What Caused Adam and Eve to Sin?

Reverendfun.com's comic from October 3, 2003
Copyright © 2011 The Zondervan Corporation

Dear Pastor Andy: According to Genesis in the Bible, what caused Adam and Eve to sin?

My Reply:
Satan’s temptations basically branch from 3 basic desires:

  1. Pride and ego
  2. Physical health
  3. Power and glory

You’ll see the same 3 (in different orders) in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve both gave into the temptations of:

  1. Pride and Ego
    After they told the serpent what God said, the serpent asked, “Did God say…?” But he twisted it some: “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from ANY tree in the garden’?”
  2. Physical Health
    Next is where it got tricky: the serpent counters with 2 temptations:
    A) “You won’t die;
    B) See, God knows that when you eat of it…” This also caused them to question God’s Word and instruction, leading to disobedience.
  3. Power and Glory (“Bling”)
    Your eyes will be opened, and you’ll be just like God, knowing good and evil.

Ultimately, they began to doubt God’s honesty, and desired to be LIKE God in the way where they wouldn’t need Him. Unfortunately, we still fall into these sins today, don’t we? We want to do things our ways, or by ourselves, or because we want to do it.

One thing I continue to hear lately is that we’re in charge of our own destiny. Really? I don’t know about you, but rarely when I plan things, do they ever turn out like I’d planned. If I was in control, then surely everything would have turned out as I’d originally planned. Or what about the fellow goes up to the girl and gets rejected? What happened? I thought he was supposed to be in charge. Or what about the person who gets fired from their job? I thought they were in charge of everything that happened in their life? Sure, people can look at these and say, “Well, this happened because something better is supposed to happen.” But then, if that’s the case, then wouldn’t that suggest that somebody or something else was actually in charge of it?

Interestingly enough, if you’ll look at the gospels of Matthew and Luke, you’ll notice that during Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness, Satan used these same tactics on Him…only Jesus rebuked him and made it out without sinning.


  1. Compare the temptations that Satan threw out at Jesus in Matthew and Luke. How are they similar to those that Satan used against Adam and Eve? How are they different?
  2. What are some other ways you can think of that people try to live their lives without God? 
  3. What are some ways that you’re guilty of yourself lately?
  4. If you’re not in charge of your own destiny, then how do you think things will turn out for you if you continue with these sins?

—Pastor Andy G.


  1. 2 Corinthians 5:21–“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. Jesus didn’t give in to Satan’s bait. I focus on sinless Jesus and move forward in His ways, so I don’t go backward to my old vomit and mud (2 Peter 2:22); times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).

  2. I disagree with how you present your points, especially physical health.
    Point #1: I agree that Satan tries to cause us to sin by appealing to our pride and ego. However your biblical support doesnt really read as either pride or ego. I read it as lies. He twisted the truth of what God says and asks it in a way to convince them otherwise.

    Point #2: This point is half true with your quotes. I can see how saying “you wont die” is related to physical health, because if you’re not healthy, it is possible that you will die. The other half seems irrelevant. “See God knows that..” That is another lie, this time appealing more to pride and ego/ being god-like in a bad way.

    Point #3 Decent point, knowing good and evil and being god-like in the negative sense does line up with power and glory. If we have power and glory, what need is there for God?

    Grace and peace to you. (1Corinthians 1:3)

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