This We Believe
May 29 – June 4, 2022
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62
“Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he [Adam] was to have access to the tree of life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49
1 GOD’S COMMANDMENT
1.a. What explicit command was given to Adam and Eve in paradise? Genesis 2:16, 17
Note: “The tree of knowledge, which stood near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our parents. While permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48, 49
1.b. How did Jesus explain the meaning of the great commandment of God? Matthew 22:35–38. What result is obtained by heeding God’s command? Proverbs 6:23; 19:16
Note: “The joy of the Christian is not found in transgression of the law of God, but in obedience of all its precepts. None are in slavery and bondage to the law but those who transgress it. Obedience produces love to God and man—the two great principles of the law of God. This obedience and this love brings fullness of joy to the disciples of Jesus.” The Signs of the Times, January 24, 1878
“When we are daily under the control of God’s Spirit, we shall be commandment-keeping people. We may show to the world that obedience to God’s commands brings its own reward, even in this life, and in the future life eternal blessedness.” The Upward Look, 353
2 YIELDING TO TEMPTATION
2.a. Explain how Eve was tempted as she lingered around the forbidden tree. Genesis 3:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3
Note: “The serpent plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree and placed it in the hands of the half-reluctant Eve. Then he reminded her of her own words, that God had forbidden them to touch it, lest they die. She would receive no more harm from eating the fruit, he declared, than from touching it. Perceiving no evil results from what she had done, Eve grew bolder. When she ‘saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.’ It was grateful to the taste, and as she ate, she seemed to feel a vivifying power, and imagined herself entering upon a higher state of existence. Without a fear she plucked and ate. And now, having herself transgressed, she became the agent of Satan in working the ruin of her husband. In a state of strange, unnatural excitement, with her hands filled with the forbidden fruit, she sought his presence, and related all that had occurred.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55, 56
“His [Adam’s] love for Eve was strong, and in utter discouragement he resolved to share her fate. He seized the fruit and quickly ate it. Then Satan exulted. … Adam, through his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of God, and fell with her.” Early Writings, 148
2.b. Why were Adam and Eve unable to humbly confess their sin? Romans 6:16, 20. Whom did they blame for it? Genesis 3:12, 13
Note: “After Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, they were filled with a sense of shame and terror. At first their only thought was how to excuse their sin and escape the dreaded sentence of death. When the Lord inquired concerning their sin, Adam replied, laying the guilt partly upon God and partly upon his companion. … Why did You make the serpent? Why did You suffer him to come into Eden? These were the questions implied in her [Eve’s] excuse for her sin, thus charging God with the responsibility of their fall. The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Confessions of this order are not inspired by the divine Spirit and will not be acceptable to God. True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception or hypocrisy.” Steps to Christ, 40
3 KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL
3.a. The serpent said that in the day Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, their “eyes shall be opened” and they shall know “good and evil.” Were these words true? Genesis 3:5, 7
Note: “The tempter intimated that the divine warning was not to be actually fulfilled; it was designed merely to intimidate them. How could it be possible for them to die? Had they not eaten of the tree of life? God had been seeking to prevent them from reaching a nobler development and finding greater happiness.
“Such has been Satan’s work from the days of Adam to the present, and he has pursued it with great success. He tempts men to distrust God’s love and to doubt His wisdom. He is constantly seeking to excite a spirit of irreverent curiosity, a restless, inquisitive desire to penetrate the secrets of divine wisdom and power. In their efforts to search out what God has been pleased to withhold, multitudes overlook the truths which He has revealed, and which are essential to salvation. Satan tempts men to disobedience by leading them to believe they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge. But this is all a deception. Elated with their ideas of progression, they are, by trampling on God’s requirements, setting their feet in the path that leads to degradation and death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 54, 55
“Satan desired to make it appear that this knowledge of good mingled with evil would be a blessing, and that in forbidding them to take of the fruit of the tree, God was withholding great good.” Education, 24
3.b. Were the words of the serpent “Ye shall not surely die” and “ye shall be as gods” true? Genesis 3:4, 5. What was the result of listening to the serpent?
Note: “It was Satan’s plan that Adam and Eve should by disobedience incur God’s displeasure; and then, if they failed to obtain forgiveness, he hoped that they would eat of the tree of life, and thus perpetuate an existence of sin and misery. But after man’s fall, holy angels were immediately commissioned to guard the tree of life. Around these angels flashed beams of light having the appearance of a glittering sword. None of the family of Adam were permitted to pass the barrier to partake of the life-giving fruit; hence there is not an immortal sinner.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 60
4 EXPELLED FROM PARADISE
4.a. What were the properties of the tree of life from which Adam and Eve had freedom to eat? Genesis 2:9
Note: “The tree of life is a representation of the preserving care of Christ for His children. As Adam and Eve ate of this tree, they acknowledged their dependence upon God. The tree of life possessed the power to perpetuate life, and as long as they ate of it, they could not die.” The Review and Herald, January 26, 1897
“Man was dependent upon the tree of life for immortality, and the Lord took these precautions lest men should eat of that tree ‘and live forever’—become immortal sinners.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 134
4.b. After Adam and Eve sinned, what was God compelled to do, and why? Genesis 3:22–24
Note: “For transgression of the law of God, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden.” The Desire of Ages, 741
“After their sin Adam and Eve were no longer to dwell in Eden. They earnestly entreated that they might remain in the home of their innocence and joy. They confessed that they had forfeited all right to that happy abode, but pledged themselves for the future to yield strict obedience to God. But they were told that their nature had become depraved by sin; they had lessened their strength to resist evil and had opened the way for Satan to gain more ready access to them. In their innocence they had yielded to temptation; and now, in a state of conscious guilt, they would have less power to maintain their integrity.
“In humility and unutterable sadness they bade farewell to their beautiful home and went forth to dwell upon the earth, where rested the curse of sin. The atmosphere, once so mild and uniform in temperature, was now subject to marked changes, and the Lord mercifully provided them with a garment of skins as a protection from the extremes of heat and cold.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 61
“Adam was driven from Eden, and the angels who, before his transgression, had been appointed to guard him in his Eden home, were now appointed to guard the gates of paradise and the way of the tree of life, lest he should return, gain access to the tree of life, and sin be immortalized.” Confrontation, 15
5 A CURSE UPON THE EARTH
5.a. What was the sentence pronounced upon the serpent, upon Eve, and upon Adam? Genesis 3:14– 19
Note: “As they witnessed in drooping flower and falling leaf the first signs of decay, Adam and his companion mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The death of the frail, delicate flowers was indeed a cause of sorrow; but when the goodly trees cast off their leaves, the scene brought vividly to mind the stern fact that death is the portion of every living thing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 62
5.b. In spite of the curse resting upon the earth, what can we see in nature? Psalm 19:1–4; Romans 1:20
Note: “Adam … was shown the curse of God resting more and more heavily upon the human race, upon the cattle, and upon the earth, because of man’s continued transgression. He was shown that iniquity and violence would steadily increase; yet amid all the tide of human misery and woe, there would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God, and would remain unsullied amid the prevailing moral degeneracy.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, 52
“After the transgression of Adam, God might have destroyed every opening bud and blooming flower, or He might have taken away their fragrance, so grateful to the senses. In the earth, seared and marred by the curse, in the briers, the thistles, the thorns, the tares, we may read the law of condemnation; but in the delicate color and perfume of the flowers, we may learn that God still loves us, that His mercy is not wholly withdrawn from the earth.” The Review and Herald, November 8, 1898
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why is obedience to God vital to our own happiness and stability?
2 Whenever a mistake, shortcoming, or sin of our doing is brought to our attention, what human tendency must we steadfastly resist?
3 In what sense is having our eyes “opened” not always good?
4 Why is it a blessing that the tree of life was barred after sin?
5 As we see the bitter results of sin, what encouragement shines through?
Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.