Summary: This sermon looks at the Fall of humanity and God's redemption. It also looks at the process of temptation Satan used against Eve in Genesis chapter three. This is part of a sermon series on what we believe.
What We Believe
“The Fall and Rise of Humanity”
This summer I’ll be going through a series on what we as Christians say we believe in. And while most already know them, like the Apostle Peter I never get tired of retelling them (2 Peter 1:12). And the reason is because while we know the stories or doctrines, we haven’t really taken the time to apply them to our lives and to our situations.
The writer of Hebrews gives us this take on why we’re not walking in the fullness of what God has so graciously given.
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).
The Old Testament prophet Amos talked about these times saying, “Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God, "that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).
But there is another reason, and it’s called erosion. To erode means to diminish or destroy by degrees, or to deteriorate. We see this erosion here in Mesquite as rain has caused huge rivulets in the landscape. We also see this when we go to the beach and see pieces of the cliff lying on the beach below.
Erosion is also going on in the church, especially within the mainline denominations. These denominations were founded upon God’s word. They aligned their beliefs in accordance with God’s word, but over the years erosion has taken its toll. Many of these denominations have begun to drift away from their theological roots and are now only shells of what their founders first envisioned.
In an article back in November 2008, the headline read, “Russian Orthodox Church Stolen.” The story began, “Wanted: One missing Russian Church. Last seen in July. Reward for its return.”
It seems that the church, which was 200 years old was closed and used by the Soviets as a school for the disabled. But it closed its doors in 1998 and it was turned back over to the Russian Orthodox Church. In July, 2008 they decided to reopen it as a church and when they came in October, it was gone.
How can a whole church just go missing? How does one steal a church? It would seem one brick at a time. A business owner from a nearby village was paying four cents a brick. So, the local villagers dismantled the church, brick by brick, and sold it.
The local priest said this was nothing less than blasphemy and a grave sin, but as I see it, it symbolizes the erosion that is going on in today’s churches. Little by little the church is being dismantled, not from without, but from within.
The reason is because the church is not preparing people for the hard realities of life: the betrayals, illnesses, losses, disappointments, and death with the truth of God’s word. The people need God’s truth now more than ever before in order to help them through these hard and difficult times. What people don’t need, however, is more pop psychology and philosophies that are here today and gone tomorrow.
People need to be grounded upon the sure foundational truths of the Bible if they ever want to survive in the times we are in.
This week we’re looking at humanity’s fall and rise, and I’d like to kick off today’s study with the famous words of Steve Urkel, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” along with “Did I do that?”
Some time ago I read a story about a 15-year-old girl who murdered her 9-year-old neighbor because she wanted to know what it felt like. Afterwards, she attended the church’s youth dance. And we seem to ask the same question every time we see or read this again and again, “How could people do such a thing?”
Well, the reason is bound up in most church’s statement of faith: the fall of mankind through Adam and Eve. It talks about how humanity was created in the image of God, but then disobeyed God thus becoming sinners. And now the human race has inherited sin’s nature along with its consequences, and therefore, humanity is in need of a savior.
The truth is that every evil and hurtful thing that happens in this world, whether it’s disease, death, divorce, depression, or destitution is rooted in the events of Genesis chapter three, which is about humanity’s fall. It’s about the day sin entered into the human experience.
Read Genesis 3
Some have said that the serpent was the most beautiful creature in the Garden. This may have been because Satan was considered the most beautiful of all God’s creation (Ezekiel 28:12-15), and the Bible often describes Satan as a serpent. And while we’re not told as to the serpent’s beauty, we are told about his charm.