Faithlife Sermons

Jesus is Greater than Adam

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Theme: Jesus Understands and Overcomes Temptation. Purpose: To be led by Jesus and not by sin. Gospel Connection: Jesus reverses the problem of sin by His total obedience to the Father. Mission Connection: Growing in Faith that Jesus Understands and overcomes our temptation.

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Genesis 3:1–7 NIV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Introduction: My Temptation with tasting Beer. - We all deal with Temptation, but how do we think about temptation? Do we think of it as just avoiding “bad” stuff? Of not breaking the rules? Are the images we have - Avoiding eating donuts or ice cream?
I am going to suggest that there is something deeper going on with Adam and Eve’s Temptation.

The temptation to mis-trust God’s goodness.

Playing Lawyer.....
God Created everything Good. - Adam, Eve, “All the Trees in the Garden,” including the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and even the Serpent.
Did God Say, “You Shall Not eat from any tree in the Garden?”
God Actually Said, “From every tree of the garden you may freely eat.”
The Woman Said, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat.”
Conclusion: Serpent does not speak a lie, but asks a question that is leading towards questioning if God is Good? And goodness here = no limits.
God Actually Said, “but from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will begin the dying processes.
The Woman Said, “but from the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, God said, “You shall not eat from it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’.”
Serpant = “You shall not surely die right away. For God knows that on the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil.”
Conclusion: The Women is starting to waver in the truth and beginning to see that God has given her limits and that is not good. The language is more drastic, probably for over-protective reasons (God did not say you shall not touch, and he did not say they would drop dead immediately.)
Conclusion = The Serpant seals the deal, by utilizing the truth and inferring ill-intent in the truth. (You will not die right away, in fact you will enjoy this tremendous freedom from God (you might die later, but big deal what’s that compared to the freedom you will experience to be your own person?)
What was chosen was autonomy from God, and the consequence was having to be our own gods creating our own resources from which to live our lives. The only problem is the only resource we can not create or sustain is life.
C.S. Lewis - Peralandria - The tree was something that God intended humans to partake of in order to fulfill their calling as Image Bearers of God,
The Serpant Offered them what they already were but not in their fullest yet, and that is to be like god. But in their development as image bearers of God, they were not ready yet to carry the weight of the responsibility of the tree of Knowledge.
They distrusted the goodness and wisdom of God’s timing, and that obedience to God would bring them to that point -
Picture of Child all grown up, but yet asking their parents for direction.
The more you know, the more you realize that you do not know.
We have a lot of stories like this when we grew up - Certain rated movies, getting our first cell phone, When can I date, etc., etc., etc....
The trap we are now in is that we have become our own little gods, and we are not ready for that. The Good News is that Jesus is greater than Adam and he...

Jesus understands our temptation.

Jump to Jesus. Jesus experienced this same kind of temptation, but in reverse order.
Matthew 26:36–46 NIV
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
In the Wilderness - Satan offered Jesus the Kingdoms of the World. Like the serpant who offered god-likeness to those who already had it, Satan offered the Kingdoms of the World to the one who created the world.
Both Stories are set in a garden.
Adam and Eve were offered something good that if taken would result in death.
Jesus’s temptation is to avoid death with the result of nothing good.
Both are stories that beg the question, “Is God Good?” - Is God good when he sets limits for a season and withholds something good for his perfect timing vs. Is God Good when he would ask his only begotten Son to die a brutal death for all of humanity? Or is God good when he does not withhold his wrath on his only begotten son.
Jesus does something different than Adam and Eve, in his temptation. He goes directly to his Father and asks. “Lord take this Cup from me.” Adam and Eve do not they assume God is holding out on them, they do not go to God.
What do we do in temptation? Do we ask God for help?
This is where Jesus is Greater than Adam, he reverses their temptation.

Jesus overcomes temptation.

There is I believe an intentional contrast between Jesus and his disciples. His disciples are unable to resist the temptation to fall asleep. They represent us.
You may be able to resist that Pizza, or Ice Cream, or binge watching a TV show from time to time, but even when we want to we mis-trust God’s goodness in a million ways and we do not go to him when we are weak.
Jesus is going to his Father and asking, but notice the progression of Jesus’ prayers.
1st Prayer...”My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
It is honest. He tells his Father what He wants, and yet Trusts that what the Father wants is best.
This is agonizing, because if it were us, we would say, “God is only good if he spares Jesus from the Cross.”
2nd, Prayer...”My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will must be done.”
It assumes the Father answered him...”You must die, but you will be saved from death - and many with you.”
Jesus sees His Father’s goodness and resolves himself to His will.
3rd, Prayer…The same as the second, and the Bible has to do everything in threes.
Jesus resisted temptation because he knew an did not stray from his knowledge of God’s Goodness.
Phillippians 2:8-9

8 he humbled himself

by* becoming obedient to the point of death,

that is, death on a cross.

9 Therefore also God exalted him

and graciously granted him the name above every name,

So What does this mean for us that Jesus is Greater than Adam?

Jesus helps us overcome temptation.

- Death came through Adam, but Because Jesus overcame temptation he is righteous and we receive life through him.
Overcoming Weakness - Naomi’s Gethsemane
Reference the Reformed Confessions: The Reformed Confessions are statements of faith written to clarify the Gospel at times when the Church was in crisis. Heidelberg Chatechism: Q&A 5, 7- 17, 127, Belgic Confession: Articles 14-15, 18, 23, 26, 40 Canons of Dort: Head I, Articles 1; Head II, Article 1-2; Head III and IV, Articles 1-4;
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