Summary: A look at the reason for Christmas and why Christmas is necessary.
“The Reason for Christmas”
Introduction: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
I. The Crime of Vengeance
The Trap is Set (1-3)
• Eve is approached by a serpent, but this serpent was in fact Satan. Many times temptation comes in disguise.
• The serpent asked, Are you sure that’s what God said? Are you certain that is what he meant? Eve knew full well what the commandment from God was but had a seed of doubt planted in her mind and that was all the opening Satan needed.
• “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” of course not. In fact, he said that Adam and Eve could eat from any tree of the garden- except the one. Satan twists what God said. He takes one restriction, placed on us for our good, and makes God seem like the bad guy.
The Target is Secured (4-5)
• Satan attacked Eve’s mind and succeeded in deceiving her. In a sense Satan was attacking God since mankind is made in God’s image. Satan lied.
• Satan downplays God’s command. You surely will not die.
The Tragedy is Sealed (6)
• Eve is totally deceived. The lust of the flesh (good for food), The lust of the eyes (Pleasant to the eyes) and the pride of life (makes one wise) pushes her to the point of no return. She ate and then gave to Adam and he ate.
• As long as the mind holds to God’s truth, Satan cannot win; but once the mind doubts God’s Word, there is room for Satan to move in. Satan questioned God’s Word (v1), denied God’s Word (v4) and then substituted his own lies (v5). Satan undermined Eve’s faith by suggesting that God was being mean to them by keeping them from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, “You will be like God.”
II. The Cover-up from View
The Sorrow of Sin (7)
• Adam and Eve immediately lost that sense of innocence and replaced it with a sense of guilt. They attempted to hide their nakedness with their own works.
The Shame in Sin (8)
• Adam and Eve lost the desire to fellowship with God. When they heard God in the Garden they hid from his presence. The guilt, fear and shame had broken the relationship that they had enjoyed up to this time.
The Seeking by God (9-10)
• “Where are you?” was not a question God asked for his information but instead a question so Adam and Eve could understand and realize what they had done.
• “I was afraid” was the response that Adam gave God. Because of the guilt that Adam felt he had tried to hide from God. His guilt had separated him from the same God that he had been close to before this point.
III. The Confrontation of the Victims
The Enquiry of the Lord (11)
• Adam and Eve knew they had rebelled. And they knew there must be consequences. But instead of repentance, their response was one of pushing blame from themselves.
The Excuse of Adam (12)
• First, Adam points his finger at God: “The woman whom you gave me made me do it.” At the same time, he also shifts the blame onto his wife: “The woman whom you gave me made me do it.” Ultimately even in the midst of blaming others for failure we must accept responsibility for our own actions.