Faithlife Sermons

The fall and our need for the savior.

Advent 22  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction
Good morning, Lafayette Baptist Family. It’s so good to be with you all today. I hope we all had a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. Our scripture today will Genesis 3, please go ahead and turn in your bible’s to there, Genesis 3. As usual it will be on the screen in a little bit, but please have your bibles open there in case you need to reread anything as we go along.
While you are doing that, I want to share something with you that I got to observe for the first time this past week at every thanksgiving gathering. You will recall how the previous two weeks we talked about how giving thanks was often missing at most “thanksgiving” feasts. That is, our thanks should go to God for not just the meal, but the blessings we have received in the year. This year, it being my first year as a “pastor” something had clearly changed in the room from previous years. That is, even at meals I wouldn’t expect others to pray at, they looked to me (the pastor in the room) for prayer. In fact, it seemed there was always two kinds of people, one kind that didn’t even consider it or even know that it should be done (and then looked up and were like “oh yeah” and quickly stopped what they were doing), and the other side the awkwardly looked towards me and watched my every action before they could “dig in.” Now, one thing to know about my family is that very few of them are believers, and most of those that claim to be are non-practicing Catholics and have been for a long time. So, these aren’t people that you would expect to even think about prayer or giving thanks to God. This reminded me of Romans 1:20 play out which says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” It also remined me of our sermon passage and main idea/title this week which is, The Fall and our need for the savior.
Scripture
Now, before we get started, I want to let you know that today’s scripture passage is longer than usual. So, if you need to sit down and take a break or need to stop and take a breather while we are reading, that’s totally ok, feel free to do so. I usually try to keep our passages to under 13 verses, but in this type of sermon series that is difficult to do, so today we will read through the whole chapter. Before we begin though, let’s pray. Father God, we thank You. We thank you for who You are what You are doing in us and in this place. Refine us Father, refine us with the purity of Your Word. Help us put anything aside that keeps us from hearing whatever it is You are trying to show us this day. Take these words and let them sink deep into ourselves that we know You more and Love You More, it’s in these things I ask and in Jesus Christ’s Holy and precious name that I pray, Amen. Now, if you will please rise for the reading of God’s Word today. 3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LordGod had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the LordGod made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. [1]
Context
We begin this week with an advent series that will carry us through rest of this year. Next week, our text will be from Micah 5, so please go ahead and read this during your personal devotional reading time. Micah 5. Advent is a time of intentional extra study and extra reflection of the coming of The Lord Jesus to the world, which we celebrate on Christmas day. This starts today actually, always starting on the 4th Sunday before Christmas day. I would encourage you all to consider doing something this advent season, Emily and I both are. If you need help finding something, please let me know I’d love to help you find something.
Genesis is an interesting book of the bible. It’s has long believed to have been written (at least recorded, it was probably shared widely by an oral tradition long before it was recorded) by Moses and this is one of the historical books of the Hebrew People, the Christian People, and even the entirety of mankind, as it goes back to beginning of days. Our passage this week starts very far back, in among the front pages of your bible because it is near the beginning of the history of mankind. This being only the third chapter of the Bible, the previous chapters contain the Creation account of God creating everything. We even saw the description of the creation of earliest ancestors, Adam and Eve, and a little bit of info of what they did in their first days. In this chapter, we see the single greatest tragedy of mankind, that is, the fall of man because of sin entering us and into the world. So, as you are following this week, there is tragedy yes, but I also challenge you to find the good, which seems to always be with God sharing pieces of His plan for redemption through history. With that in mind, let’s look deep in this week’s text.
Message
Our first point, God is like nothing else
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LordGod had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
Here we begin with the first temptation, the first fall into the temptation, and ultimately the first sin. Here, “The tempter appears in this narrative as a serpent. The fact that Genesis says that the temptation came through a serpent, and that Rev 12:7 and 20:2 refer to the devil as a serpent, would suggest that Satan used the form of an actual reptile.”[2]So, the serpent was Satan himself. One very interesting thing is that Satan began his trickery with a question, approaching Eve, and asked the question, Did God actually say…… We know through Genesis 2, starting in verse 17 that the command was, let me read it for you, 6 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[d] of it you shall surely die.” However, Eve added to it saying, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Close, but you added to it Eve. Which means that either Adam had told her what God had done wrong or she wrongly applied God’s words or even added to them. Either way, we are in a situation where the understanding was wrong. The Serpent then uses this to say… but if you did this…. You would become like God…… This isn’t true, it was a deception, Adam and Eve partook and only gained the tiniest sliver of a piece of some of what God know. In this case, the difference between good and evil. Instantly, they realized something, that they were naked and that this was bad. The commentator Ross said of this that, “Their nakedness represented the fact that they were oblivious to evil, not knowing where the traps lay, whereas Satan did and would use his craftiness to take advantage of their integrity.”[3]They then took to covering themselves, they couldn’t imagine coming before God in this state, not just nakedness but knowing the difference between good and evil. They wanted to become like God, but all they did was realize that nothing and no one is like Him.
A second point, God calls to His creation
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Then at that time, Adam and Eve’s worst fear must have come true, God was near them and they thought they needed to hide. Now, make no mistake, God called out to the man, Adam, looking for him, but He knew where he was. God knows everything at all times, rather God was giving them the opportunity to come to Him after calling to them. Adam then explains to God what had happened (granted again He already knew and He knew who told them about their shame). Then something jaw dropping happened, that had never happened before in mankind’s history. Blame and blame shifting happened. This of course is the newly given “sin-nature” playing out in these two. First, Adam blamed His wife and GOD about what had happened. Then the woman blamed the serpent. Make no mistake, this was all of their fault. All of them had rebellion within them against God. Both Adam and Eve had the opportunity to not partake of the fruit, but both of them did. This was the fall of man, the coming of sin, which is rebellion or opposition to God. They knew what they were supposed to do, but for whatever reason they didn’t trust God and took matters into their own hands, which doesn’t work out well for them. This is much like us, through God’s various revelations to us, we know what it is we are supposed to do. However, we want to take things into our own hands and do as we please, favoring our own wants and flesh. God though, calls out to us, working, putting the plans in motion Himself, out of love, that we can be restored and redeemed. What He calls us to do, at all times in our lives, not just on conversion, is to repent from our rebellions and believe in the Lord Jesus for this.
The next point, God speaks His plan
14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
God then address the Serpent, the Man, and the Woman. Now, I’ve often heard this referred to as the curse, and yes there is. But, if you look deeply, you will find something sweet and profound, already God has the foreknowledge and plan for redemption of Man and the World and He is putting it into place. The Serpent eats the dust, it is made low and will be defeated (he is being used as tool for God’s redemption). How powerful is God then? That he would use His adversary to do the good that He is enacting here? War is proclaimed between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. It is the fruit of this enmity, that there is a continual warfare between grace and corruption, in the hearts of God’s people. [4] On that note, here comes one of the great early foreshadowing’s of the coming of Jesus Christ the righteous. God says Satan would cripple mankind (you will strikeat his heel), but the Seed, Christ, would deliver the fatal blow (He will crush your head).[5]God is saying here, you will take all you can get from mankind, but The Son of Man (Jesus) is coming and He will destroy You that may people will be redeemed and not suffer the fate that you have lured them into.
Now, because of sin and even with being redeemed, there are consequences to our actions. For Adam and Eve, childbearing became difficult and work (which had previously been a joy) become hard, and the life we live in the flesh became temporary. From there and for now on, mankind will die, something we all suffer today because of sin. However, with God and through faith in Jesus Christ we get to live for eternity in fellowship and worship to God our Father.
Another point, God covers us
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. [6]
Then, something even more unexpected happened. You could only imagine that if you were in Adam and Eve’s shoes that you would only know God’s wrath from then on out. Instead, He shows them mercy. He clothes them, He gives the first animal sacrifice to cover sin. Isn’t that a thought, many take pride in their clothes and how they look today, the great theologian Henry said though, “Clothes came in with sin. Little reason have we to be proud of our clothes, which are but the badges of our shame.”[7] God covered Adam and Eve’s shame of sin, and protected them from doing even worse, by putting them out the garden, it wasn’t a cruel punishment. Actually, it was a mercy as God did not want them to have live forever in this different and newly cruel world that had sin in it, He gave them the opportunity to return to perfection and fellowship with Him, which could then no longer be during their flesh lives. So, He made it impossible for them to take of the tree and life. This was a great mercy, the animal sacrifice (that would go on in Jewish custom and would be active until Christ’s final and complete sacrifice on the cross) covered their sin. It would also be a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ coming and being sacrificed as a lamb to the slaughter, a slaughter than need not have happed except for our own rebellion to God, our sin, which all of mankind has. Thank you lord for providing the way for us and the way for all of those before us.
Conclusion
Brothers and sisters, as we enter this advent, this Christmas season remember these things. Remember that God is like nothing else. No matter how much things or people try to be, He is so much greater. Know that God calls to His creation, God calls to us for relationship and to be made whole. Yes, we are made new and whole on conversion, but He calls us deeper and deeper into relationship through our lives. See in this section that God speaks His plan, He has a plan for our lives, He has a plan for redemption. Look for little snippets and illustrations towards this in your personal bible study. Know that no matter what, no matter how bad your sin or rebellion is, that if you are in Christ and have put your faith in Him then God covers us. All of this chapter tells us, and everything we ever come across will in some way tell us of The Fall and our need for the savior.
This is true for all, and if you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, I invite you today. You heard of the fall of man today, and you heard of our need for the savior. I tell you, that what you need for the redemption that you know you need in your heart, is only found through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to atone or pay for your sins. Accept this today, God is welcoming you in.
As we conclude today, I want to say that I love you all. Now, if you have anything you want to talk about, or questions, or need prayer, during our last song I will be up here. Come if you feel called. Let’s pray. Father, Thank You. Thank you for your plan and work of salvation. You made a payment that we could never come close to. We thank You that in some small way you have worked this in for each and every one of us. I pray that if anyone needs to receive The Lord Jesus today, that they would come forward. I also pray that we all come to know and love You more and more that we might be used in some small way in other people’s redemptions stories. It’s in these things that I ask and in Jesus Christ’s Holy and Precious name that I pray, Amen.
[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, 2016, p. Ge 3:1–24. [2]Ross, Allen, and John N. Oswalt. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Genesis, Exodus. Tyndale House Publishers, 2008, p. 49. [3]Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, edited by J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1, Victor Books, 1985, p. 32. [4]Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Logos Research Systems, 1997, p. Ge 3:14. [5]Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, edited by J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1, Victor Books, 1985, p. 33. [6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, 2016, p. Ge 3:1–24. [7]Henry, Matthew, and Thomas Scott. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary. Logos Research Systems, 1997, p. Ge 3:20.
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