NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Genesis 3:1-6; Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18
Discussion questions: Where besides God do we look for satisfaction, beauty, and enlightenment? Think of the most recent conflict you’ve had with someone close to you. It could be a friend, spouse, family member, coworker, roommate, etc. How did your pride contribute to the conflict?
Food for thought:
The first thing we notice in Genesis 3:1-6 is that pride is a response to a lie. The first thing out of the serpent’s mouth was, “Did God really say?” Already the precursor to pride is wrong belief about God and His Word.
Eve was savvy enough to reject this falsehood, but she was not faithful enough to reject the serpent’s rebuttal. “You will be like God,” he promised. This proved too much for Eve, the temptation was too great. Eve opted to disbelieve God’s promise and to disobey. She chose instead to believe in herself.
This is a really important point to remember and will help us get to the root of our sins, not just manage the fruit of them. The point to remember is this: behavior problems are belief problems.
What we then notice in Eve’s disobedience is a sort of three-pronged appeal that latches onto her heart like a grappling hook. She lusts for the forbidden fruit that promised to be satisfying, pretty and enlightening. Aren’t these the very promises we believe that feed the pride monster inside of us?
When we disobey God, it is invariably because we believe the lies that something will satisfy more than He does, that something is more beautiful than He is, and that whatever this something is, it is something we deserve, as if we hold the rank of Lord just like God.
The sin of pride is attempting to steal from God’s glory, as if it belonged to us. It is an attempt at mutiny. The three-pronged temptation of the forbidden fruit said to Eve, “You’ll be a god like God,” which is itself a subtle way of saying, “You’ll be a god instead of God.” When we disobey any of God’s commands, in essence, we are saying the same thing: “God, You are not God. I am.”
The result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience was creation gone haywire. God laid upon the rebels a curse (Gen. 3:14-27), and to demonstrate just how devastating and far-reaching the sin of pride is, He cursed also the creation itself.
What would happen if we were to knock the sun out of the center of our solar system? Chaos. Disaster. Death. Similarly, when we attempt to usurp God’s rightful place at the center, pridefully living self-centered lives, the result is disastrous disorder. Sin is fundamentally antisocial.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the gospel through stories, theological concepts, and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. More information, free samples, and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options offered by LifeWay for all ages can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.