Q. I was teaching a Sunday school class for adults recently and two very difficult subjects came up. One person asked me if Satan did not tempt Adam and Eve in the garden, could they have eventually sinned on their own. The second was a statement that all sins are a result of Satan or his demons tempting us. My position was that we are sometimes tempted of our own desires, but this was not well received. Can you shed some light on this for me?
A. Since Adam and Eve sinned we know that they were created with the potential to sin, having the ability to choose whether to obey God or not. So theoretically Adam and Eve could have eventually sinned regardless of events in the Garden.
What Satan does is play on our weaknesses, bringing opportunities to sin to our attention, just like he did with Eve. But if we didn’t already have the desire, his temptations wouldn’t work. James 1:14 says,
“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”