Summary: This sermon is applicable to both believers and non-believers in developing their awareness of the need to Believe what God has said ... and calling them to accountability in their position before God or their walk with Him. It can be lengthy -- but tail
THE FIRST TWO QUESTIONS OF THE BIBLE ARE STILL THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR TODAY
This past week, as we have watched events unfold following the horrific, unimaginable horror of Hurricane Katrina, we hear a lot of questions.
Ø Most of those questions need to be asked, and certainly some of those questions need to be answered – that is to say not only do the victims need answers but the public at large needs to know what did and did not happen.
Ø I do want to caution you – don’t believe everything that you hear. Much of it has a political agenda.
Life is often defined by the questions we ask. By that I mean that the questions we are asking often reveal what we are thinking – or the direction we are going.
Perhaps today you come here with some burning questions – questions that should you find the answer might change your whole direction in life. I wish I could say today that I hold all of the answers to your questions. I do not.
Ø But I will say, I love it (most of the time) when people are asking questions, because it shows that they have been thinking and are inquisitive.
Ø It isn’t so great sometimes, when the questions have more of an accusatory tone. Often criticisms are hidden in “trick questions …”
§ Illus: “Why are those limbs still piled up out there?”
§ Illus: “What happened to our Baptist Hymnals”
Well, today I want us to look at the first two questions of the Bible. For in those two questions we find BOTH all the problems of this age – and the problems of your life today? That is to say, when we find the answers to these two questions, we will find the answers to most of the questions of life.
Text: We will find those two questions in our text today – Genesis 3:1-9
1. “Has God indeed said…” or perhaps we can understand it more clearly “Did God really say…”
2. “WHERE ARE YOU?”
So I want us to take those two questions today and see for ourselves that these same two questions today are at the forefront of all of history?
I. DID GOD REALLY SAY…
1. Lest we miss what really happened here in the garden – God’s creation of beauty and perfection – we need to understand the one who was behind man’s fall.
2. God is not the author of sin, nor does He tempt people to sin; this is the work of the devil James 1:12 - 15 (NKJV) 12Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
We already know from scripture that Satan fell into sin prior to the work of God beginning in Gen. 1:3ff. (the creation of light on the first day of creation).
Ø He was a beautiful angel originally, rejoicing at God’s Creation (Job 38:4-7),
Ø but he sinned and was judged by God (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19).
Ø Note that Satan came to Eve in the guise of a serpent, for he is a masquerader and seldom appears to people in his true character.
o Here In Gen. 3, Satan is the serpent who deceives ;
o in Gen. 4, he is the liar that murders (John 8:44).
John 8:44 (NKJV) 44You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Ø We must take care to avoid his deceptive ways.
3. The very first way Satan attacked the mind of man, is still his favorite tactic today: “Did God really say…”
1) When Eve began to doubt what God had said, or more specifically, when she began to question if He really meant it – Satan had his foot in the door.
2) At the heart of the great moral questions of today – is the challenge to what God has said. (for it is most often NOT that we do not know what God has said, but rather that we do not want to accept that He meant it!)