|Before the Fall: Lived in Paradise||After the Fall: Banished from Paradise|
|l Freedom l Boundaries l Innocence l Temptation||l Freedom l Boundaries l Curse and Reconciliation l Temptation|
I. Before the Fall: Temptation
A. 3.1 “Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made.”
1. ???? is a root with positive (prudence) and negative (shrewdness) connotations. "Theological Workbook of the Old Testament"
2. Among the animals the serpent was notable. Of all of them he had the most excellent qualities, in some of which he resembled man. Like man he stood upright upon two feet, and in height he was equal to the camel. Had it not been for the fall of man, which brought misfortune to them, too, one pair of serpents would have sufficed to perform all the work man has to do, and, besides, they would have supplied him with silver, gold, gems, and pearls. As a matter of fact, it was the very ability of the serpent that led to the ruin of man and his own ruin. His superior mental gifts caused him to become an infidel. It likewise explains his envy of man, especially of his conjugal relations. Envy made him meditate ways and means of bringing about the death of Adam. He was too well acquainted with the character of the man to attempt to exercise tricks of persuasion upon him, and he approached the woman, knowing that women are beguiled easily. The conversation with Eve was cunningly planned, she could not but be caught in a trap. "The Legend of the Jews" by Louis Ginzberg
B. 3.1“the serpent asked the woman”
Josephus, a Jewish scholar during the time of Christ, writes that /all living creatures had one language. Antiquities of the Jews - Book 1 
C. 3.5-5 “You won't die!" the serpent hissed. "God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil”
Kaiser explains that it’s: the lure of the serpent was an invitation to experience that perpetual quest of human autonomy and freedom. Unfortunately for all, that autonomy turned out to be illusory and actually ended up in a sense of alienation, which has been studied so often since Freud introduced the concept to the modern world. "Hard Sayings of the Bible" by Walter Kaiser
In this context, it is in reference to know everything, yet I speculate that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of evil. They only knew not eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil without knowing its consequences.
The temptation from Satan is the same as what the modern man has today; it is to be more powerful than God or to be like God – to have the ability to discern what is good and evil (cf. 3.22). However, only God, and Satan can discern between good and evil (see Luke 4.9-13). Furthermore, those who want to have a relationship with God will strive to do good, and those who reject God will want to do evil.
II. After the Fall: Reconciliation
A. Even though Adam and Eve had fallen into temptation, God reconciled himself with them, and strives to reconcile himself back to His creation.
B. 2.16-17 But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
1. Paul and Peter write about Christ’s atonement, by using the word tree, instead of cross (Gal 3.13; I Peter 2.24).
2. In Revelation 2.7, there will be a new garden with a tree of life.
C. 3.21 “And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”
3. Aaron has a priestly robe (Ex. 40.13), and the prodigal son receives a new robe (Lk.15.22).
Group Activity: Discussion Questions
1. Even though we are imperfect, how can we discern between good and evil?
A. We can read the Bible
B. We have fellowship with other believers.
C. Have a mature Christians as mentor, or brother.
i. The Paul, Timothy, and Barnabus Model
2. What can we do when there is temptation?
“The old English word for test was prove. In the context of this passage it does not have the sense of exciting to sin or provoking someone to commit an evil. Indeed, James 1:13 states, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” Temptation or testing in the bad sense always proceeds from the malice of Satan working on the corruptions of our own hearts. God, however, may bring his creatures into circumstances of special testing, not for the purpose of supplying information for himself, but in order to manifest to individuals and others the dispositions of their hearts. In this context, all forms of divine testing, putting to the proof and trying individuals are used in such a way as to leave God’s attributes unimpeachable.”
3. How can we avoid sinning?
“[In reference to Matthew 5.29,18.8-9] Shortly after the publication of William Tyndale’s English New Testament, the attempt to restrict its circulation was defended on the ground that the simple reader might mistakenly take such language literally and “pluck out his eyes, and so the whole realm will be full of blind men, to the great decay of the nation and the manifest loss of the King’s grace; and thus by reading of the Holy Scriptures will the whole realm come into confusion.” So a preaching friar is said to have declared in a Cambridge sermon; but he met his match in Hugh Latimer, who, in a sermon preached the following Sunday, said that simple people were well able to distinguish between literal and figurative terms. “For example,” Latimer went on, “if we paint a fox preaching in a friar’s hood, nobody imagines that a fox is meant, but that craft and hypocrisy are described, which so often are found disguised in that garb."
In fact, it is not recorded that anyone ever mutilated himself because of these words in the Gospels. There is indeed the case of Origen, but if the story is true that he made himself a eunuch “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake,” that was in response to another saying, at which we shall look later.”
4. Even though Christians are justified by their faith, and are sanctified by the Holy Spirit - why is so difficult for some Christians to feel reconciled by God?