Summary: Why does Satan lie & deceive & tempt & manipulate? And the answer is, "Because he doesn't have the power to force us to sin." If he could force you to sin there would be no need for temptation or manipulation." (PowerPoint Available - #340)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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A. The first 2 verses of Genesis tell us that in the beginning our world was formless, empty & dark. But then God gave shape to the formless, brought light into the darkness, & filled the emptiness with life.
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 who chose to rebel against God & was cast out of heaven. Satan learned that he could not overcome God. So Satan focused his attack on mankind to whom God had given authority over the earth.
Satan's goal was & is to bring chaos into our world. And it doesn't take a very smart observer to realize that in many areas he has been successful. Look around, & you can see how chaotic & confused we have become.
ILL. For instance, there's confusion about the roles of men & women, husbands & wives, mothers & fathers. Many 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 any authority. And the belligerence of homo-sexuality has caused 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 to face, because we are no longer sure about the value of life. Satan is constantly seeking to bring chaos into our lives.
B. Just think about what happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam & Eve chose to listen to Satan & not to God. Their perfect world was shattered & in its place came sin and death. Long after the flavor of that fruit was forgotten, Adam & Eve were still paying the price for their decisions.
APPL. And today Satan depends upon us making unwise choices, too. He depends upon us having a distorted sense of values, & a desire for instant gratification
In the O.T. 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 always tries to make us think that we're getting a good deal. So we choose a moment of pleasure, a little economic gain, or the applause of the crowd.
And in reaching for that we discover that we have often given up everything. That is how Satan works. And when that happens, we look for someone to blame.
C. In the third chapter of Genesis we see God walking in 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.'"
Did you hear that? "Don't blame me," says Adam. "It wasn't my fault. It was this woman that you gave me. She enticed me & I ate of the forbidden fruit."
"Well, what about you, Eve?" asked the Lord God. "Don't blame me," she says. "It was the serpent who deceived me. And then I ate."
And most of us, when our sins are found out, are quick to look for a scapegoat. "It wasn't my fault. It was someone or something else that caused me to get involved in this sin."
I. "IT'S SOMEBODY ELSE'S FAULT!"
PROP. So let's look this morning at some of the ways we blame someone or something else for our sins.
A. Some people are quick to blame their parents or family members for their failures in life. They say, "If you knew my family, then you would know why I behave the way I do. My dad lost his temper all the time," or, "My mother was always sulking. I'm just doing what they did. So don't blame me."