“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:1-6, NIV).
During the 1st Albay Conference of the Bless Our Cops Movement, the Police Superintendent of the Philippine National Police, Atty. Joenel Aurelio, gave a personal testimony. According to him, there was a time in his life that for him to commit adultery is just okay, as long as his wife would not know it.
He realized later the gravity of sin, when he understood that his sin was against God.
How about us do we just take lightly when we have committed sin?
Or have we arrived also to the point of acknowledging the seriousness of sin? And do we really understand what it means to sin against God?
So, this time, as we will try to see the seriousness of sinning against God and, at the same time, we will be motivated to… SPURN THE ALLUREMENT OF SIN … … which is also our title, as we focus on our text (Genesis 3:1-6).
So, is sin really bad? Why should we spurn the allurement of sin?
We believe that the book of Genesis is not an ordinary historical narrative. It includes within its scope the activities of God.
Both Christians and Jews believed that it was compiled and written by Moses. He wrote it in the Wilderness of Sinai about 15th century BC.
“…Moses wrote and compiled Genesis to encourage the early Israelites while they were preparing to enter the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. The content of Genesis would have been especially significant to them…”
After Moses reminded them just Who is this God, who will bring them to their destination, He proceeded to narrate the goodness of God in preparing the earth for our first parents. Yet, they displayed their unfaithfulness to Him and disobeyed Him.
Yet, in the 3rd chapter we could see the brilliance of the Grace of God. But, before we study how God portrayed His grace, we consider first the “filthiness” of sin – how evil it was. So, we could appreciate more His grace and why we should hate or spurn the allurement of sin.
We really need to vomit it out of our lives, especially if we understand the wickedness of it (verses 1-6).
We read verses 1-6, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
In the previous chapter, we could already perceive a glimpse of the grace of God. We saw that after God created the heavens and the earth, he “formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). God had planted a garden and placed the man there.
In the garden, God made all kinds of trees that were pleasing to the eyes and good for food. In the middle of it were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
But God did not put the man in the garden just to consume and enjoy eating the fruits. He was also given the opportunity to enjoy the pleasure to work or farm the land and take care or guard it.
And also another good thing that God gave to the man was his wife.
Actually, even before it, God had given the man what was really significant and what is truly good. Though it was intangible, yet it was so important and many of us failed to grasp its goodness.
What was that?
Let’s read it in verses 16-17 of chapter 2, “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’”
In that passage, we could see who is really Sovereign, who is in control, who is in Authority. It is God. And though He gave man a choice, it is limited. He gave man the freedom to eat the fruit of any tree, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God’s command was so good. It did not suppress the happiness of man. He wanted his happiness to continue and to abound. So, in His Goodness, He gave the warning that the man should avoid something that would separate him from the heavenly happiness of intimate relationship with His Maker.
But, when the Tempter came, our first parents disbelieved God and trusted the words of the father of lies, “You will not certainly die…”
And what else did the greatest liar said, “…For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Our first parents believed additional lies from the Tempter. They believed another serious lie that God was trying to hold back something good from them – “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened…” – meaning, that God would like to suppress their mental or spiritual discernment, or He would not like them to have their knowledge to arrive to its full potential. And that’s a great lie.
But not only that. There was another topping of lie in the words of the Tempter aimed at the heart of our first parents, “…and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So, when they disbelieved and disobeyed God, their desire for “the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” was actually secondary.
They wanted to be “like God,” who determines what is good and what is evil. When they ate the forbidden fruit, it was actually an act of rebellion.
And not only our first parents were really guilty of that hateful sin – deserving to be punished of “eternal death” – eternal separation from God, a disconnected relationship with the Supremely Good Personal Being – finally, to suffer in hell for eternity.
Every person is guilty of that sin. For God imputed the sin to every human being, because of the sin of Adam, who represented mankind in the spiritual battle in the Garden. Thankfully, during the spiritual battle in the wilderness the second Adam (Jesus) triumphed and finally crushed the power of Satan on the cross. All the sins of every man who have faith in Christ was imputed to Him in His suffering and death. So, He absorbed the penalty of their sins. But His perfect righteousness was also imputed to them, when He was raised from the dead.
It is unfortunate that human beings could not see the seriousness of sin. It is not simply hurting oneself or others. Every time there is disobedience or sin against God, there is a display of unbelief in God’s Word and a desire to be his own authority – a desire if not to substitute God in His throne, but surely to be another god.
It is unfortunate that human beings could only see the seriousness of sin like murder, rape, or other heinous crime. They failed to realize that no matter how many good things they perform in their own eyes, or in the eyes of others, they are still under the wrath of God -- because of their nature – sinful -- no relationship with the Holy God.
And they could only have that relationship by faith in Christ – trusting Him and His Words, loving Him more than the “good and pleasing” things or persons or whatever relationship in this world.
For if we have faith in Christ, we are given the right to become children of God, no longer His enemies wanting to be gods, wanting to determine what is good and what is evil.
So, believers or saints, do we really treasure Christ that because of Him all our sins are forgiven, His own righteousness is imputed us and our eternal happiness is certain in God’s Kingdom?
Are we so thankful for God’s grace that He restored our relationship with Him – not only a friendly relationship, but because of His mercy, He has given us the faith, in order for us to become His children? And should we praise Him, because He regarded us not just an ordinary or innocent children, but holy and obedient children? And anytime anyone of us here is welcome in His Presence.
Now, that He is our Father, Holy and Just, should we not spurn the allurement of sin? Should we not hate even the idea to replace Him in His throne, or to have our own throne and decide for ourselves what is good and what is not? Should we not reject, refuse, resist anything that would cause us to doubt and disobey His Word?
Should we not bow down in submission to the Sovereign God, the Righteous Law Giver and embrace His law with gladness in our heart?
In closing, indeed, we need to hate, resist and avoid even just the thought to go against the Word of God. We should not be tempted to doubt the declaration of our Heavenly Father and be attracted to the promises, glitters or whatever attraction in the world.
Sin is pleasurable for the moment – even it will last for 1,000 years. A million years is not even a second, if we compare it with eternity of suffering, an existence separated from the Good God.
So, we need to spurn sin no matter how attractive, how pleasurable it is. For every time we sin, at the back of our mind, we claim that God is untrustworthy, that He is withholding something good from us, that we desire to be the authority – to be in the throne of God who has the knowledge of what is good and what evil.
And if we are now His children, we will really spurn the allurement of sin, not because we will just hurt ourselves or others. But we’ll avoid, reject, resist it, because we do not want to grieve our Heavenly Father, who sees us as His holy and obedient children.