Read Genesis 3:1-24.
In verse 1 the devil comes in the form of a serpent (Rev. 20:2) and deceives Eve into eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Interestingly, in verse 3 Eve added to God’s prohibition stating “neither shall you touch it.” Chapter two mentions nothing of this, only that they could not eat from it. We must be careful of adding to God’s commands and making them seem more burdensome.
The devil, in verse 4-5, starts with a lie (“you will not surely die”), adds in some truth, and appeals to Eve’s sense of pride and curiosity. It was true that in one sense she would “become like God” in knowing good and evil, but she would not become exactly like God (and there is the half-truth mixed with the lie). Who wouldn’t want to be like God? Many have actually tried to make themselves gods. But this is pride. And who wouldn’t want to be wise? This is the trap that the devil set.
And Eve fell into it. She ate, and gave it to Adam, who wasn’t with her when she first ate of it. If Adam was with her, he might have seen the entire thing (the deceit of the serpent’s words). Either way, Adam made his choice just as much as Eve did. Although some teachers believe that Adam did so not out of deceit, but love for his wife. We men must be careful to make God our first love, and not let our love for our wife cause us to disobey God. Women, be careful of your natural desire for wisdom. While it is a good thing to be wise, it must not be attained at any cost, and you must guard against deceit as you seek it.
The result was that both Adam and Eve knew that they were naked, and knew that that was a bad thing (showing that they now had the knowledge of good and evil). God confronted them, as He so often does, and gave them a chance to confess –although He would have already known (all-knowing).
The result was the curse of sin. This included a curse on the serpent, the pain of childbearing, the desire of women to rule over their husband (but he would rule over them), the pain of work, and the “returning to the dust” (eventual physical death of the body).
But Verse 15 also included a promise of enmity between Eve’s seed and the serpent’s, and that he (the singular offspring) would bruise “your” (speaking of the serpent) head, although the serpent would bruise his heel. Some see this as the eventual crushing defeat that the devil suffered when Christ died on the cross to redeem mankind, but at the cost of suffering physical death.
Although God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden (lest they eat the tree of life in their fallen state) and separated them from it, He provided hope and a symbol of mercy by making the first animal sacrifice and covering them with the skin. In covering their bodies with the skin of the animals, God was covering their sin until He would some day reverse the curse. He was also showing the gravity of sin, and that only death could pay for death (pointing forward to the future sacrifice of Christ and the imputing of His righteousness upon us).
In chapters 1-2 we saw that God has a plan, and His creation is ordered. In chapter 3 we see how people also have a free will, the ability to chose to obey God or not.
You, like Adam and Eve, can choose to eat of the bread of life (Jesus) and receive eternal life, or you can chose to remain in your sinful and fallen state. Just like in the garden, the choice is yours.
Unfortunately, the adversary is still out there deceiving and lying. But the Bible says that if you seek the truth you will find it, and to those who are near to God and call on Him, He will answer (Jer. 29:13, Jer. 5:1, Psa. 119:151, Psa 145:18).
Even when Adam and Eve messed up, and it had consequences for all of humanity, God showed them mercy and covered them –and made a plan to fix their mistake. That means if you mess up (and it will probably be less than ruining all of creation) that God can show you mercy and forgive you too –for He has already provided the sacrifice of His Son to redeem you from your sins.