Welcome to Living Hope!
We are working our way through the statement of faith.
Today the third point, which says:
/That the first man, Adam, was created by God in His image, but fell from his original state by sinning against God, and hence incurred upon himself and all his posterity the guilt of sin, condemnation, and death; therefore, all humans are in need of salvation, but are totally incapable of saving themselves./
Again, how can one possible do a whole message on this or even two or three?
So like the other messages, we will just consider aspects of this point as we look at Genesis 3 today and next week.
This past week, you may have heard the latest news about actor Charlie Sheen.
In 2010, he was the highest paid actor on TV, making close to 2 million dollars per episode for the CBS sitcom /Two and a Half Men.**/ Unfortunately, his acting skills are not why people talk about him.
He has a plethora of personal problems.
Sheen has a history of being in and out of rehab, being addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling and sex.
He’s been arrested several times.
He’s been accused of domestic violence as well.
Sheen has also been married three times, with five children from these relationships.
His recent divorce is to be finalized this May.
Currently, he is living with two women, whom he calls “goddesses,” along with two small children from his previous marriage.
At one point, he boasted of having slept with over 5,000 women.
Recently, while he was in rehab again, he bad-mouthed his boss.
CBS subsequently canceled the show.
Then all of a sudden, Sheen started doing interviews on every channel.
And all of America started watching and social media began buzzing.
In fact, /USA Today/ notes that the unemployed Charlie Sheen started a twitter account on March 1 and reached 1 million followers in a day, setting the record for the fastest to make it to one million followers.
Sheen says he hopes to make a lot of money from this “cash cow.”
People were diagnosing him as bi-polar, to which he strangely replied, “I’m not bi-popular, I’m bi-winning.”
He also said he was special, like a rock star from Mars.
Sheen says he’s got magic, poetry in his fingertips and like an F-18 fighter jet, he will destroy you in the air.
So how did America respond to Charlie Sheen’s interviews?
Were we loving, tolerant and “if it works for Charlie, it’s ok?” Actually we responded in two ways: mockery and judgment.
People had a field day with how eccentric he was.
Whether it was social media or late night talk shows, it made for great entertainment.
I must admit I joined in with everyone else.
I watched one interview this past week and afterward it made me think, “Why am I so fascinated with this?”
Why is America so fascinated?
To be honest, I loved the fact that here was a celebrity who has it all and now has lost his mind.
And I am thinking to myself, “At least I’m not that bad.”
Or am I?
Here I am, sitting on my couch, with my remote control in my hand, watching this guy’s life fall apart and I’m tweeting and “facebooking” about it.
I’m finding humor in someone’s deep brokenness.
Why are we like that?
It makes me wonder, who’s worse in this situation?
Is it Sheen or the judging mockers?
One believer wrote on his blog, “Resist the urge to think or say ‘I would never do that.’
Do you know what it is like to have been a celebrity from the age of 18? Do you know what it’s like to have multi-millions in the bank and have thousands of women make themselves available to you? Resist the idea that you are somehow better.
If any of our lives were on display in front of the entire country, minus the Grace of God, we would all be in trouble.
We are all more broken (than we dare admit).”
We are all more broken than we dare to admit.
Minus the grace of God, I am Charlie Sheen, if not worse.
Today I want to look at how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place.
How did we become so addictive?
Like in the video we saw last week, how did we become so insane?
You know, doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results?
What is so twisted about us that we can find humor in other’s brokenness?
Let’s look open to Genesis 3 and look into the heart of our fallenness and what God did to save us from ourselves.
The sequence of sin (Gen.
As we pick up the story in Genesis 3, we know so far that God has made everything and He says it is good.
The only time God says it is not good is when God sees Adam as being alone and creates Eve (Gen.
Again, God says, “It is not good.”
So immediately you are told that /God is the only one who knows ultimately what is good and what is not good for us/.
This is important because that is precisely what Satan will attack in Genesis 3.
Genesis 2 ends with Adam and Eve living without guilt and shame, enjoying God’s creation and ruling together over it.
They are experiencing oneness with each other.
God had given them maximum freedom and dominion in the earth.
They were to enjoy it all because in doing so, they were worshipping God, the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).
They were to enjoy everything, but God made sure they realized that they were simply creatures, not the Creator.
Out of the entire created order, only mankind had the potential of crossing moral boundaries.
Freedom can only be maximized if you know where the boundaries are.
A fish is not meant to cross the boundaries of the water, but inside the water, it can maximize its freedom.
Outside the water, it is not freedom, but death.
So God establishes a boundary for Adam, which was one tree (Gen.
God gives him the choice of trusting His Word or not.
And out of God’s goodness, He also warns him of the consequences: “you will surely die.”
Notice I said ruling /over /the creation.
God had instructed man to name the animals (Gen.
To give someone a name is to exercise authority over them.
Adam even names the woman “Woman” which means “out of man.”
By the way, did you know that Eve was first called woman before she was called Eve?
I tell you this because God’s created order is about to get all twisted and end up in chaos in a second.
Let’s get into the text.
Take note that the sequence of sin begins with:
/a) Doubting God’s Word /
Moses in writing this tells us that a serpent slithered his way into the garden.
We know from other Scriptures that this was actually Satan (2 Cor.
11:3, Rev. 12:9).
He had already fallen from heaven with a third of the angels (Is.
He was allowed to enter this snake and control it to disrupt God’s order.
When it says “more crafty,” it is not a negative term.
The word has the idea of being wary and of knowing when dangers lurk.
Perhaps this is why Satan chose this animal.
Moses tells us that this animal is not the opposite of God, but created by God.
Immediately we see that God is sovereign.
Satan is not the opposite of God (like dual forces of good and evil) and still under God’s sovereignty.
Notice what happens next.
The first words out of his mouth are “Did God really say?” Now we are not told if he tumbled out of a tree or if was standing upright or had a lisp or anything.
We can imagine, but the point of the text is that his modus operandi is to attack God’s Word.
By the way, it should have been a red light to Eve when the snake started talking.