You will make known to me the path of life -- Psalm 16:11

Lesson 1:  Falling from the Path


Back to Pathfinders Main

Instructions:  read through the material offered and respond to the questions.  You will then receive a response.  You can move through the materials at your own pace.  Do not click submit until you have answered all the questions for the particular lesson.  If you do not wish to complete the lesson in one sitting, you can save the webpage to you computer, fill it in at your leisure, then click the submit button.

Email Address (so I can respond):   


Getting Started

 1.  How would you describe God? 

 Some people see God as the one in charge.  They think of God sort of as a police man who enforces all sorts of rules in our lives.  As long as we obey the rules, we do fine.  But the minute we go against the rules, God is out to get us. 

 What would your response to such a God be?  How would you feel?


 Others see God as someone who is always there waiting for us in the background, sort of like a safety net.  But unless we need Him, He does not really care about what we do or who we are. 

What would your response be to such a God?


2.  How would you describe human beings? 

 Thinking about how we live out our lives together and how we treat one another how would you describe human beings:  basically good or basically evil? 

 Basically good Basically Evil In the middle



The Bible Teaches

 1.  God is Holy and Righteous

 God has revealed Himself through the pages of the Holy Scriptures.  In these pages we learn that God is Holy and Righteous.  All that He does is right.

 &    NAB Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."

&    NAB Deuteronomy 32:4 "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

 In light of these verses, what does it mean that God is Holy and Righteous?


2.  God created all things good.

We learn in Genesis that God created all things and that everything was good.  At the very beginning of creation there was no sin.  Everything was in its proper place and everything worked together beautifully. Adam and Eve enjoyed a perfect relationship with God, with creation, and with one another.  The trusted and loved God. They trusted and loved one another. 

&    NAB Genesis 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

What does it mean that God created everything good?


3.     The Path

God gave only one command to the first human beings, Adam and Eve.  Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve took God at His word and trusted Him.

This is how life was supposed to be with God and with others:  trust expressing itself in love

&    NAU Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

How is "trust" an essential element in our relationships with others?  With God?


4.  The Fall 

But Adam and Eve went beyond the one command of God they brought the first sin into the world. 

 &    NAB Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die."' 4 The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! 5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 

Even before Eve ate of the fruit of the tree, she  lost her faith in God and believed rather the lies of the serpent.  Through unbelief she fell from the path.  Putting faith in the lies of Satan, she sought to trust herself.

How did Eve sin?


Adam too decided to trust his wife and not trust in what God had spoken.  So humanity had fallen completely into sin.  Their perfect relationship with God was destroyed.  They no longer trusted God.  They no longer took Him at His Word.  They sought rather to be something they were not created to be: gods.  They had sought to serve themselves. 

 How was their relationship with each other and with God changed?


5.  The consequences of sin:

 When the Lord heard that they had sinned, He punished Adam and Eve.  The curse of death would from this time forth hang over humanity.  Their sin had consequences.  All children of Adam inherit these consequences.

 &    NAB Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned --

 &    NAB Genesis 5:3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.

 &    NAB Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

 &    NAB Genesis 8:21 The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

Read these verses carefully.  Are human beings born neutral (blank slates) or are they born already corrupted into sin?

 neutral already corrupted by sin

6.  What it is to be Human

 From these passages we learn something hard but true about ourselves. 

  •  All people because we are descended from Adam and Eve, are conceived and born in sin and bear the sinful corruption upon our spirits.

  • That left to themselves there is no spiritual good in the human heart.

  • That left to ourselves, we are inclined to evil.

  • We are spiritually dead.  This means that we can no more help ourselves out of our situation than can a dead man bring himself back to life.

·NIV Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

Scripture describes us as spiritually "dead" not spiritually handicapped or spiritually sick?  What is the difference.  What is the implication for our being able to help ourselves to restore our relationship with God or to make salvation happen on our own?


 Because of this condition, all people fall under the judgment of God and under His wrath.

 &    NAB Matthew 7:17 "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.

&    NAB Matthew 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.


Our sinful corruption (called original sin) expresses itself in the many sins of our lives.  (called actual sin)

 Such sin causes a great deal of damage to our lives.

 What sort of damage does sin do in our lives?  Give some real life examples of how these sins bring harm to people's lives. 








Sin can be described as sins of commission and sins of omission.  In other words, we do things we should not do and we do not do the things we always should do.

 What sort of things do people commonly do that they should not?


What do people commonly not do that they probably should do?


7.  The knowledge of sin

 We learn about sin from the law of God.  First  John 3:4 tells us that all who sin break the law.    God did not give His law as a way that we could make ourselves good enough and so be saved.  We have already learned that we cannot help but sin and so we can never be good enough on the basis of the law.  Rather the law is given to us to show us our sins. 


 &    NAB Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

 How does the law help us to know what is sin and that we have sinned?


8.  The Three Functions of the Law

God uses the law for three functions.

1.      curb -- this is the civil use of the law, designed to control harmful behavior in the world. 

&    NAU 1 Timothy 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers

 Why is the curb an important function in today's world? 



2.      Mirror --  the law shows us ourselves, it shows us our sins

 &    NAU Romans 7:7… for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, " YOU SHALL NOT COVET."

 How does the law reveal the truth about ourselves to our self? 


What are some ways that people might respond if the law tells them they are sinning?


3.  guide --  its guides us along the path in life to help us as Christians know what we should and should not do.  God does not give the law as a "guide" for how to get saved (remember, no flesh is justified in His sight by keeping the law), but rather the law is giving to help us know what is best and wholesome for human living.

 &    NAU Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

 What are some ways God's laws guide us to live that are in conflict with typical human values in the world?



9.  There is Hope!

 Scripture shows us that God does not prefer to be judge, but rather God prefers to be our Savior.  Even when Adam and Eve had sinned and God punished them, He gave to them the hope of deliverance from their sins.  He gave Adam and Eve a promise, that one would come who would crush the serpent who brought sin into the world.  Someone born into the world as a human being would crush Satan. 

&    NAB Genesis 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."

 Two Thousand years ago God kept that promise, and sent Jesus. 

What does it indicate about God's intentions toward us that right when humanity first fell into sin, He promised to provide a way out?


Our next lesson will focus on God's provision for our salvation.

Do you have any additional questions or comments?


Request personal contact

Yes, contact me personally  
By phone At what number?
By personal visit  
Day (select best days for you) Mon Tue Wed Thur  Fri  Sat  Sun
Time  (select best times for you) Morning  Afternoon  Evening