Summary: This sermon, preached the Sunday after 9/11, examines the root cause of evil in our world.
“AND GREAT WAS THE FALL” Genesis 3
INTRO – Where do I begin today? All across this nation, pastors stand in pulpits attempting to help their congregations and listeners make some sense out of the senseless events of this past week.
Headlines scream at us with words such as: “Terror”, “War”, “Attack”, “Agony”, “Sadness”, “Grief”, “Mourning.” Nonstop TV news coverage. An unprecedented grounding of all airline flights in the US. National Guard reservists activated, bringing this much closer to home. Many are calling this the “21st Century Pearl Harbor.” Thousands of people have lost their lives, snatched from this world to the next in one fiery instant. Images are burned into our mind’s eyes now that we will never forget. Our children and grandchildren are growing up in a world that seems to have gone completely crazy.
• Who did this?
• How could someone be so evil?
• How did they do it?
• Will it happen again?
• Why did they do it?
• Where did they get the capability to do this?
• What will our response be?
But to go back even further with our questions, we must ask, “Where did this all begin?” For the answer to that question, we must go all the way back to the book of Genesis.
Genesis – In the Hebrew Scriptures, the first book was named with a Hebrew word that means, “in the beginning.” Common practice in ancient times to name a document after its opening word or words, much like hymns “Rock of Ages” and “Standing on the Promises.” Later, book was called “Genesis” from Greek word geneseos, which means “origin” or “history.”
In this incredible book, we can learn about the origins of a multitude of important things – the origins of the universe and world; the origin of man; the origin of God’s covenant promises. And in the chapter we will study today, we will consider the origin of sin.
As we have seen this week, our lives can change in a moment. Let’s look at some moments that happened long ago and still impact our lives still today.
I. THE MOMENT OF TEMPTATION – 3:1
A. The first 2 chapters of Genesis are filled with “good” things:
i. Find numerous times in first chapter the statement, “And God saw that it was good.”
ii. After God created everything, Scripture says, “And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31)
B. Eden was a great place to be!
i. Heb. word for “Eden” means, “delight.”
ii. “The man and woman whom God had placed in Eden had everything for their well-being and enjoyment.” – Stuart Briscoe
iii. Unending, unbroken fellowship with God.
C. We’re caught off-guard by the entrance of one into this wonderful place whose intentions are cruel and heartless.
i. Much like we were caught off-guard Tuesday morning by the sight of United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the south tower of the WTC.
D. This one, this serpent, we know to be our archenemy, Satan. He enters the Garden with a heart filled with deceit and evil.
i. “Sin did not begin on earth; it began in heaven. The mystery of iniquity did not originate in the heart of a human being. It had its source in the breast of an angelic being of the highest order. It entered the Garden of Eden full grown, introduced there by Satan disguised as a serpent. Three chapters from the beginning of the Bible the serpent appears for the first time; three chapters from the end of the Bible he is seen for the last time. The results of his work are seen on every page between.” – John Phillips
E. And the moment he appears is the moment of temptation for Eve.
i. The temptation came in the form of a question, a question about God – “Did God really say…?”
1. It was a question about His goodness & His integrity.
2. It was a question about His motives& His truthfulness.
3. It was a question that raised a small doubt about God and His word.
II. THE MOMENT OF DECISION – 3:2-5
A. Eve found herself at a crossroad, a moment of decision.
i. For the first time in her life, she had to decide what she truly believed about God.
1. Frank Pollard – “Satan wanted Eve to have a casual, non-committal attitude toward God…Satan came to diminish our idea of God. Satan came to make Him smaller.”
2. Man at a prayer meeting started prayer with a long silence. Then when he spoke, said, “Lord…God…Sir…” He didn’t blunder into the presence of God. He didn’t diminish God.
3. When we diminish God, we diminish what He told us to do and how to live.