The First Sin

Genesis 3    Review Activities for this Lesson

Why do you think Eve is reaching for the fruit? Could she and Adam eat from every tree in the garden? No, God gave them every tree but one for their food. That was the “Tree of knowledge of good and evil.” They could eat from all the other plants. They should have been satisfied. When God made the world, he also made rules for that world. Sometimes we call these rules “laws.” He tells us His laws so we can obey them and be happy. But Satan used the serpent to tempt Eve. She listened to him instead of listening to God. Adam did wrong, too. Because of their sin, trouble came into the world for the first time.

The Garden of Eden was a place of perfect happiness. Some people have called it “Paradise.” Adam and Eve were very happy when God first placed them in the garden. There were no tears, no pain nor death there. The work that God gave Adam to do was pleasant work. He was supposed to take care of the garden and God would make everything grow nicely. Adam and Eve had everything they needed.

He talked to Adam and told him how to be happy. Adam was made in the likeness of God and could understand what God wanted him to do. Do you remember what God told him? Yes, He told him to take care of the plants in the garden. And He told him he could use all the trees in the garden for food except for one.

God said, “Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

If you had been in the garden, would you have listened to God? Would you have done what He said? Adam and Eve knew God loved them. They could see He had planned for them so carefully. If He had made them, He surely knew what was best for them. That’s why it’s hard to understand what happened next.

One day the serpent asked Eve about the trees in the garden. He wanted to trick Eve into doing wrong. The Bible tell us that the serpent was “more cunning” than any beast of the field. This means that he was smart and sneaky. Eve told the serpent what God had said. She told him God said they would die if they ate the fruit from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

The serpent wanted Eve to disobey God. He told her, “You will not surely die! For God knows that in the day that you eat of it, your eyes will be opened. And you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Then it happened. The Bible tells us that “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate.”

Later “they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from God among the trees of the garden. Then God called to Adam and said “Where are you?”

How do you think Adam and Eve felt? Yes, they were afraid. They knew that they had disobeyed God. How different everything had suddenly become! Things were no longer perfect. They did not feel free to talk with God anymore. Something had come between them. Now they were separated from God. They were unhappy because they had done what God had told them not to do.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin came into the world. All through the Bible we read about sin and how it separates man from God. God showed Adam the right way, but Adam did not follow it. Adam knew the good thing to do, but he did not do it. Knowing to do right and not doing it is always sin.

The Bible also tells us that the way of the sinner is hard. God had told them He would punish them if they disobeyed Him. Now God had to keep His word. And He would have to punish the serpent, too.

Next week we will talk about God punishing Adam and Eve and the serpent for their sin. He wants us to learn something from what happened to people long ago.

He tells us today what will make us happy. He does not talk to us like He did to Adam and Eve, but He speaks to us through the Bible. As long as we listen and obey Him, we will be happy. But when we commit sin by disobeying Him, that sin comes between us and God, too. He will punish us, too.


1. Sin brought all kinds of trouble into the world. Even those who do right have sad things happen. But God will help good people to be happy in spite of troubles. How?
2. Talk about how the sins of someone else can cause us to suffer?
3. How does punishment show love?


"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7

What does it mean to “fear” God?

Text by Betty Belue Haynes, originally published in Bible Talk Times. Used here with the kind permission of the author. Users are free to reproduce for use, but not for publication.