and then [Satan] himself and all the fallen angels would be in a fair way to share with them of God’s mercy. If this should fail, they could unite with Adam and Eve; for when once they should transgress the law of God, they [humans] would be subjects of God’s wrath, like themselves [Satan and his evil angels]. Their transgression would place them also, in a state of rebellion; and they could unite with Adam and Eve, take possession of Eden, and hold it as their home. And if they could gain access to the tree of life in the midst of the garden, their strength would, they thought, be equal to that of the holy angels, and even God himself could not expel them….

He sought to impress upon them that this was their last and only hope. If they failed here, all prospect of regaining and controlling Heaven, or any part of God=s creation, was hopeless.?Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy,* vol. 1, 30.4-5.†‡

[EGW:] [After the fall] Angels were commissioned to immediately guard the way of the tree of life. It was Satan’s studied plan that Adam and Eve should disobey God, receive his frown, and then partake of the tree of life, that they might perpetuate a life of sin. But holy angels were sent to debar their way to the tree of life. Around these angels flashed beams of light on every side, which had the appearance of glittering swords.?Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy,* vol. 1, 44.2.†‡

  1. Satan himself had access to the tree of knowledge which was located in the midst of the garden very near the tree of life. Heavenly angels had to protect the tree of life not only from Adam and Eve but also from Satan and his angels.
  2. Do you think God and the angels who visited Adam and Eve gave them sufficient warning against Satan’s activity? God could have told Eve exactly what was going to happen; but, He did not! Why didn’t God warn Eve about the serpent in the tree?
  3. After a brief conversation with Eve, Satan came to his punchline.

[BSG:] Then, Satan contradicted God’s statement. He asserted categorically, “ ‘You certainly will not die!’ ” (Gen. 3:4, NASB).?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Monday, October 3.‡§ [Satan called God a liar.]

  1. Can you think of some ways in which Satan’s lie is still believed in our world today?

[BSG:] One powerful manifestation of this lie is seen in the common belief in the immortality of the soul. This notion was the basis of many ancient religions and philosophies. In ancient Egypt, it motivated the mummification practices and the funerary architecture, such as that seen in the pyramids.

This theory also became one of the main pillars of Greek philosophy. For example, in The Republic of Plato, Socrates asks Glaucon: “Are you not aware that our soul is immortal and never perishes?” In Plato’s Phaedo, Socrates argued in a similar tone, saying that the “soul is immortal and imperishable, and our souls really will exist in Hades.” These philosophical concepts would shape much of the Western culture and even post-Apostolic Christianity. But they originated much earlier, in the Garden of Eden, with Satan himself.

At the core of the Edenic temptation, Satan assured Eve, “ ‘You certainly will not die!’ ” (Gen. 3:4, NASB). With this emphatic assertion, Satan put his own word above the word of God [and in direct conflict with the word of God!].?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Tuesday, October 4.‡§

  1. So, what is the truth? Based on God’s Holy Word (the Bible), is the soul naturally immortal? Or, not? Why do we choose to say that it is not?

Psalm 115:17: The LORD is not praised by the dead,

by any who go down to the land of silence.?Good News Bible.*

John 5:28-29: 28 [Jesus said:] “Do not be surprised at this; the time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice 29and come out of their graves: those who have done good will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise and be condemned.”?Good News Bible.*

Psalm 146:4: When they die, they return to the dust;

on that day all their plans come to an end.?Good News Bible.*

1 Corinthians 15:51-54: 51–52 Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed. 53For what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die. 54So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”—Good News Bible.*

  1. Our world today is permeated with books and movies and even scientific investigations, suggesting that human beings are somehow alive after they die. A scientific group is investigating what they call “PMPs” or “post-material persons”!
  2. So, what has the world learned from the experience of Adam and Eve?

[BSG:] In recent years, studies have been done on what are called near-death experiences (NDEs). What happens is that people “die,” in that their hearts stop beating, and they stop breathing. However, they then come back to life—but with fantastic stories of floating into another realm of existence and meeting a being of light. Some even talk about meeting long-dead relatives. Many people, even Christians who don’t understand the truth about death, believe that these stories are more proof of the immortality of the soul. However (and this should be the clearest warning that something is amiss), most who have these experiences claim that the spiritual beings whom they had met during the NDEs gave them comforting words, nice statements about love, peace, and goodness. But they hear nothing about salvation in Christ, nothing about sin, and nothing about judgment. While getting a taste of the Christian afterlife, shouldn’t they have gotten at least a smidgen of the most basic Christian teachings along with it? Yet, what they’re taught sounds mostly like New Age dogma, which could explain why, in many cases, they come away less inclined toward Christianity than they were before having “died.” Also, why did none of the Christians, convinced that their NDEs were a preview of the Christian heaven, ever get any Christian theology while there, as opposed to a big dose of New Age sentimentalism? The answer is that they were being deceived by the same person who deceived Eve in Eden, and with the same lie too.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Friday, October 7.

  1. What additional lessons should we learn from those studies of NDEs?
  2. How often in our day do we find challenges to God’s Word coming from our culture and our surroundings? On what basis do we choose to agree with God’s Word instead of what appears to be popular and true around us? Remember that our choices have eternal consequences. Can you think of ways in which the teachings of God’s Word are in contrast with the ordinary thinking of people in our day? The state of the dead?
  3. Putting God first in our thinking is completely foreign to most of the people living in our world today. For example, to dedicate to God 1/10 of their income and 1/7 of their time never enters their minds. If you stopped a person on the street, how would s/he respond?
  4. Why do we—or why should we—choose to follow God’s advice given thousands of years ago instead of following the accepted beliefs of our current generation?
  5. Why do most Christians in our world today choose to believe Satan’s first lie that it was okay to disobey God instead of believing God’s repeated statements? Is it that they do not want to believe that their friends have really gone to sleep from which only God can awaken them when they die?
  6. By eating the fruit, Adam and Eve did experience the opening of their eyes. But, that was not the opening they expected. They discovered that they were naked. That was not physical nakedness; they had had that before. (Genesis 2:25) This was moral and spiritual nakedness, a sense of guilt.

[BSG] Satan’s second promise also was a lie. Adam and Eve did not become like God by knowing good and evil because God does not know evil by experience (He has never sinned!). But Adam and Eve lost what they had: the capacity to discern distinctly between good and evil. A literal translation ofGenesis 3:22 reveals this fact: “Behold, humans were [not “have become”] like one of us, knowing [discerning between] good and evil, but now . . .” (for details, see Ji?í Moskala, “ ‘You Will Be Like God Knowing Good and Evil’: Discernment of Truth and Lies,” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 12, no. 2 (2016): pp. 10–18). Thus, Adam and Eve not only lost their integrity but also the ability to know what was right and wrong. From now on they would need God’s revelation to know what was good and what was evil. They would need to depend on God’s spiritual power from outside of themselves to be able to do what was right.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 27-28.†‡§ [Content in brackets in the paragraph is in the Bible study guide.]

  1. Read again the familiar story inGenesis 3:7-19. Notice what the consequences were of that original sin.
  2. It certainly is true that Eve had no idea how substantial and important the consequences of her seemingly simple act would be. In effect, she switched her allegiance from trusting God explicitly to believing Satan’s lies; she transferred her trust to the serpent in the tree.
  3. And what were the consequences? Immediately, they lost their covering of light and became afraid of God. They were cast out of the garden because it was no longer safe for them to stay there lest they eat of the tree of life. They would experience sweat, feel pain, and eventually die. (Genesis 3:16-19) Furthermore, the natural world would deteriorate. Ellen White added:

[EGW:] As they witnessed in drooping flower and falling leaf the first signs of decay, Adam and his companion mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The death of the frail, delicate flowers was indeed a cause of sorrow; but when the goodly trees cast off their leaves, the scene brought vividly to mind the stern fact that death is the portion of every living thing.

The Garden of Eden remained upon the earth long after man had become an outcast from its pleasant paths. The fallen race were long permitted to gaze upon the home of innocence, their entrance barred only by the watching angels. At the cherubim-guarded gate of Paradise the divine glory was revealed. Hither came Adam and his sons to worship God. Here they renewed their vows of obedience to that law the transgression of which had banished them from Eden. When the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.

Then they that have kept God’s commandments shall breathe in immortal vigor beneath the tree of life; and through unending ages the inhabitants of sinless worlds shall behold, in that garden of delight, a sample of the perfect work of God’s creation, untouched by the curse of sin—a sample of what the whole earth would have become, had man but fulfilled the Creator’s glorious plan.?Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets* 62.1-3.†‡

  1. And, unfortunately, their sinful condition has spread to all of their offspring, including us.
  2. Are we condemned because Adam sinned and we inherited sinful natures from him? Or, because we sin ourselves? Or, both?
  3. Shouldn’t we learn from Eve’s experience that in many cases it is still true that the consequences of our sins are much more serious than we had at first perceived?
  4. Adam and Eve’s choices in the garden, saying “No” to God and “Yes” to Satan had many sinful consequences, even for us today as outlined in the Bible study guide:
  5. The break in our relationship with God leads to a broken relationship with “self.” Thus, Adam and Eve’s nature was corrupted as a consequence of sin. They lived with a consciousness of guilt and shame and with feelings of degradation and defeat.
  6. Sin/disobedience made Adam and Eve afraid of God instead of permitting them to enjoy His company (Gen. 3:10).
  7. Sin/disobedience led Adam and Eve to blame others for their failure. Thus, they experienced a broken relationship with each other (Gen. 3:12,Gen. 4:5–8). Sin alienated them from one another.
  8. Sin/disobedience brought death to the human family because Adam and Eve’s relationship with their Life-Giver was broken (Gen. 3:19).
  9. Sin/disobedience would make giving birth and raising children a painful experience (Gen. 3:16).
  10. Sin/disobedience would make marriage a place of fighting for dominance and supremacy instead of a loving, caring, emotional, and intimate relationship between equal heterosexual partners (Gen. 3:16).
  11. Sin/disobedience would make work a painful experience; sweat and weariness from laboring to earn a living would become part of life (Gen. 3:18).
  12. The sin/disobedience of Adam and Eve resulted in harming their sense of good and in the loss of their ability to discern between good and evil (Gen. 3:5, 22).
  13. Sin/disobedience broke Adam and Eve’s relationship to nature. As a result, the ground would produce thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:18,Gen. 6:11).
  14. Sin/disobedience brought violence, pain, hatred, polygamy, et cetera (see Genesis 4–19). For more details on this topic of the nature of sin, its consequences, and God’s redemptive plan, see Ji?í Moskala, “Origin of Sin and Salvation According to Genesis 3: A Theology of Sin,” in Salvation: Contours of Adventist Soteriology, edited by Martin F. Hanna, Darius W. Jankiewicz, and John W. Reeve (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2018), pp. 119–143. Genesis 3 is a model for understanding the nature of sin and salvation. In this one chapter, the whole gospel already is present, as seen in the undeserved grace already streaming from Calvary to Adam and Eve (Rev. 13:8).?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 28-29.
  15. It is clear that God forgave Adam and Eve before they left the garden. But, that did not remove the consequences of their sin.
  16. So many people believe that it is God’s wrath that keeps people out of heaven. So, they conclude that if they can receive God’s forgiveness (justification), then they can obtain salvation. This is a serious error. God is forgiveness personified. He forgives almost everyone. He forgave the men who were nailing Him to the cross! (Luke 23:34) However, that does not guarantee their salvation! Forgiveness must be followed by a change in behavior.
  17. There is one great light and hope in the middle of Genesis 3. God said to the snake:

Genesis 3:15: “I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring’s heel.”?Good News Bible.*

  1. How do you understand these words ofGenesis 3:15? Do you think Adam and Eve understood what God was saying to them?
  2. Despite the terrible situation that they found themselves in, they could look forward to the promise of God that there would be a solution.
  3. Is it still true, as God said to the serpent (Satan), that there is a natural enmity between us and the Devil? Don’t you wish it were greater?

Ephesians 2:1,5: 1 In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins….

5That while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved.?Good News Bible.*

Romans 6:20: When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.?Good News Bible.*

  1. As far as we know, up to that point in time, no one in the entire universe had died. They did not know what death So, God needed to give them a very blunt and meaningful ceremony to represent that truth.
  2. God used an animal sacrifice to illustrate the Messianic promise. (SeeGenesis 3:21.)

[EGW:] When Adam, according to God’s special directions, made an offering for sin, it was to him a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which God alone could give, and make an offering for sin. It was the first time he had witnessed death. As he looked upon the bleeding victim, writhing in the agonies of death, he was to look forward by faith to the Son of God, whom the victim prefigured, who was to die man’s sacrifice.—Ellen G. White, The Story of Redemption* 50.1.†‡

  1. Of course, we now recognize that that lamb was to represent the future sacrifice of Christ Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:28)
  2. If we could eat of the tree of life today, would we live forever in a sinful condition?
  3. What new arguments are Satan using to try to trip up God’s faithful people in our day?

[BSG:] Satan is trying to lead God’s people to believe that “the requirements of Christ are less strict than they once believed, and that by conformity to the world they would exert a greater influence with worldlings.”—Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 474. What should we do in order not to fall into this subtle trap??Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Friday, October 7.

  1. What a contrast between the beauty and perfection pictured in Genesis 1 and 2 and the fall pictured in Genesis 3. However, in the middle of Genesis 3, God had already promised a solution to sin and death. No philosophical system or religion can bring a solution to death. The process of restoring life after death can be accomplished only by God.
  2. In our study so far, is it very clear in your thinking that God was not responsible for sin? God was responsible for allowing His creatures to exercise freedom. In exercising that freedom, Satan tempted Eve and led her to choose to sin, and thus, started the domino effect that is affecting us even today. Solomon understood some of the results of sin when he wrote:

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6: 5Yes, the living know they are going to die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward; they are completely forgotten. 6Their loves, their hates, their passions, all died with them. They will never again take part in anything that happens in this world.?Good News Bible.*

  1. Is there anything wrong with knowledge? Some people would suggest that all knowledge is fine; we just have to choose what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21) But, from Adam and Eve’s story, we learn that there are some things that we would be better off not knowing.
  2. Unfortunately, human beings are incredibly skilled at deceiving themselves! The natural propensities and desires can easily convince them that what they want to do is what is the right thing to do.
  3. Through Paul, God promised a final victory.

1 Corinthians 15:26: The last enemy to be defeated will be death.?Good News Bible.*

  1. But, God did not leave Adam and Eve to try to figure out for themselves what to do.

[BSG:] First, God searches for Adam and Eve: “ ‘Where are you?’ ” (Gen. 3:9, NKJV). This question has multiple purposes. It serves (1) as an invitation to dialogue; (2) as an offer of grace (God cries for His lost and missing children in order to provide a very costly solution to their situation); (3) to help them to realize and understand their attitude toward God following their sin (that is, instead of enjoying His presence, they hide from Him); and (4) as a trial/investigative judgment, which is held because they are accountable for their past actions toward God as their Creator and Judge.

Second, God provides a real garment (Gen. 3:21). As the nakedness of the first couple was more than a physical phenomenon, so it follows analogically that God’s garment represents more than physical dress. God gives them a garment of skin of His own making, and thus He covers sinners with the robe of His righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30, 2Cor. 5:21). The solution for the sin problem is the Messiah (Eph. 1:4, 1Pet. 1:20). Forgiveness and redemption are to be secured through God’s gracious sacrifice, represented by the death of the animal whose skin Adam and Eve wore.

Third, God creates enmity between the powers of good and evil so that we can hate evil (Gen. 3:15).

Fourth, God promises to send the Seed (Gen. 3:15) to defeat our enemy, Satan. God’s statement to the serpent lies at the center of this chapter. The Messiah will become humanity’s Redeemer and Savior, and His victorious, deliberate death will ultimately destroy Satan and consequently everyone and everything associated with him. The Messiah is the Victor and gives victory to all who connect with Him (Rom. 8:1–4). The final victory is assured by Him (Rev. 12:7–12;Rev. 19:6, 7, 15–21; Jude 24, 25).?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 29.†‡§

  1. Knowing what we do about sin and its consequences, why does it still seem to be so attractive to us at times? What did the death of Jesus on the cross do to make it possible for us to escape the consequences of eternal death?
  2. In this lesson we have reviewed the sin on this earth which began with Eve distrusting God and taking the fruit from the tree of knowledge. We have reviewed many of its consequences.
  3. We have also seen that God has made provisions to deal with those terrible consequences. Are we willing to follow God’s plan for our lives?

©2022, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. Free distribution of all or of a portion of this material such as to a Bible study class is encouraged. *Electronic version. Bold type is added. Brackets and content in brackets are added. §Italic type is in the source. Compared with the first source, this source has punctuation and/or capitalization differences only.                                                                                 [email protected] Last Modified: September 6, 2022