Summary: The 8th installment in a series on the Book of Genesis. In this sermon we discuss the fall of man and some of the effects of sin.
Genesis (Pt. 8) (The Fall of Man)
Text: Genesis 3:1-8
By: Ken McKinley
What we just read there was the saddest moment in all of human history. Now I’m not going to spend a great deal of time on this point, but the genre of the book of Genesis is history. This isn’t meant to be allegorical, or a myth. This is written as an actual historical and factual account of what took place. Without this; we have no doctrine of sin, and if we have no doctrine of sin, then why on earth did we need a Savior? In the NT, the apostle Paul takes this account as factual when he writes in the book of Romans chapter 5 that sin came into the world through the offense of one man. Now there are some people who would argue that man is not inherently sinful. They would say that man is born into a “sin principle” but not born with a sinful nature. They would say that we’re really not that bad at all… it’s just a mature of nature verses nurture. And those are usually the type of people who think that the Gospel is some sort of “self-help” mechanism… some sort of guide to help us pull ourselves up by our proverbial boot straps and earn our way into heaven. But the fact is; if we don’t understand this doctrine of original sin, if we don’t understand that we are born… ruined with sin, then we will also have a faulty understanding of God’s grace.
Grace is not a ladder that we have to climb to get to heaven. It’s not even a hand up. Grace is a resurrection. The Bible teaches that we are dead in trespasses and sin, and so if grace is a ladder, then what happens is Jesus climbs down it, picks up a dead body carries it back up the ladder and then brings it back to life. We do not save ourselves. It is all of God. His grace! His mercy! His compassion! His doing! He saves us. He does it all. It is not of him who wills or him who runs, but of God who has mercy.
So this morning; I want to look at this passage of Scripture with the understanding that this is the foundational passage for our doctrine of sin, and I want us to look at three main points. First; Sin is lawlessness, – second; sin is deceptive – and 3rd, Sin brings shame.
So let’s look at that 1st point – sin is lawlessness. If you read through 1st John you’ll see that’s exactly what John says, but I imagine that John drew that phrasing right out of our text this morning. Sin is lawlessness – it is breaking the given commands of God. Another way we could say it is by saying, “sin is rebellion.” And it’s not just rebellion against a king or country, it’s rebellion against God Almighty! Mankind are traitors against God. Take a look at those 1st five verses (Read Vss. 1-5). The first thing I want you to notice here is that God is sovereign. Even the “serpent” who is in rebellion against God, is simply one of His creations. Satan is not an equal but opposite power that opposes God, he is a created being in rebellion against the eternal, omnipotent, omniscient God Himself. There is not a balance between the forces of good and evil… it’s not a Star Wars film. Evil is shown to us here as rebellion against the Creator of the universe. I want you to notice here also; that sin, was not always present in God’s creation. When there was no rebellion against God, there was no sin. And like I said before, I think what happened was that God had created the heavens and the earth, and all the angels and the creatures of the earth and seas and skies. And then… God created man. He created man a little LOWER than the angels, but then turns around and gives man dominion over his creation. He says, “You are to have dominion over the earth.” And I think what happened was that Satan’s pride caused him to become jealous of this. Satan thought that he was the pinnacle of God’s creation. He thought that he was the one who deserved to be given authority and dominion over the other objects of creation. When Paul was instructing Timothy on the qualifications of pastors (1 Tim. 3:6) one of the warnings was that he could be puffed up with pride and fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
The point is; evil hasn’t always been around. Satan’s rebellion against God was the beginning of sin and evil.
And so we have Satan tempting Eve, and there’s some discussion as to whether he transformed into a serpent, or possessed the physical body of a serpent, or if the word “serpent” is just used to describe Satan, but he wasn’t actually a snake. I tend to think it was an actual serpent, possessed by Satan. We see demons enter into a herd of pigs later on in the NT, so that’s not an impossibility. And this is interesting because Adam and Eve had been given dominion over the animals, but here is an animal (albeit possessed by Satan) tempting Adam and Eve to rebel against God. There is also a lot of discussion about the serpents ability to talk. Science will tell you that it’s an impossibility, but science would also say that a donkey couldn’t talk either – but you would never convince Baalam of that. So basically; man failed in his obligation to have dominion, and since that time, cultures all over the world have willingly put themselves under the dominion and authority of the creation by worshiping the things that are created rather than the Creator! I mean, that’s what we see happen all throughout history – the Egyptians worshiped crocodiles and the Nile River, and cats. The Greeks worshiped gods who were created in their own image. Native American’s worshiped the sun and moon, and even coyotes.