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Summary: Why study about sin? Why not study something encouraging?

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#4 – Evil & Sin

BASIC MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE DIAGRAM: Catching you up to where we are today… Basic “salvation” diagram

 In the beginning, God existed, holy and loving…

 He made man in his own image…

 To have a holy, loving relationship with him…

 But the first man blew it and sinned…

 Separating us from God…

 And passed his sin on to every person since…

 So we naturally sin and separate ourselves from God…

INTRO: Why study about sin? Why not study something encouraging?

What if I came running up to you and said, “I bring great news! The evil Shelob has been defeated, and you need not fear her any longer! You are free to continue to Mt. Doom, but beware of the evil Sauron.” (Paraphrased from “The Emerging Church” by Dan Kimball.)

Would you feel particularly excited about that news?

How would you feel?

Would you feel grateful? Relieved? Or just confused?

You would probably be just confused, unless your name was Frodo Baggins. If you knew the story line of Lord of the Rings, these names and terms would make sense to you. If you knew how scary the giant spider Shelob was, how she would eat you, if you knew how important the mission to Mt. Doom was, and if you knew how scary and powerful the great Eye of Sauron was… you would be excited, grateful, and relieved.

If you didn’t, you would NOT be excited, grateful, relieved… you’d just think I was nuts.

It’s the same when we talk up front about the blood of Jesus “SAVING” us from sin. “Great news! Satan has been defeated, by Jesus death on the cross! You can be forgiven of all your sin, and go to heaven if you follow Jesus!”

WHAT?!

If you don’t know what SIN is, where it came from, or what it can do to you – if you don’t know how awful it is, you can’t understand what it means to be saved!

If we don’t study sin, we can’t understand:

 Why the Cross was necessary, or what happened there.

 Why Jesus teaching was so radical.

 Why we all have a sense of right and wrong.

 Why we should be so grateful for what Jesus did for us.

The story is told of Calvin Coolidge:

Calvin Coolidge “The preacher preached on sin…”

“What did he say about it?”

“He was against it.”

THE STORY OF THE START OF SIN

Let’s look all the way back at the beginning, and see what happened to God’s perfect plan… what happened to this beautiful love story of a God who made plans to create men and women who would live forever, with no problems, no pain, loving and enjoying Him?

Ge 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;

17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Now, that’s pretty clear… I don’t think ONE restriction is too much, do you? Any tree except this one. Don’t eat from it. “You will die…” God didn’t mean physical death, he meant spiritual death. God made these people spiritually alive, and they would stay spiritually alive as long as they stayed connected with him.

Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

This is ALWAYS the first thing that Satan does… call God’s law into question… “Come on – that’s old fashioned. No one actually believes that any more. Do you think God really meant in the 21st century?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.

Satan’s next move is to contradict what God said. He says, “You can get away with it. The bad stuff won’t happen to YOU.”

5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

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