Let's pray this morning.
Jesus Joy has come to the world because you came you not only came but you're coming again. So I pray to God that we would learn more even more. about why you came and why you're returning to learn more about the
bad news of our sin in the good news of your grace.
very aware of the Brokenness of our bodies with our loved ones who are not with us this morning because there is still Pray, that would also be very aware of the healing and the grace that you pour out so freely you proved it by coming Jesus and we hope in your return to finish the work you began. Let me know that you finish everything that you start. So thank you for the joy that we can experience right now and the joy that is to come and your name we do pray.
Joy to the World the Lord is come let Earth receive her King let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing Joy to the Earth the Savior Reigns, let men their songs employee while fields and floods Rock Hill Rocks Hills and plains repeat the sounding Joy No More let sins and Sorrows grow North Thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found in our first week. We learned that this him this Christmas him. It's actually a Triumph him about not the first coming of Jesus not the Incarnation, but the return of Jesus to the Victorious conquering Jesus is what this Christmas Carol is about, but it's right and it's true and it's good that we sing it as at Christmas. Because we have come to know that the celebrations of Christmas and Easter and the return of Jesus are all the same celebration. And that is the joy that's found in the purpose and plan of God since before the beginning. This is it has always been the plan of God is for us to have the joy that's found in him.
Always what we think we'd want but absolutely what we need and and that's the place that we live in right now. That's the place where Israel found itself in his first coming. It's so many awesome similarities between Israel's hope for the first coming and our hope in the second we can get very confused Israel wanted the Conquering lion, but needed the gentle lamb they slaughtered the gentle lamb and he was raised the Conquering Lion. Now the world rejects the reign of the Conquering lion and claims to want the gentle lamb, but the lamb is returning as the lion. And last week we learned about the the nature and domain of that. Ruling and reigning lion right now. His ruling rain is is Hartley. It's in the hearts of his people. It's not Earthly yet. It's in our hearts and it's in our spirit, but it's not yet Earthly which is why we're waiting for the return of Jesus because then he's going to take the kingdom that he's establishing all of our hearts. and he's going to
Establish it on Earth are our our hearts are like a scale model of what's going to happen. When the king returns. I mean think about the time work the king came into your own heart.
Changed everything rearranged everything even things you thought were in place he moves to a different place the stuff that you wanted him to fix immediately. He worked on something else first then but everything is different praise God it was his plan not ours, but she showed up and everything changed. That's what he's going to do with the world. He's coming not just as a Creator but a glorious recreator. So for us it starts in our hearts, and now we're waiting for it to come to the rest of the Earth in and that's where we find ourselves in verse 3 of Joy to the World no more let sins and Sorrows grown or Thorns infest the ground he comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found. So he comes again to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found wolf. What is the cursing and where is it found? And what does that have to do with thorns infesting the ground? Which I mean I didn't end on that rhyming, but it's in the song. So it does as a side note. I had to laugh I kind of lost can like I think this is like the time that I've been able to share the word here and. It was a running joke for years and I'm in my Ministry that I couldn't preach a sermon without going to Genesis 3 and so in this week leading up to this morning in preparation. I'm like I can't help it. I got to go to Genesis 3 of this and you know, it's been nine weeks like a time doing pretty good. I mean avoiding Genesis 3 up until this point and then yesterday I found out that my mother and father-in-law were coming this morning and I'm like great. I think they're absolutely convinced now that all I preach from is Genesis 3, but here we go. I am convinced that Genesis contains everything. We need to know about the heart that character the nature and the plan of God. And the rest of the Bible is just God proving that he A liar like everything we need to know about God. It answered that we really need about why is life so difficult and and and what you should change what's going to change? What is God all there in Genesis in the rest of the scriptures are just proving it out. Our detriment we avoid the Old Testament in and we might learn a few stories from Genesis. We don't realize just how deep it really is.
The Bible contains two bits of news. I've shared this before the bad news is about us and the good news is about Jesus and and that becomes abundantly clear in Genesis 3. If you have a Bible you can turn their it is probably it probably has the The Heading and Genesis 3 of the fall of Man. We know this is right after God's awesome creation and the establishment of that beautiful garden and the man and a woman be impeached there and everything they need abundance of what they need is just right there and they were just given this awesome beautiful declaration be fruitful multiply subdue the Earth. you know everything I've given you use it all take it all except don't eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil and was it be fruitful being multi be fruitful multiply don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil and we know the story they didn't last very long before chapter 3 pick it up Justin verse 1 Just now the serpent. Was more crafty than any other Beasts of the field that the Lord God had made now this I mean this can bring all kinds of questions for the beginning like why did God allow the serpent there? I couldn't God have just said hate shoe. Snake go away. If you're like me, I visualize things and I'm like so a snake serpent just started talking like in the first thought is not like whoa. I didn't know snakes talked that's a new genesis and specially the creation account. It is absolutely true and absolutely poetic and there's beautiful layers upon layers of Truth there that we won't really know until God returns, but it's also why I keep going back to it because I keep finding more and more truth there. Buried and dumb what's going to come here because of now the serpent we call the curse. Know what I want us to have in mind before week we go into this is possibly a new thought for you the curses that God pronounces on the serpent on the man on the woman. They're not just punishments. Oftentimes we think of them in this way that the serpent did wrong the the woman drawing a man did wrong. So here are Gods just punishments that match up with their Rebellion would match up with their wrongdoing have in mind this morning not just punishment but plan. It might be a new perspective as we read. It's not just a punishment. It's a plan. It's a part of God's Sovereign plan. Now the serpent was more crafty than any other Beast the field that the Lord got it made. He said to the woman did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden. How many I'm Satan's deceptions begin with just a simple question. How many times have people how many times has the church been LED astray just by asking a simple question. Did God really say? Did God really say?
The question just it opens up our minds to well, that's interesting. Did God really say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden and the woman said to the serpent we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that's in the midst of the garden of the middle. Neither. Shall you touch it last you die. What the serpent said to the woman you will not surely die for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and that you will be like God knowing Good and Evil. So with what was the woman tempted the woman was not tempted simply to disobey God. hey now, if you don't believe in original sin have children or remind yourself of the children that you had they they will just for funsies put a towel Over The Line Right. I mean they're just they're just merely just I mean just a test. I mean do not touch
do not cross this line.
No one was not tempted just won't just go ahead and just touch and see what's going to happen wouldn't want to just cross that line when I just disobeyed God what what's going to do? I mean really the essence of what she was the essence of her temptation. And not just her but he the Hebrews a little complicated but he was there the whole time as well just standing there like a dummy. But what was she tempted by? She was not tempted just simply disobey to see what happens. She was tempted with what Satan says you're not going to die. You're going to be like God. She's tempted. I can be like God. I can be God. What's so Insidious about the Serpent's question in the Serpent's temptation. Is it what has he already attempted to be like God? To leave his place to overeat and be God himself and what has he already learned that it doesn't go well.
Dogs Rule and Reign is not in question. Not up for debate.
Write the rebellion was over like that Satan cast down. And what is the first thing he does is tempt God's image temps. God tempted. The Apex of God's creation chimps her tense him with the exact same thing that he tried and failed to do. He's a murderer and a liar from the beginning so Jesus, so that's what you can be like God and and that was her temptation. To be like him to be him.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food in the plus column. It was a delight to the eyes and other plus and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.
She took her to fruit and ate she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate.
They both think I can be wise I can be God.
Fall of Man is the overreach of man. And that's the essence of every single sin that we commit as well. It's not just a matter of God declaring some random things against the rules. God's not random. He's purposeful. Every law every sin and now for those of us in Christ, we don't need the written law. I don't I know I feel it. I just know when my flesh wants to do something wrong in too often I give in but I always know. I owe every single Declaration of God every law of God every statute of God, every principle of God is for His glory and for our joy. For his glory and for our life. He doesn't want us to Rob ourselves of the life that he's pouring out on us, right but but man.
really say you think I am really kind of holding out on me isn't there more pleasure to be found in going this direction? Isn't there more fulfillment to be had by just finding a loophole in sneaking through it here or there? Did God really say? Yes, he did and he is God and we are not.
Denver7 happens then the eyes of both were opened and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 68th and reveals himself to be the liar that he always has been that he is. And then Adam and Eve. Their nakedness was revealed, which is not just a lack of clothing. It's a presence of Shame. Their eyes were opened and they saw each other's shame and they felt it in the new it now here here's something for you. The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil that God said don't eat at this tree ever thought about the fact that it wasn't magic fruit. It was just a tree. It was just fruit. God wasn't lying though.
He says don't eat of it. It's the knowledge of Good and Evil don't eat of it. But it was just a tree. It was just fruit and when they reached out outside of God's declared will for them. They disobeyed they send they committed treason and then they knew what it felt like to be a traitor. They knew what it felt like the trees and they knew what it felt like to sin. They didn't have the knowledge of Good and Evil. It wasn't magic fruit. It was just fruit that God said don't touch it in they did and their eyes were opened and they knew their own shame. They knew their own nakedness and the only thing they could do was try to hide it. They tried to cover their shame. They tried to hide from God that tried to cover the bad and hide from the good.
For Satan 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, but the Lord God called the man and said to him. Where are you? As if God didn't know. But it's kind of like when a parent says what did you just do like you saw it?
And he said I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hit myself. He said who told you you were naked. Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat the man said
The woman who you gave to me, she gave me fruit of the tree and I ate then the Lord said to the woman. What is this that you have done? And she said the serpent deceived me and I ate So then God declares these curses he pronounces these curses on The Serpent and then the woman and then the man and again we're tempted to just see them as at simple punishments. I'm asking us this morning to look at them as not just a punishment the part of a sovereign plan. He says to the serpent.
This is verse 14 because you haven't 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. 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. Forever the snake on the ground the serpent slithering hiding mysteriously striking from the bushes. Hiding and it's a symbol. For what did the Great Dragon Satan the enemy of God? What he is going to do the life that he's going to live the struggle that we are going to live in the his struggle and now hours it is a spiritual one. Ephesians 6:17 for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities against the cosmic Powers over the present Darkness this present Darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly places that the spank the actual literal snake is a symbol to us about this struggle that we will have with Satan in the shame and and certain Doom that he has I was a camp counselor for a few Summers up in North Carolina. And in my last summer there towards the last week of of my time the standing rule at Camp is if you see a snake go around it. You see a snake just go around it while we're coming back from our rappelling adventure and I'm on the past laying in the sun is this I mean Four and a half foot temblor timber rattlesnake just curled up the sun in itself old guy, and I know okay supposed to go around it. Well, there's a cabin of the younger girls about 15 minutes behind us on you know, finishing up their Ventures will be right behind us walking the same path. So I I turned my counselor friend Trevor Searcy. hails from Kentucky HR and we decide you know, what we're going to have to do something about this snake. We can't just leave it there. So what are we going to do? So I grabbed this this big rock big Flat Rock and I just shot put it it. Landed pancake right on the back of the snake. It was like like you heard like like an explosion like a pop. He was at spine it snapped in half and now the snake is angry its back is broken, but it's angry and it wants to kill me. It can't go anywhere. It's on a short leash got a range about this far. But it's angry and wants to kill me. As a curse on the serpent.
You're done. Be angry kiss shake your tail do whatever you want to do, but your back is broken.
I'm not done with you yet. Flop around for a little while. I'm coming back to you.
to the woman number 16 God said I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing and paying you shall bring forth children your desire shall be for your husband. And he shall rule over you. Another translation has it your desire shall be contrary to that of your husband and both are faithful translation. So which is it is her desire to be contrary than that of her husband's or is she going to desire her husband and it's yes both. I mean in that the nature of the curse like I want different things. I want you I want you. I don't like you right. I mean I want to do what I want to do, but my desire is for you, but you're in charge of me a little I don't like the scenario. I mean, it's all part of the curse what God is doing here is she's declared that relationships will now be broken. Your relationship is now going to be broken between you and your husband men women between people relationships that the beautiful sweet innocence of that shared existence in the garden is now going to be tainted. It's going to be difficult. It's going to be curse those relationships.
and the most precious relationship right to a woman is is that between her her her as a mother and her children. What is the first thing God says, I'm going to greatly multiply your pain in childbearing. Not a Bible teacher one-time freshman year of high school and he shared this insight.
Tony O'Meara was his name and he said Tommy maybe maybe think about it this way. Okay. Now I'm going to share with you. Would he share with me? Just easier in the first person. So what was the Temptation that she fell into? Want to be like God. I want to be like God. What's the first thing God says I'm going to greatly multiply your pain in childbearing. That's the curse on you. now It's like God said okay woman. You want to know what it's like to be God you want to know what it's like to be me. You wouldn't know what it's like for the life that you bring into the world to rebelled against you. To break your heart, but that's what it feels like to be God. So here.
Here's your gift. Here's your curse.
And what did her? Sun do to her other son murdered him in a field.
essentially grants her wish this is what it feels like to be Me sewing childbearing and marriage and her relationships there going to be you're going to be cursed great pain is going to be added to her.
And then to the man in verse 17 and to Adam he said because you have listened to the voice of your wife and I to eat and of the tree of which I commanded you you shall not eat of it cursed is the ground because of you and pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. Can you show eat the plants of the field? He saying that the earth and the work itself is now cursed because of you you're going to have to work and it's going to be difficult. So you're going to hate it? But if you don't work you starve that's life now. in the garden Intuit you walk out you're hungry you eat I'll provide everything in abundance. Now in your own labor you shall eat of the ground work itself is Kirstin men. I don't know how many of us are full-time farmers in here in my none of us are farmers. It's still Fallin. It's still pursed look at the jobs. We've invented to avoid farming. That's how cursed it is. Every bit of like technology is our attempt to make work not work. Right found papers and we out cars that can travel hundreds of easier to talk to someone a man who's never picked up a shovel in his life and he wants to jump off a bridge because his work is so difficult that he can't get away from it. He liked and talks on the phone for a living and he hates it. It's difficult. It's hard. You cannot Escape it work is now cursed. We have to work with the labor to eat.
So now I mean look at look at what's cursed.
Every physical struggle is now a spiritual one. Thanks Satan every relationship now cursed. Thanks Eve. Every labor is cursed. Thanks Adam.
Every relationship every struggle entire planet. So enjoy the world and says far as the curse is found. Where is The Curse found everywhere in everything? It's all cursed. It's all cursed and it's all falling and so we sometimes and I've given in to this temptation to you as well. You said that's it. Like we can use as decorations that I'm cursed. Hurst I'm Kirsty there's there's no hope I'm I'm cursed. So when we declare that were absolutely right and we're totally wrong. You know, you can be absolutely right until it wrong at the same time. You can you can give in to the temptation of thinking that there is no hope and that's wrong. But you're absolutely right that you are cursed. There's years ago early in my ministry as a youth pastor at the church and 3 squared away Church, great detail oriented. I had been riding late or a few times and Sunday mornings. It's not good then arriving a little less than fully prepared. Also not good. So feeling a lot of pressure to really do this. Well in this Sunday, I'm not going to be late that would be fully prepared and sure enough. I'm running late not fully prepared. So I'd erased by the office building in our church. Matt in one place are officers were in another and the offices. I'm in on Sunday mornings work that no one was there, but I had the keys right so I went and was going to race to my office. I was going to I was going to make some copies, you know, so I can be prepared and and then I was going to still get the church on time. I can do this I can do it. So I got there and unlock the door and went to my office unlock my office and I got on my computer and I pulled up the thing that I needed printed and I sent it to the printer and I left my office and I went around the room where the printers work and I My copies of my sweet still have plenty of time.
Where my keys can't find my keys keys are in the office. No problem. So I go around the corner back to the office and
doors locked keys are locked in the office.
Hard to drive without your keys. I think I can do this. I know I can do this. I just got to thinking thinking thinking. Okay. Alright, so our office building had a drop ceiling what those things are a little ceiling tiles. Summer night so I can I can pop out one of the ceiling tiles and I can I can I can Tom Cruise it over the wall and I can get my keys perfect. So I'm like I just need a ladder janitor's closets are all locked on my don't have a ladder. So I'm like, oh I hate we're planning on building a new building a new Sanctuary. We had all of these samples of all of these chairs and they're kind of scattered about on the inside. So I gathered like eight different chairs. I stacked them on top of each other and I fly my way up in an hour and then I was trying to trying and then since of hair for mismatch, they all slip to the pile of chairs just goes claps and down to the floor. I'm left hanging on the edge of the wall. And I think I'm okay for a split second, but then the the metal pieces that hold the drop ceiling come off and with me and and it's like Temperature temperature don't like all the way down the wall. Drop ceiling drops a little bit few tiles installation everywhere. There's some holes in the drywall and I look at my watch and I think I can I can I can still I can still do this. So I put all the chairs back where they went. I went back to the Janitor's Closet to get the vacuum. Forgot that it was locked couldn't get the vacuum. So I picked up every single piece of insulation everything and put the ceiling tiles back in place and I looked and was terrible and how could anybody miss this and I thought I still I still don't have my keys so that I thought All right, I guess I might have to make the call. Where's my phone phones locked in the office? Okay, so I'll go and I'll use the phone in that copy room. So I go in the copy room and imma where's the phone and I pick up a few pieces of paper and I see the phone right next to my keys. Keys were never in my office to begin with so then I look at my watch and I think okay. Alright. Okay. Okay. I can Aqua Foods close. I can give you if nobody was paying attention to her. Okay, so I grabbed my keys and I race out and I are okay and then no one really noticed that I was late. I kind of want it with it and I think I got away with it and then the next morning. There's an email to everyone saying the office was left with the door wide open and unlocked. So that point I just go at it. You know, I'm cursed right? I mean, there's no hope for me. I am cursed. Hope you felt that your best efforts not own to accomplish what you want to accomplish but they clean up the mess that you caused trying to accomplish that you were trying to seize him saying. It's all Fallen.
We can be tempted to give in. Believe that there is no hope and that we are just cursed but buried in that curse. Is Our Hope?
God says to the serpent and you're going to going to strike his heel, but he's going to crush your head.
Sabacc on the trail there in the mountains as this rattlesnake is flopping around spitting out all of his hatred. Wanted to kill me. picked up a stick Candice heading to the ground and said Trevor give me your knife pulled on his pocket knife. I cut his head off and I buried its head and it took a snake's body back to Camp as a trophy on a stick.
In my cabin and Trevor's right there and cabins behind us and we had ourselves a parade. in the camp
hope in Christ is greater. Then I curse.
His victory is better. And more complete than we ever could imagine because the bad news about you is worse than we could possibly imagine. Just about some Sunday morning car keys case.
It's so much more serious than that. outside of Christ you're not cursed you are the curse sin is not something that's outside of us that we struggle with. It's something that we are. Outside of Christ you don't just struggle with sin. You are sin. You are the curse deletions 3 tells us though that Christ became the curse for us.
In the full wrath of God was poured out upon him. And he died.
And he was buried. And Satan started a parade. And then it was interrupted.
Because Jesus did not stay buried.
Guess where that stall of that rattlesnake is right now. fertilizer in the mountains of North Carolina Didn't come back. Christ is alive and he is our hope. And he is returning.
The curse is not just a punishment. It's a plan. Turn back to Romans.
Romans 8 we were there last week.
Romans 8 starting in verse 18
for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation Waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God for the creation was subjected to futility not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in Hope who subjected it. God did God subjected the world to futility by the curse and he did this on purpose. Amen always count on that donkey.
The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtained freedom of the glory of the children of God for we know that the whole creation has been groaning together as in the Pains of childbirth until now and not only the creation but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as Sons and Daughters the Redemption of our bodies for in this hope we were saved now hope that is seen is not hope for who hopes for what he sees. But if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience. Likewise the spirit helps us in our weaknesses. For you not know what to pray as we ought but the spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, and he who searches Hearts nose. What is the mind of the spirit because the spirit intercedes for the Saints according to the will of God and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose of you heard that before we know that for those who love God all things work together for good even curses for those who are called according to his purpose for Those whom he foreknew. He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son and order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and Those whom he predestined. He also called and Those whom he called. He also Justified and Those whom he justified. He also glorified. How is the curse not just a punishment but part of God's plan. Let me tell you. Because there is more glory in his grace than in the garden.
There is more glory to be found in his grace than in his garden.
Only you God can take our sin in our Rebellion.
And work it for our Greater Joy.
Jesus it was always the plan for you to absorb the righteous Wrath of our Rebellion.
So that you can pour out the glory of your grace on us.
We worship you not only as our creator, but as our recreator. With Grace you have given us life.
If there are those present here now that only know the curse and haven't ever experienced secure. I pray holy spirit that you move now in this place.
And that they would be reborn.
Not as an orphan of the curse but a child. Of the grace your great and glorious Grace that you showed us displayed for us on the cross and the victory in your Resurrection.
May Hearts this morning be resurrected with you. And may those Newhart's wait eagerly.
for the king to return and we can truly sing. The Joy has come to the world and that your blessings flow far as the curse is found. May your blessings flow over us this morning and your precious and holy and amazing name we pray. Oh, man.