Summary: When Adam sinned it impacted us all. When Jesus died and rose again an even more earth shattering impact happened. God has rescued us.
This is the third part of our “Relationship Series” where the lesson topic connects with our group ministry. The groups that meet this evening will look at Genesis 3 and discuss the scriptural record of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. Mankind moves from God’s blessings into His curses, from life to death, from the garden of paradise to a world of pain and toil and thorns.
Here we are on the first day of Fall talking about the big Fall where sin enters our relationships and we begin to see how devastating are the consequences of sin. We will explore that devastation more next week. This week we look at how sin entered our relationships and where our greatest problems come from.
For several years we took groups to Costa Rica to teach English classes using the Bible as our text. We led our students through Genesis 1-3 in our first two lessons asking two questions: first, “where did we come from,” and second, “what is our problem?” These are important questions. How we answer these questions impacts every area of our lives. What you believe about “where you came” from determines what you believe about where you are going and why you are where you are and what to do while you are here. Also, the second question, “what is our problem” impacts us greatly as well. What you believe about what our problem is, strongly determines what you will do to deal with issues of life. The Bible answers these questions. To the degree that we agree with scripture in its answers, to that degree we will follow its instructions. Do you fully accept and believe God’s word on this? Are we as parents faithfully passing on the heritage of truth from God’s word to our children? Are we living by it and doing what we can to see that they do too? Do we back away and let them decide for themselves what to believe or do we bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
Today we will begin to look at what happens when sin enters our relationships. So today’s lesson is more introductory. Next week, Lord willing, we will see the spread of sin and the destruction it wreaks on human relationships.
When Paul wrote the letter of Romans he shows us clearly what the rest of the Bible also testifies to, that sin brings death. The Bible shows us that this is a slow death, and a death that starts with a separation and corrosion of our relationships with God and with one another. Genesis 3 records the story for us. The rest of the Bible records the aftermath of sin and God’s intervention to save us from its consequences. Since our groups will be discussing Genesis 3 this evening, I will leave that text for you to share and instead look at some New Testament passages to see how Christians have understood and applied that event. For our lesson, turn to Romans 5:12-21. We will start here.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Notice first in this text how much rests on one man. God created Adam and Eve to be the father and mother of all of us. We all have some black sheep in our past generations. Did you ever think about how much that impacts you? What our parents do has a lasting impact on the next generation. We know that, don’t we? How much of what you are and who you are is directly connected to your parents and what and who they are? A lot! Adam and Eve’s sin brought something into this world that we are still dealing with. By God’s grace, we learn that we can turn away from the sin of our forefathers. We can do God’s will even if our parents do not. But we are still impacted by their sins, just as we are impacted by their faith.