Community Group Study “Genesis: Temptation and Fall”

Before your community group meets:

Read Genesis 3:1-10. Write down 7-10 observations you see in the text, like new characters, setting, repeating words, etc.

Compare Genesis 2:25 and 3:7-10, what is a result of sin’s entrance into the world?

Read Genesis 3:5. The Serpent tells Eve that God doesn’t want her to be “like him”. How is this significant in light of humanity being made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-28)? Or another way to ask the question, what is the Serpent specifically tempting Eve and Adam with?

Study Information:

Genesis 3 begins a new section of the Genesis narrative. Genesis 1 and 2 give us a vivid picture of what life with God was intended to look like as his image bearers, as well as, a description of who God is as our infinite and personal God. Yet, the story shifts in chapter 3 with the introduction of a new character who invades the garden with a lying message and twisted intentions. The crafty serpent will deceive Eve by questioning her identity as being made in God’s image and he will put doubt into her mind and heart by questioning God’s goodness and the boundaries that he has set.

Genesis 3 gives us an explanation of all the suffering, brokenness and sorry that is common to the experience of being human. All of creation is now infected with the virus of sin and the destructive result of being separated from God. God who at one point was intimate and close, now feels distant and far off. Work which was designed as good and meaningful will now bear “thorns and thistles”. Adam and Eve’s relationship of being naked and not ashamed will now be marked by shame, guilt, blaming and hiding. What was once called “very good” is now broken and in need of redemption.

Chapters 3 to 11 are often called “the Fall”. This section of Genesis confronts the reader with the destructive power of sin. Sin infects creation immediately and the ramifications of sin’s presence grow with each chapter and story. Adam and Eve experience guilt and separation from each other and God. Their son Cain murders his brother Abel out of jealous anger towards God. Lamech builds a city based on violence and sings a song of praise to himself about his power and vengeance. The earth is described as “filled with violence” where every man’s thought is “evil continually”. The final act of rebellion is humanity collectively gathering to show their power and glory over and against God in the tower of Babel. Sin is thorough, corrupting and destructive.

These chapters are designed by God to bring you to a place of longing for a savior (who is promised in Genesis 3:15) and to prepare us as the reader for the big shift in Genesis 12 where God will begin to work through one man, Abraham, and his family to bless them unconditionally by creating for himself a people and giving them a place through making them a promise.

This first study will focus in on the nature of temptation in Genesis 3:1-10.

At your community group:

Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.

How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week?

Scripture and Discussion Questions:

Read Genesis 3:1-5 as a group. In what ways does the serpent essentially call God a liar?

We learn that the Serpent tempts Eve on two fronts — he questions God’s goodness and he questions her identity as an image bear of God. He does so be introducing plausible doubt… “did God really say?” and the serpent insists that God is holding back on Eve some level of goodness by withholding the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.” Why would the serpent take this strategy? Do you think this strategy is something still at work today?

Read Genesis 3:6. What was tempting to Eve about the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? How does this parallel ways we’re tempted to sin today? Read James 1:13-15 and 1 John 2:15-16 for some examples.

How do Adam and Eve respond to their sinful state in Genesis 3:7-10. Read John 3:16-21 and 1 John 1:5-10. How do these passages show our temptation to hide because of our sin and what hope do they point to and remedy do they offer?

Looking Ahead:

Read Genesis 3:10-18. Write out 7-10 observations (Who does God speak to? What is the tone of the text? Look for repeating words and ideas that may have shown up in previous chapters).

Write out some observations about who God curses in Genesis 3:14-19. How does each curse relate to specific person it was given to?

Spend some time praying about areas in your life where this curse is specifically felt. (Example: we see things like work becomes frustrating, marriage becomes tense, we’re tempted to hide from God, etc.)

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