2014 Sermon Series
- January 19, 2014
The Beginning of Sin and Redemption.
Temptation (verses 1-7)
The word “you” is plural throughout verses 2-4. This was a mutual temptation for both the man and the woman. The Fall occurred partially because Adam was not the proper lead of his wife. He left her unprotected to Satan’s first attack on the home which God had created. Families rise and fall on leadership.
Satan, a formerly angelic spirit, indwelt an attractive beast. This was a non-reptilian beast that didn’t creep but walked, and spoke in an alluring hiss. Satan tempted the spiritual through the physical, as G. Campbell Morgan notes.
In this exchange, we see the beginning of fear replacing faith. These cannot co-exist; they are “eternally antagonistic. Either can only flourish at the expense of the other. So long as faith was the master principle of life, there was no room for fear” (Evans). Satan gets Eve to operate on emotion, and as a result, question the goodness of God, His character and purposes. This often happens when we have stopped being thankful. With all of Eden’s perfection around them, Adam and Eve let Satan distract them with 1 thing.
Eve entered a dialogue with death that never should have continued past the first words. In choosing to follow Satan’s urging, Adam and Eve made a self-declaration of autonomy from their Creator. Gerhard von Rad said that “the serpent holds out the independence that enables man to decide for himself what will help him or hurt him. God had provided what was good for man and had given him complete security, but now man will go beyond this to decide for himself.”
Condemnation (verses 8-19)
God’s pursuit of Adam and Eve is not vengeful. He walks in the garden just like He did every other day and lovingly pursues his fallen children. Already, we see that God desires to bring the lost back to Himself. God’s questions are not sarcastic but are meant to expose the problem and lead Adam and Eve to repentance.
God’s response shows his mercy and love yet justice all at once. The beast is cursed to become a serpent. The fearfully fascinating snake remains a reminder to us of God’s holiness. What women adore most now gives them the most pain through childbearing, child-rearing, or the inability to have children. Work which man loved to do became agony.
Immediately after sin entered the world, God had a plan to redeem His creation. The first prophecy of Christ comes in 3:15. The word “seed” here appears in the feminine form, a direct reference to Jesus’ birth of the virgin Mary. God declares that Satan’s head will be crushed, and victory is already claimed.
Transition (verses 20-24)
The entrance of sin thoroughly changed the world, and we see Adam and Eve beginning to adjust. The woman is given a name that means the mother of all the living. God provides clothing, a full covering that reminds us that our sins are fully atoned for in Christ. Humans have to live in a new environment, apart from the perfection they formerly enjoyed. God sets an angel to block the way to the tree of life so they would not remain in sin forever – but He did not block the way to His Son.
Eight out of ten times, we will not be tempted with something evil, but to love a good thing more than God. Temptation is anything that distracts us from Jesus as the primary lover of your soul. What do you find distracting you right now? What will you do to return to Christ who truly can satisfy?
Do you find yourself questioning God’s goodness? If so, chances are you have ceased being thankful. The solution is simple! Instead of focusing on what is wrong in your life, dwell on the myriad of blessings God has given you. Exercise your mind and train it to be thankful. Here’s one way to start: make a list of God’s gifts in your life, and add to it a little every day!
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 – Satan deceived Eve by his craftiness.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Be thankful!
- Philippians 1, Ephesians 1, James 1:17, 2 Corinthians 4:17 – Our blessings far outweigh our trials.
- 1 John 4:19 – God pursues us even in our sin.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Grace Is Flowing”
Grace is flowing like a river
From the mount of Calvary.
Look to Jesus Christ the Giver;
He from sin can set you free.
Grace is flowing like a river;
Millions there have been supplied.
Still it flows as fresh as ever
From the Savior’s wounded side.
Heaven’s fountain ever floweth;
All our need has been supplied.
Taste His love receive His mercy;
No one yet has been denied.
Through the blood of Christ forgiven,
Dry the tears from every face.
Through His cross an heir of Heaven,
Evermore a child of grace.
Come to Jesus, weary sinner;
Calvary’s river flows today.
All who plunge beneath that fountain
Wash their guilty stains away.
Quotes to Ponder
Satan’s method of attacking the goodness of God was simply making Him look like fiend rather than a friend, by exaggerating His prohibition and calling into question His goodness. –C.S. Lewis