The message of the Bible 3 The Fall
: The message of the Bible.
Part 3 – The Fall
20 May 2007
Tragic events can shatter people’s world. On August 31, 1997 the world stopped as broadcasts were interrupted to announce that Princess Diana Spencer had died in France. They called her the Queen of hearts, loved by millions across the world for her humanitarian efforts, grace and beauty. She sustained mortal injuries as a result of a car crash brought on by being chased by the paparazzi. She and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed perished.
The world asked the question. Why? Why did this 37 year old princess and mother of two die?
Dodi’s father asked the same question and believes there was a conspiracy. An official UK police inquiry into the Paris car crash which killed Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed has found no evidence the couple were murdered. Lord Stevens, who led the three-year investigation, said the 1997 crash was a "tragic accident". The inquiry report said chauffeur Henri Paul, who also died, was speeding and over the legal drink-drive limit. When tragic events like this happen we all ask why? We need answers to understand and come to terms with our grief and loss.
Our world is full of tragedy; violence, murder, abduction, assault, suicide, war, death. The news is full of it and we ask why? The Bible gives us the answer in Gen 3. In Genesis 3 we see the unfolding of a tragic event that has shattered the world to this day.
If we miss this major point in the big story of the Bible you miss the whole point of the Bible. This is foundational in understanding the world around us.
: 1. The corruption of the fall.
Genesis 1 and 2 tell us God created the world and looked at it and said this is good. After looking at the man and woman he made he declared, this is very good.
But when we get to chapter three. Something tragic happens. To understand it you’ve got to go back to Genesis 2:15-17
: 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
There were, in fact, two special trees in the middle of that garden; the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Out of all the trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food God said “you are free to eat from any tree, except one”; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because if you do you will die. Was the tree poisonous? Probably not. Did the tree have supernatural magical powers? Probably not. God laid down one rule to see if Adam and Eve would love Him enough to obey. He created Adam and Eve, and you and I with free will; a will to choose to obey, to choose to love Him.
What were the events then on that tragic day? What happened?
A serpent speaks to Eve.
Read Genesis 3:1
When you read ‘serpent’ – must understand this refers to Satan; a fallen and corrupted angel. Jesus spoke of him as a real personal force of evil. A murder, a liar, a deceiver. He too was created good but was cast out of heaven because he wanted to be God.
God said of him in Isaiah 14:13-14
: 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
In Isaiah 14:12 God says.
12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
God cast him out of heaven. Here in the garden he comes to weave his web of lies and deceit to tempt Adam and Eve to do what he did; try to become like God. It’s fitting that he spoke through the serpent, a poisonous killer. The fact that the serpent spoke makes some people think this is myth. But whether the serpent was supernaturally able to speak or spoke silently into Eve’s conscience, the power behind the serpent was Satan. In the NT we see Satan’s demonic forces at work in pigs, possessing people and giving supernatural strength. Bible says that Satan is still a personal force of evil today. He still tempts.
Look carefully at
: Satan’s strategy.
: First Satan sows doubt,
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
Notice he exaggerates the negative. God only said you must not eat from one tree.
Whenever Satan tempts you today, he’ll sow doubt. He’ll whisper into your heart “God can’t be trusted. God can’t really help you. There are too many rules when it comes to following Jesus. You will loose out if you obey God here”
: Next Satan moves to denial.
The woman said, if we eat from this tree God said, “You will die.”
How does Satan respond?
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 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.”
No, No, No it’s not that bad. If you eat this just the opposite will happen, your life will be fuller, richer, more satisfied, in fact you will be like God. You will know good and evil.
He denied the reality of death. He painted the picture of how good eating this fruit could be.
This is what Satan does today. He whispers, if you just do this little wrong thing, you will be really happy. If you steal this money imagine what you could do. If you have sex with this person outside of marriage, imagine how fulfilled you’ll be. Don’t deny your longings, fulfill them now. Don’t worry about the consequences. The tragedy of that first temptation has been repeated daily ever since.
: The final step Satan led them into was deception.
Eve and Adam were completely deceived.
Genesis 3:6 (NIV)
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
She saw that it was desirable, it could give her instant wisdom, so she took it and ate, then gave it to Adam who was there and he ate.
This act in essence was saying to God, “we know better than you”.
We don’t need to follow your command. We want to be like you.
They were in fact rejecting God as King and Lord over their lives.
Isn’t that what people are still doing today. No they may not be murderers, or thieves. They may not commit adultery. They may seem like very good citizens.
:But the core of sin is this:
:To say to God “I reject you as my Lord and King”. I reject your commands.
I want to make decisions for myself without you.”
That’s like saying “I want to be God”. That is sin.
That one event in the beginning has infected all people throughout time. Adam’s state of sin has been passed on to every sin person on planet earth. This curse of sin is in our DNA.
: Romans 3:23 tells us…
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
All of us have sinned. All of us have fallen short of God’s perfect requirements.
But how bad was Adam and Eve’s fall? How far has their sin infected the human race? And what were the consequences of the fall.
: 2. The consequences of the fall.
The consequences of the fall were far reaching. When people reject God’s they don’t just break his commands, they end up breaking themselves against his commands.
Let’s look briefly at the consequences
: a) Adam and Eve experience guilt and shame.
Their eyes were opened. They realized their nakedness and because of their guilt, they hid.
Whenever people’s sins are uncovered they feel guilt and shame.
Jumpers pulled over heads as they leave court. Cover their faces. They go into hiding. Why? Guilt and shame. It’s the result of sin. Listen how people will cope with their guilt on judgment day.
: Revelation 6:15
15 … the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:15-17
Because of their guilt and shame.
: b) Everything was cursed.
The serpent was cursed. He would now crawl in the dust and be hated.
The woman experienced the curse of incredible pain in child bearing.
The earth itself was cursed with weeds. Adam could no longer work it with ease.
Now work would become hard, toilsome, tiring and painful.
: The greatest curse of all – death.
Immortality now was lost. Mankind’s sin was mortal.
: for dust you are and to dust you will return
The possibility of eternal life and fellowship with God was lost completely.
God banished them from His Garden so that they would not eat of the tree of life and forever live in this accursed state. So critical was this that God, in his grace, set an angelic guard to protect them from eating this tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
Now creation itself was thrown into chaos. Mankind’s disobedience has cursed everything.
Why do bad things happen? Because this world has been broken by the fall of mankind.
Adam sinned and the curse of it has infected all of us.
:How has the fall impacted you and me?
The fall is our darkest hour. It’s hard for us to understand just how severe the fall was.
The fall of mankind hasn’t just infected us a little, hasn’t left us spiritually crippled.
:It has completely and totally defiled us in God’s sight. Remember God’s standard of purity is perfection. He is completely holy. Any sin violates him completely.
Adam’s sin violated God and completely separated him and us from God. We’re not spiritually crippled. In God’s eyes we are spiritually dead.
Romans puts it this way.
: Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV)
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.
We’re not just sick, we’re dead in our sins. We can’t save ourselves.
Psalm 14:1-3 (NIV) describes our condition this way.
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Even our very best deeds have been corrupted by sin. You know that. You do good and the next minute you do bad. Sometimes even your good is tainted by wrong motives. The more you are alert to God’s standard the more you see your sin. The fall was our darkest hour. But God in his amazing grace and love provided cleansing.
: 3. The cleansing for the fall.
God knew that Adam and Eve were now completely spiritual defiled. Their sin had separated them from him. What did he do?
: Genesis 3:21 (NIV)
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
He covered their shame. He clothed them. But he did it with animal skin. It wasn’t just a covering of nakedness; it was a covering for sin. As we later see, an animal needed to die. Sin had to be paid for.
: God paid for their sin by shedding the life blood of an animal.
But he did more. He promised that one day a Saviour would come. He said to the serpent who was Satan.
Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
: 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.
God fulfilled that promise. He made a way for the curse of sin to be lifted. He sent Jesus to pay the curse for us. Deut says cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree.
Jesus Christ was lifted up on a wooden cross, the timber of a tree. He perfectly obeyed God. He never sinned. He became the second Adam and resisted the temptation of Satan in the desert. He perfectly obeyed and then gave his life to pay for sin. He atoned for sin once for all to bring you back to God.
Yes Satan struck him through his suffering and death, but Jesus crushed Satan’s power by rising from death and conquering the grave.
Where once we were banished from the garden, condemned by sin, the Bible now declares emphatically,
: Romans 8:1-4 (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
: Through Jesus Christ, the Saviour, you can be cleansed.
: You can be forgiven.
God says without my forgiveness you are dead in your sins. Your fate will be eternal separation from me. But God says to you, I have the power to cleanse you, renew you and make you spiritually alive. I can declare you pure and right with me. I can lift sin’s eternal curse from you. I have promised that your mortality will be swallowed up by immortality.
You can receive the free gift of eternal life.
But there one thing you must do. Lay aside your pride. Agree with me that you have sinned and receive Jesus Christ my son as your Saviour and Lord.
Believe that Jesus carried sin’s curse for you and you will be saved. Free from condemnation.
Church this is the message we must proclaim. This is God’s truth. Take it to the world.
Tell them Jesus Christ saves.