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Responding to Regret / Genesis 3:8-15

Genesis: The Essence of Everything  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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After we sin, how should we respond? Today's passage gives us three steps to stop the cycle of sinning.

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After you sin, how do you respond?
When I was in high school, my girlfriend noticed something on my phone that made me ashamed and made her mad! Now, back then, this wasn’t a unique occurence. But what was unique, is the fact that getting caught happened just before a church youth conference. I walked into the sanctuary full of shame.
Towards the end of the message, I felt convicted, cried, and vowed to my girlfriend and God that I will not do that sin again!
But lo and behold, that struggle continued to be a battle that brought me much shame and confusion.
In tonight’s final message from the book of Genesis, we meet Adam and Eve in a state of shame after sin. Their response to regret only added to their problems. But through God’s mercy, we can learn what to do when we’re ashamed of what we’ve done.

Come out of hiding.

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.
Believer: When you fall into regret, it is tempting to think that God will walk away from you. But here, God is depicted as walking towards Adam and Eve in the midst of their hiding and shame.
The cool of the day indicates that it is evening. As a reflection of their hiding, the garden is literally dark. Though they attempted to cover themselves in fig leaves, they still felt ashamed for God to find them, so they hid in the trees.
In the creation story, God gave trees to them as a source of life and happiness. But now they use them to hide from the loving creator.
What tree’s are you hiding behind? Do you think good works can cover up your broken state? Do you think distracting yourself on social media can distract God from seeking you? We hide behind trees to avoid God. But Jesus hung on a tree to bring us back to God.
God seeks us even when we attempt to avoid him. Though he had patience enough to let them go a full day after sinning, he did not let them go to sleep wondering whether or not he will forgive. He came to them in the darkness of the night.
He not only comes to them, he calls for them.
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.”
God did not ask Adam where he is hiding because he didn’t know. God asked Adam to provide an opportunity to take the first step out of hiding back into his presence. And Adam’s response to his question exposes the motive that made him hide from God in the first place, he was afraid of God.
When you get caught, it may seem like a bad thing. But God can use that moment as a good situation to find healing faster.
However, even better than being caught, you can come out of hiding. Pay attention for when God provides opportunity for you to find that freedom.
Some of us may not want to come out of hiding, because like Adam, we are afraid of God.
1 John explains how to be set free from this condition of fear,
1 John 4:16-18 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
Because Jesus hung on a tree. You no longer need to hide behind yours.
Come out of hiding, back into the presence of God.
next...

Come clean through confessing.

11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
The fall happened in the following order: Satan - Eve - Adam. God’s accountability is going to happen in the reverse order: Adam - Eve - Satan. Why? Eve was the one who was deceived by Satan. Eve was the one who had a conversation with darkness. Eve was the one who gave the fruit to Adam. It seems like Adam did nothing! And that’s the problem, Adam did nothing.
Adam was created to protect, serve, and guide creation. Instead he stood by and watched the spark of the destruction of everything beautiful.
Some of our primary problems are not we do, but what we don’t do.
Your guy friends make an inappropriate comment about your sister in Christ, and you do nothing.
We see a student being bullied because of how they look and we do nothing.
We know the world doesn’t know the good news of the gospel and we say nothing.
Sadly for Adam, worse than using his words for nothing, he uses his words to blame.
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.”
Eve blames the serpent. Adam blames eve. And Adam blames God!
What has God done? He’s given Adam responsibility. He’s given Adam food and friendship. And he’s even given Adam a beautiful wife! Now God uses all of these blessings to blame God.
(If Adam can blame God for the fall, do not be surprised when people blame you for things you did not do.)
Don’t we do the same?
If a fish bites on a lure. Who is to blame? The fisherman for his hunger or the fish for its hunger? Likely the fisherman. But if the fish bites on the same lure a second time, then I think we’re safe to say that it is the fishes fault.
When it comes to sin. James explains that there are times when we are both the fisherman and the fish!
James 1:13-15 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
In our social media age, I hear people justify broken behavior because of how they were treated by broken people. Here is the argument, “because I was wronged, that is why I do wrong.” This logic comes from an assumption that if it wasn’t for external people and things tripping us up, we’d be just fine. However, the bible frees us from this lie by explaining that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are all broken, not only because of evil done to us, but because of sin within us.
Thankfully, God came to us with a unique heart. Instead of him wronging us, because we wronged him. He loved us, so we can love him.
So you can come clean through confession, because God came to you in grace.

Become whole through believing.

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.”
The enemy and Eve collaborated to rebel against God. But in verse 15 God exposes him as the enemy and humans as the ally.
One day, an offspring would come from the woman (apart from the man) who would crush the enemy’s head.
Amazingly however, this offspring’s heel would be wounded by the snake.
In the middle east, snakes are venomous. A bite in the heel, the only area a snake has access to, would surely mean death. So how is victory possible?
When Jesus became a man through the virgin birth, he exposed himself to the possibility of death. And die he did. But a mystery happened during his supposed defeat…
Hebrews 2:14-15 “he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
When Jesus’ heel, took the first step out of the grave, he destroyed death. He crushed the serpents head.
And through him, we who believe can also have victory.
Romans 16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
When you trust in Jesus, his victory becomes yours.
Long quote from “Saturate” 60-61.
God seeks you with a heart of grace. Come out of hiding. Confess. Believe in his love.
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