1. THE CREATION OF HUMANITY
a. What was God’s purpose in creating the human family? Genesis 1:26–28; John 14:3.
“God created man for His own glory, that after test and trial the human family might become one with the heavenly family. It was God’s purpose to repopulate heaven with the human family, if they would show themselves obedient to His every word.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 344.
b. Even though our first parents were created in God’s image, why did they have to be tested? Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 43:7.
“Adam was to be tested to see whether he would be obedient, as the loyal angels, or disobedient. If he stood the test, his instruction to his children would have been only of loyalty. His mind and thoughts would have been as the mind and thoughts of God.”—Ibid.
2. THE TEMPTATION AND FALL
a. What simple test did God give to Adam and Eve to see whom they would believe—God the Creator or Satan the deceiver? Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:1–5.
“Like the angels, the dwellers in Eden had been placed upon probation; their happy estate could be retained only on condition of fidelity to the Creator’s law. They could obey and live, or disobey and perish. God had made them the recipients of rich blessings; but should they disregard His will, He who spared not the angels that sinned, could not spare them; transgression would forfeit His gifts and bring upon them misery and ruin.
“The angels warned them to be on their guard against the devices of Satan, for his efforts to ensnare them would be unwearied. While they were obedient to God the evil one could not harm them; for, if need be, every angel in heaven would be sent to their help. If they steadfastly repelled his first insinuations, they would be as secure as the heavenly messengers. But should they once yield to temptation, their nature would become so depraved that in themselves they would have no power and no disposition to resist Satan.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 53.
b. Which commandment of God’s law did Adam and Eve transgress by believing and obeying Satan? Exodus 20:3. How did their transgression affect all their descendants? Romans 3:23; 5:12, 19.
“How attentively the angels listened to the words of Satan, the originator of sin, as he placed his own ideas above the commands of God and sought to make of none effect the law of God through his deceptive reasoning! How anxiously they waited to see if the holy pair would be deluded by the tempter and yield to his arts. They asked themselves, Will the holy pair transfer their faith and love from the Father and Son to Satan?”—The Signs of the Times, May 12, 1890.
“Adam was endowed with a nature pure and sinless, but he fell because he listened to the suggestions of the enemy. His posterity became depraved; by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.”—The Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1898.
3. WORTHLESS ARTIFICIAL COVERING
a. As soon as their eyes were opened, what did Adam and Eve realize? And what did they do? Genesis 3:7.
“The love and peace which had been theirs was gone, and in its place they felt a sense of sin, a dread of the future, a nakedness of soul. The robe of light which had enshrouded them, now disappeared, and to supply its place they endeavored to fashion for themselves a covering; for they could not, while unclothed, meet the eye of God and holy angels.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 57.
b. Describe the spiritual condition of humanity since the Fall. Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10–18.
“Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil.”—Maranatha, p. 91.
c. Nevertheless, how are many still trying to cover their spiritual nakedness? Proverbs 30:12; Luke 18:9–12.
“The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. . . . This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.
“This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins and make themselves acceptable with God.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 310, 311.
a. What questions did God ask Adam before pronouncing the death sentence upon him? Genesis 3:9–11.
b. How did Adam and Eve try to justify themselves? Genesis 3:12, 13.
“Adam could neither deny nor excuse his sin; but instead of manifesting penitence, he endeavored to cast the blame upon his wife, and thus upon God Himself: ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ He who, from love to Eve, had deliberately chosen to forfeit the approval of God, his home in Paradise, and an eternal life of joy, could now, after his fall, endeavor to make his companion, and even the Creator Himself, responsible for the transgression. So terrible is the power of sin.
“When the woman was asked, ‘What is this that thou hast done?’ she answered, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’ ‘Why didst Thou create the serpent? Why didst Thou suffer him to enter Eden?’—these were the questions implied in her excuse for her sin. Thus, like Adam, she charged God with the responsibility of their fall.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 57, 58.
c. What is the tendency of sinful men and women when their eyes are opened to their guilt? Romans 2:1–3.
“The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies; it was indulged by our first parents as soon as they yielded to the influence of Satan, and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Instead of humbly confessing their sins, they try to shield themselves by casting the blame upon others, upon circumstances, or upon God–making even His blessings an occasion of murmuring against Him.”—Ibid., p. 58.
5. THE SENTENCE
a. What sentence did God pronounce upon our first parents and upon the earth? Genesis 3:16–19.
“So long as Adam remained loyal to Heaven, all nature was in subjection to him. But when he rebelled against the divine law, the inferior creatures were in rebellion against his rule. Thus the Lord, in His great mercy, would show men the sacredness of His law, and lead them, by their own experience, to see the danger of setting it aside, even in the slightest degree. . . .
“The warning given to our first parents—‘In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ (Genesis 2:17)—did not imply that they were to die on the very day when they partook of the forbidden fruit. But on that day the irrevocable sentence would be pronounced. Immortality was promised them on condition of obedience; by transgression they would forfeit eternal life. That very day they would be doomed to death.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 59, 60.
b. What did humanity lose by the fall? Genesis 3:22–24.
“Had man after his fall been allowed free access to the tree of life, he would have lived forever, and thus sin would have been immortalized. But cherubim and a flaming sword kept ‘the way of the tree of life’ (Genesis 3:24), and not one of the family of Adam has been permitted to pass that barrier and partake of the life-giving fruit. Therefore there is not an immortal sinner.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 533, 534.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. On what condition do we have the privilege of taking the place of those who were expelled from heaven?
2. How were our first parents put to the test?
3. What have men and women tried to do over a period of 6000 years?
4. Why is self-justification in wrongdoing a greater sin than disbelief and disobedience?
5. What were the immediate results of Adam’s transgression?