Summary: God created man for abundance and placed him in paradise, but sin cost him more than he ever expeced.
PARADISE LOST “The Fall of Man”
Last week I watched a news report about a mother and two teenagers had been missing in California. Their car was found burned in a wooded area and two bodies were found in the trunk. The thought sickened me and I said to Wanda Sue, “How could people do such a thing?” But then as we read the papers and watch the news we could ask ourselves “Why?” a thousand times over. “Why would someone harm an innocent child?” “Why would a daddy or mama walk off and leave their family?” “Why would someone blow up a building with hundreds of people inside?” “Why do the innocent have to suffer?” Why, why, why?
The truth is that every bad thing that ever happens in this world, whether it is disease, death, divorce, depression, or destitution is rooted in the events of Genesis 3. Genesis 3 is about the fall of man, about the day sin entered into the human experience. Let’s look at it together.
I. THE DECEPTIVE CHARACTER OF SIN (3:1-6)
A. The Agent of Temptation/Deception (1) “the serpent”
(Rev. 12:9) So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
(Matt 4:3) Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
Some have said the serpent in the garden was the most beautiful beast in all creation. This may be so although the text does not imply one way or the other. One thing is certain, the serpent was not anything like a slithering, frightening repulsive rattlesnake. When Eve saw him she didn’t run screaming through the garden. There was something about the serpent that drew Eve to him.
This serpent was crafty, more subtle than any other animal. Satan never appears to us in a frightening way, but in a way that draws our attention. He may appear as a best friend wanting to lend a helping hand only to entrap us with the other hand.
Jesus called him “The ruler of this world” (John 12:31)
Paul called him “The god of the world” (2Cor 4:4)
and “The prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2)
Martin Luther said “on earth is not his equal”
Ray Steadman “The malevolent being who is behind the philosophy of men, who dominates the thinking of this world, who has the ear of humanity and whispers into it a lie, an outrageous, but very attractive lie that make men drool with desire”
B. The Process of Temptation (1b-5)
1. Questions the Word of God
-focuses on the one boundary rather than all the freedom
-Eve should not have given an audience
2. Denies the Word of God (4)
“you shall will not surely die” **very emphatic
3. Questions God’s Motives (5)
God is trying to keep something good from you
C. The End Result of Temptation
1. Create Lustful Desires
(I Jn 2:16) For all that is in the world-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-- is not of the Father but is of the world.
2. Consummate Desires to Sin
3. Sin leads to Death
(James 1:14-15) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
II. THE DESTRUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN (3:7-24)
Temptation is a con-job dear friend - always. The payoff of sin is never what it promises to be. I have seen the dismal face of those bound by drugs. I have seen the hollow eyes of a man dying with AIDS from his sinful lifestyle. I have seen the agony of one who caused the death of another due to his drunk driving.
I have seen what sin can do to the human life in hospitals, graveyards and courtrooms.
A. Destroys Our Innocence (7)
Experience Shame and Guilt
Experience a Callousness to the things of God
B. Destroys our Relationships (8)
- with God
- with Others
- with Ourselves
C. Destroys our Sense of Responsibility (9-13)
(our Character becomes tarnished)
Adam blamed God and then Eve
Eve blamed the Serpent
D. Destroys the Blessing of Well-being
God created man for blessings/abundance and placed him in a setting that could be called "paradise". But when sin entered the human experience man as well as creation payed a heavy price as he faced the judgement of a holy God.
-Pain in Childbirth
-Subjection to Man
-Work in a cursed environment