Summary: Most of us, when our sins are found out, are quick to look for a scapegoat. So let’s look at some of the ways we use to blame someone else for our sins.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. Folks, as you can see in the bulletin, the subject of my sermon is "How Do You Determine What is Right & What is wrong?" But as I worked on it this week it became obvious to me that the subject is just too big to be covered adequately in the limited time we have available this morning.
So consider this sermon an introduction, a prelude if you please, to a more informal & detailed discussion during our 6:30 adult service tonight.
B. Now to cover the subject of right & wrong, good & evil, we must go all the way back to creation, back to before the beginning of time.
The first 2 verses of Genesis tell us that in the beginning our world was formless, empty & dark. But then God stepped in & gave shape to the formless, filled the emptiness with life, & brought light into the darkness. In other words, God took the chaos & created order out of it. And as the Bible records the days of creation it tells us that God looked upon everything he had made, & said, "It is good."
But not everybody was happy, for the Bible also tells us about Satan, an angel of God who rebelled, & because of that he was evicted from heaven & banished to earth. Satan learned that he could not overcome God. So Satan focused his attack on the next best target, mankind, to whom God had given authority over the earth.
Satan’s goal is to put chaos back into our world. And it doesn’t take a very astute observer to realize that he has been successful in many areas. Look around, & you can see how confused we have become.
ILL. For instance, there’s confusion about the roles of men & women, husband & wife, mother & father. We seem no longer sure what their roles should be.
Young people are confused about their place in the family, & are often in various stages of rebellion against the authority of their parents. And the rise of homosexuality has brought even more confusion.
We’re confused about the value of life, too. Abortion tells us that life is really not all that valuable, & that euthanasia will become the next big issue that we will have to face in this country, because we are no longer sure about the value of life. Satan is bringing chaos into our lives.
C. And when you think about what Satan got for a few bites of forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, you realize that he really got a lot. He ruined the lives of Adam & Eve, & got control of the world, just for a couple of bites of forbidden fruit. Ridiculous, isn’t it? And long after the flavor of that fruit was forgotten, Adam & Eve were still paying the price for the most stupid decision that they possibly could have made.
APPL. Satan depends upon us making unwise decisions, too. He depends upon us having a distorted sense of values. He never really offers us very much, & in exchange, he wants everything from us.
ILL. Achan traded his life for a wedge of gold & a Babylonian garment. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup to satisfy temporary hunger. For one sensual moment with Bathsheba, David opened up himself & his family to generations of misery.
Satan is always doing that, never offering very much. Yet, we think we’re getting a good deal. A moment of pleasure, a little economic gain, the applause of the crowd, & in reaching for it we discover that we have given up everything. That is how Satan works.
And when that happens, we try to find someone else to blame.
D. In the third chapter of Genesis we see God coming back into the Garden of Eden following the temptation & sin of Adam & Eve.
Vs’s 8-13 tell us that "The man & his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the Garden in the cool of the day, & they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the Garden.
"But the Lord God called to the man, `Where are you?’ He answered, `I heard you in the Garden, & I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ And He asked, `Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, `The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, & I ate it.’
"Then the Lord God said to the woman, `What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, `The serpent deceived me, & I ate.’"