Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative
Inclination: dispensational | Seminary: none

Observing the Fall of Man

1. Examine the details of the Fall in Genesis 3:1-6. What do you observe?

Satan (John 8:44, Rev 12:9), in the guise of a serpent, tests Woman’s knowledge of God’s commands.

Satan’s method:

1. Doubt God’s will. "You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?" Is this prohibition really God’s will? Satan implies that it is restrictive and unfair.

2. Deny God’s word. "You surely will not die! Instead of challenging God’s sovereign right to place limits, Satan denies God’s promise of judgment for disobedience.

3. Doubt God’s goodness. "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." God is withholding something good for you. Satan magnifies God’s single limit as a negative portrayal of His goodness.

Satan’s fallacious logic:

1. Restrictions are not good.

2. God’s plan is restrictive

3. Conclusion: God’s plan is not good.

Woman’s own cautious uncertainty of God’s word gave way to her lust. She saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), a delight to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise and be like God (lust of the ego / pride of life) (1 John 2:15-16).

She ate the fruit.

She gave the fruit to her husband who was with her and he ate.

Woman led the way into sin and in so doing, usurped the leadership (headship) of the marriage.

While Woman was deceived into sinning, Adam, who received God’s command before Woman was created (Gen 2:16), was not. Adam, following her example, sinned with knowledge, which was an act of rebellion.

2. What was the consequence of the Fall? Examine the details Genesis 3:7-20.

After Adam committed the sin, the eyes of both were opened; they came to a new understanding, which was not what Satan had led them to believe. Instead of seeing through God's perspective, they saw through their own and independent of God.

They came to a new understanding about themselves.

Instead of having the "knowledge of good and evil", they knew "that they were naked." Instead of the positive aspects of their original beauty and innocence, they knew only of the shame and guilt of its negative aspects.

They admitted their sin but blamed another for it. Adam blamed Woman, and Woman blamed the Serpent.

They came to a new understanding about God.

They ran and hid from God.

They feared God.

The Serpent was judged for his deceitful temptation.

Woman was judged for both listening to Satan and disobeying God’s command.

Pain upon childbirth.

"Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."

The Hebrew for "desire" is the same term found in Genesis 4:7. The term personifies sin as having a desire to possess and control Cain, and Cain is commanded to "master" or overpower it. Like sin’s desire for Cain, Woman has a desire to control her husband.

Just as God told Cain, God told Woman what her husband will do in this struggle for headship.

Sin corrupted divinely appointed male headship, godly leadership of the husband, and godly submission of the wife.

Adam was judged for both listening to the voice of his wife and disobeying God’s command.

The ground was cursed.

This curse not only affected how easily man would grow his food, but would cause the groaning of all of creation (Rom 8:20-22).

"And to dust you shall return."

Adam is told that God’s promise of death will be fulfilled and, in this verse, it is explicitly in reference to mankind’s physical death.

Adam changed Woman’s name to Eve. No longer called the "feminine helper complement to his masculinity", she became known as "life-giving."

And Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden.

While Eve initially disobeyed God, it is Adam who is blamed for the Fall. The apostle Paul reveals that with the Fall, Adam’s legal standing before God and moral nature changed from innocent of sin to guilt (Rom 5:12-19). As God's representative for all of mankind, Adam's change in legal standing was imputed and charged to all of humanity (imputed sin), and Adam’s sinful moral nature was passed on and inherited by all human beings (original sin).

The concept of imputed sin is significant here. In all instances of imputed sin, especially regarding the instruction of the Word of God, there are no examples of a woman’s sin being passed on to subsequent generations in the entire Bible (Ex 20:4-5, 34:6-7; Num 14:18; Lev 26:22; Josh 7:1-26; 1 Kings 14:7-11; Jer 32:18).

This distinction must be emphasized: only fathers, like Adam, who God sees as responsible for headship of a marriage and family, have been recorded in the Bible as having their personal sin imputed on to succeeding generations.

The tragic Fall of man is one of the most far reaching events in the Bible; had it not occurred, the Bible would not make sense. With the Edenic Covenant broken, the Adamic Covenant changed the status of the serpent, woman, and man. From a life of fellowship with God: peace, provision, comfort, and life to one without the fellowship of God: hostility, pain, toil, and death, the Fall serves as the basis for the proper understanding God’s redemptive history, and mankind’s hope and restoration.


1. Piper, J, Grudem, W, eds, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books (1991), p.99-103.

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