Beginning of Sin
Chaplain Bertram Bobb
For the next few moments let us turn our thoughts to Genesis chapter three. We are going to study the “Beginning of Sin.” We read from Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
You will notice as you read the book of Genesis that this is the first verse in the Bible with a question mark after it.
When we come to the first verse in Genesis 3, we meet with a question, and I don’t believe we ought to be surprised when we realize who it is that is speaking. It is none other than the serpent. Satan incarnated in the most beautiful beast of the field which God had made. And it is Satan who asks the first question. It is Satan who casts the first doubt upon the Word of God. Notice how cleverly he does this to gain the ear of Eve. Satan is the great deceiver. He came in the body of a beautiful specimen walking with pride and dignity and with the power of speech.
Notice how Satan twists God’s Word to gain Eve’s mind and then He gives a wrong idea of God. He says, “Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden?”
Satan claims that God is unfair in not allowing Adam and Eve to eat of all the trees. Because he has forbidden them to eat from one tree. He is unfair to Adam and Eve is Satan’s method of deceiving Eve. Notice the answer Eve gave. In this answer we have the beginning and character of all sin. Most people think of sin as only an act rather than an attitude. It is generally believed that Eve sinned first when she ate of the tree which God tad forbidden them to eat. This is not true.
Eve’s first sin was committed before that; she believed the devil instead of God when she believed that God was unfair in not allowing her to eat of all the trees, even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was the root of her sin, and the act of taking the fruit was only the natural result of her questioning the Word of God. Sin is not just an act but an attitude towards God.
We think of murder as a sin, but the Bible says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer…” (I John 3:15). We think of immoral acts as sin, but Jesus said, it is more. He said “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28).
Stealing is an outward sin, but it is covetousness or greed in the heart which causes it. Sin is not only in the hand that takes the forbidden fruit, but also in the heart which does not believe God’s Word. This is summed up in the Epistle of James when he says: “But every man is tempted when he is drawn away from his own lust and enticed, Then when the lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:14-15)
Just because a man has not been guilty of some outward act of sin does not mean that he is not a sinner. The act is that which only man sees. God sees both the heard and the act. Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh upon the heart.
If ever there was a time and need for preaching on this view of sin, it is today when man boasts of their goodness and self-righteousness, and just because they live outwardly good and moral lives, deceive themselves into thinking they are not sinners, and do not need a Savior. But once we look at sin as God sees it, as both inward and outward, we can agree with Paul in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
The Bible taking this view of sin declares in Romans 3:10: “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.”
It will do no good to measure ourselves by the standards of men, for after all, we are going to be judged by the standards of God and His Word. In God’s sight all are sinners and need the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other.
I repeat, Eve first sinned when she doubted God’s Word and God’s goodness and fairness and listened to the devil. All the rest of the acts followed in a natural way.
Notice what Eve said to the serpent in Genesis 3:2-3:
“And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees in 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.”
Right there Eve fell, right there Eve sinned, and the eating of the fruit was only the result of this first sin. The first sin of Eve was doubting God’s character and justice, and the next was lying. Eve was a liar. Before she was a liar she was an unbeliever.
You might ask how did Eve lie? What Eve quoted God as saying was not the truth. Let’s look at what God had said in Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord commanded the man, saying, of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Compare that with Eve’s statement, “Ye shall not eat of it, lest ye die!” God said, “Thou shalt surely die.” There is a big difference in those two statements. Eve misquoted God’s Word, she lied and quoted God as saying something He had never said. God says surely; the devil says not surely; Eve says, “lest ye die.”
Now as we look closely at the statement of Eve we find that she changed something in the Word of God. She changed certain death to just the possibility of death by saying, “lest ye die” instead of, “thou shalt surely die” And finally, she left out the most important part of God’s Word, surely. God said, “Thou shalt surely die.” From there on the rest was easy, Satan had convinced her that she wouldn’t really die. The record goes on to say that she looked at the tree, desired it, and ate of it, and fell and found out that in spite of her own interpretation of what God meant, it was still true and she died.
In this Eve acted the part of a modern unbeliever. Here is where unbelief begins and it always follows the same course.
Notice the enemy, Satan, quickly detects Eve’s weakness and gives the reply in Genesis 3:4-5: “And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
The devil is very clear. The method of Satan has not changed one bit until this day. It worked so well on Eve He has never changed it. And I want to warn you against it, for it is very subtle.
The Word of God says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” “The wages of sin is death.” The wicked shall be turned into hell, and every nation that forgets God.”
The Bible says you are a sinner and spiritually dead and unless you repent and believe the Lord Jesus Christ you are lost forever, and have to spend eternity in hell. But today, even right now, you can trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and be born again into God’s family and live forever with Jesus. Will you make that choice today?