Sabbath School Lesson for September 26-October 2, 2020

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Christian education will be examined this new quarter. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, these questions were considered this week…

  • What was the first school like?…Sunday
  • How did Satan intervene in the happy lives of our first parents?…Monday
  • Where did Adam and Eve go wrong?…Tuesday
  • How can we regain what was lost?…Wednesday
  • Who makes us such despisers of authority?…Thursday


All true education must begin with God. He is the source of all knowledge and wisdom, we are told in Proverbs 9:10. Since God is love (1 John 4:8), then love must be the basis of all our learning.

We are shown the love of God most clearly in the Bible, which also points us to nature, and the life and ministry of Jesus. The value of education comes from its ability to show us how to use these tools to know God better and be recreated in His image.

Genesis 1-3, our focus for this week’s study, must be the foundation of all our learning. These first chapters set the stage for understanding everything else that happens later in the story of salvation.

Memory Verse: “Behold, God is exalted by His power; who teaches like Him?” Job 36:22 NKJV

Obviously, God is not only our first teacher, but also our best instructor throughout our lives. He was the founder, principal, and teacher of the first school in the Garden of Eden.

Sunday: The First School

How God’s students must have thrilled to hear the lessons He imparted to them prior to sin. Freshly created, with the sharpest intellects God had designed specially for them, their knowledge must have increased exponentially faster than ours today.

We might imagine getting a post-graduate degree in several fields of study in just a matter of days. Their opportunities to know about their perfect world must have been enormous with such a close relationship as they enjoyed with their Instructor.

As part of their learning, God gave responsibilities to the first pair, pointing out their role in keeping the Garden fresh and lovely. Their assigned tasks gave them purpose and happiness. They were perfect occupations for the perfect couple.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Genesis 2:8, 15 and Isaiah 51:3

  • What kind of emotions were enjoyed in the Garden of Eden, which are also promised for Zion (God’s people) in the earth made new?

Genesis 2:18-23

  • What was the original relationship of man and women at the beginning, before sin?

Monday: Intrusion

One of the most joyful tasks of a teacher is preparing for the upcoming school year. With anticipation, one arranges and decorates the classroom, sets up the course of study the students will follow, and outlines the rules and expectations that will guide their behavior and learning. A wise teacher knows that the less rules there are, the more likely they will be kept.

The Creator must have experienced this same joy when He planted the Garden of Eden for our first parents. He gave them chores to do that would ensure their continued education. He also unfolded to them the one and only restriction they would have while under His guidance.

They must not eat the fruit of one forbidden tree. The consequences of doing so were clearly stated. If they chose to eat of it, they would die. What could be simpler?

We know the result of Adam and Eve’s unfortunate choice. They chose not to trust God, but instead listened to the cunning deceptions of Satan, speaking through a serpent.

When Eve wandered away from Adam and found herself near the forbidden tree, Satan didn’t lose a minute in planting some twisted thoughts into her mind about the character of God.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Genesis 2:16, 17

  • Why was this a fair rule to have for the first couple?

Genesis 3:1-3

  • How deep was Eve’s understanding of the rule and particularly the consequence for breaking it?

Tuesday: Missing the Message

The serpent responded to Eve’s statement of their one and only restriction by blatantly saying they would “not surely die”. In essence, the serpent was saying that God had lied to them.

Instead of defending God, or getting some divine input from Him on the matter, Eve continued listening to the charges being brought against her Maker and her Friend. Desiring to be wise like God, Eve took the fruit and ate of it, reasoning that it had worked for the serpent, so why wouldn’t it work for her.

Naturally, she shared her new knowledge with Adam, and he also, lacking faith in God, ate of the fruit as well. They both had not only lost their faith in God’s goodness, but their innocence. They had taken the first step of disobedience, and forfeited everything God had entrusted to them.

Can we, too, be disobedient by not coming to God when perplexities overwhelm us? Doubts do come to all of us, and there is no safe place to have them resolved except at the foot of our Master Teacher. Don’t dwell on the forbidden fruit. It holds only more snares and trials to keep us on the road to death and destruction.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Genesis 3:4-6 and 1 John 2:16

  • Besides not trusting God, what was most likely behind Adam and Eve’s disobedience?

1 Timothy 2:14 and Acts 17:30

  • What was behind Adam’s disobedience, if it wasn’t deception? And why didn’t God “wink” at it, as He does when we are ignorant?
  • What’s the difference in being deceived and being ignorant?

Genesis 3:5 and 1:27

  • In what ways were Adam and Eve made in His image?
  • What’s the difference in being like God and being God?
  • What keeps us from crossing the line in being God and being imitators of God?

Wednesday: Regaining What Was Lost

After Adam and Eve sinned, God had to change the curriculum of education for the first pair. Understanding God’s character and love was needed as never before. They must become reacquainted with their Maker and introduced to the plan of salvation.

God gently and carefully explained what the consequences would be for their disobedience. But, He also unfolded to them the intervention of a Messiah, or Savior, that gave them hope for a brighter future.

Men and women must now be re-created, or born again, in order for God’s grace to be fully implemented. They must accept the terms of this new agreement with God, and allow Him to transform them once again into creatures of His likeness.

Through prayer, Bible study, and service, we, too, are drawn closer to God. His grace enables us to become more and more like Him, as long as we allow Him to change us.

Our works alone will not suffice. Our “fig leaf” coverings must be replaced with the skins of animals. These were most likely from the slain lamb they were told represented the Lamb of God.

The offerings of Cain and Abel show us how their worship service was part of the re-education program that pointed to their only means of salvation, the slain Son of God.

Bible Verses to Consider:

2 Peter 1:3-11

  • What characteristics will define our life, as we become more and more like God after we believe in Him and accept His salvation?
  • How do these verses convey the idea that it is a progressive work lasting a lifetime?
  • Why must we constantly depend on God for the accomplishment of these goals?

Thursday: The Despisers of Authority

In his second epistle, Peter outlines the education God wishes us to have. The first chapter beautifully describes the progression of the Christian experience. It encourages us to faithfully perform the duties that lead to our spiritual growth. Things such as faith, virtue, self-control, perseverance, and brotherly love are mentioned.

The second chapter, on the other hand, points out the false, destructive doctrines that we constantly battle. False teachers of these deceptions will receive their just reward. We must be aware of their presence though, and not adopt their unrighteous, covetous behavior.

Besides their “presumptuous, self-willed” attitudes, these false teachers “despise authority” and “are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries” (2 Peter 2:10). We must especially beware of those who ignore the guidance of God’s law and despise anyone who is in authority over them.

The author of Hebrews encourages us to “remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.” See Hebrews 13:7.

Actions and conduct evidently do matter, when we are trying to determine what is true and false from those in leadership positions.

Bible Verses to Consider:

2 Peter 2:1-3, 9, 10, 13

  • What are some of the ways we can identify false religious teachers? What should we look for?

Friday: Conclusion

The education Adam and Eve received in the Garden of Eden continues today. We, too, must learn from the events that unfolded at the very beginning of man’s existence. Knowing how we got here, why we are here, what we should and should not do with our lives are all questions that are answered in the first pages of the book of Genesis.

Understanding God’s methods of instruction in this first school on earth is just as important as understanding man’s original plant-based diet. What we feed our minds is as important as what we feed our bodies.

We can learn a lot from God’s model school. Although the curriculum and methods of instruction had to change after our first parent’s sin, we are blessed by following the educational guidelines from that early time as much as possible.

  1. There must be quality teachers. (God and the angels were the best, of course.)
  2. Character was allowed to grow through the assignment of work duties. (Adam and Eve were charged with maintaining their beautiful surroundings.)
  3. Rules were established for their safety. (They were told to avoid one forbidden tree in the Garden.)
  4. Above all, they were encouraged to have a relationship with their Creator God. (God walked and talked with them frequently.)

God still has only one restriction for mankind, and that is sin. Disobeying God by ignoring His commandments leads to dire results just as it did back then in the Garden. But the promise of God is that there is an alternative route. Jesus’ death and resurrection offer us the same eternal life enjoyed by Adam and Eve in the very beginning.

We must continue to learn from God how to live a life that glorifies Him and reflects His character, just as was originally planned. Through His grace, all is not lost. There is a way to regain it all.

Next Week: “The Family”

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