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 Passage: Genesis 3:1-24
Discussion Questions: What “fig leaves” have you used to cover what’s lacking in your personal spiritual life? To where have you run trying to hide from God or from other persons? What are the signs that our relationship with God has been broken? What brokenness in the world causes you to mourn?
Food for Thought:
Note first how sin results in personal dysfunction. Previously, “both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25). They had been at complete peace with who they were. Once they rebelled against God, shame entered their awareness.
Adam also experienced fear for the first time: “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked.” This suggests an awareness of personal guilt. Shame and guilt had entered the world of humanity, and we have all (rightly) suffered from these evil twins.
Note also how sin results in relational dysfunction. Previously, Adam and Eve had enjoyed complete harmony with each other. Now selfishness took over their interpersonal relationship.
Adam was quick to blame both God and Eve for what had happened: “The woman You gave to be with me.” Eve was quick to pass the blame as well: “It was the serpent.” Here is the first blame game in human history, and we have all learned to play the game quite well. When we are personally threatened (whether or not due to some fault in ourselves), we usually try to shift responsibility from ourselves.
Now, most importantly, watch how sin results in a broken relationship with God. We saw in Adam and Eve’s rebellion a choice to follow a creature’s wishes rather than the Creator’s command (3:6). This choice led to an unraveling of their relationship with God. Whatever else their shame and guilt involved, it was treason against the King.
Their first attempt at hiding from God was a pathetic fig-leaf garment (3:7). Their second attempt was to run and hide from God when He approached them. Their third attempt was to shift blame to others.
God unveiled His character by asking hard questions. God knew the answers, of course. He was using questions both to display His righteousness and to get humans to acknowledge their sins.
Adam and Eve’s story is historical, and it is also the story of every human. We have all seen too many instances in which sin causes human dignity to turn into shame. We all know that rebellion against the true King has ruptured our relationship with Him. We, like Adam and Eve, hide from God as well as from each other.
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.