Summary: From original sin to redemption this sermon traces Adam’s sin and death-sentence to Jesus’s victory over temptation and death.
From Ruin to Rescue
1st test – First man
Matt 4: 1-11
2nd test – Second man
Final exam -perfect grade
If I were taking a poll of folks on the street at random, I think most of them would know about the story of Adam and Eve and how they failed to listen to God’s one command:
“Do not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.”
We know that Satan came and tempted the woman and then she encouraged Adam to also disobey God and eat the fruit. The results were tragic.
They were driven from the perfect place of God’s provision and protection and thrust out into a harsh world where death immediately became a reality. An innocent lamb was slain to cover their nakedness, so the first bloodshed was caused by the first sin.
Man had known only life, now he was sentenced to death.
The whole incident is referred to as “the fall.”
They fell short of the glory of God
and they fell from the grace of God.
He had allowed them a perfect life in a perfect place and they failed to live up to His one requirement of them.
What was at the crux of their sin,…just eating the wrong thing? No, it was not believing God … doubting His word and perfect love and provision for them.
Would he provide enough wisdom?
(Didn’t they need to know good from evil?).
Would he provide enough food?
(What if only this tree had fruit at the time?)
Would he provide enough safety?
(Would they not surely die anyway?)
Would God provide enough personal satisfaction? (It looked good to their eye.)
When Adam and Eve were tested, they failed.
They doubted the word of God and disobeyed the command of God.
So mankind received a failing grade on the first test.
Now fast-forward to the passage in Matthew where Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Did you ever think that was a strange thing for the Spirit to do?
God does not want us to be able to follow Him only when there is no temptation or opportunity to do otherwise.
We live in this fallen world now and Satan is always walking about seeking whom he can devour.
They say opportunity knocks once, but temptation will beat your door down!
Jesus was sent to reclaim the territory that Adam lost for the human race. He faced the devil’s darts of doubt and believed God’s word.
Every time Satan said “If you are the son of God…” and tried to place doubt there, Jesus replied with a statement of fact directly from the mouth of God….
We must live by the word of God,(v4) not put God to the test (v7) and worship and serve God only.(v10)
Yes, the devil was quoting scripture passages too, but they were out of context and meant to trick Jesus into doing something that was contrary to God’s explicit commands.
So in stark contrast to Adam, Jesus believed the word of God and obeyed the commands of God.
The second test for humankind was passed perfectly by the God-man.
On a side note here, I thought it was interesting that when Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden an angel was sent to keep them out.
When Jesus sent the devil away from him, an angel was sent to attend and comfort Jesus!
God not only means what he says but He has the means and messengers to see that it is done.
Well, so far this makes the game of life tied 1 to 1 but there is another inning yet to come. Let’s move on to the final exam.
Paul, in the passage from Romans, continues the thought for us and wraps it all up. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Our connection with Adam is physical. We are born into the human family involuntarily and inherit death.
This passage points out that even though God had not given the law (the Ten Commandments) until the time of Moses, the people who lived between the time of Adam and Moses still died. They committed sinful actions even though no law existed to accuse them.
They were under the curse of Adam.
Death reigned over them
God is most concerned with BELIEF, not sin.
There is a cure for sin…the bloodshed and skin of God’s lamb covers that.
But unbelief is unpardonable.
John 3:17 says,
“He that believeth not is condemned already because he has not believed on the only begotten Son of God.”
Think about that.
Just as we cannot be justified by keeping the law,
we are also not condemned by disobeying it!