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The Story of Fallenness

God's Story, My Story  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Genesis 3 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually 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 is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But 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 you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 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. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 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.” 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. 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.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
We are in week 2 of our series, “God’s Story, My Story,” and we are learning to find our place in God’s unfolding story of salvation through Jesus Christ.”
We are in week 2 of our series, “God’s Story, My Story,” and we are learning to find our place in God’s unfolding story of salvation through Jesus Christ.”
1) I mentioned last week that I mean that in two ways: first that we would be able to find our place when we read the Bible…
that we would see the Bible as one big unfolding story and be able to see how each part of the Bible fits together finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ...
2) But I also mean that personally… that we would be able to answer the question, “How has God written ME into HIS story?”
And last week we sort of got our origin story… how did we come into existence…
Think of it like a comic book origin story… I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy a good superhero action movie… don’t judge me… there are some good stories there!
I know I’m not alone in this room… some of you enjoyed Avengers Endgame… or maybe you read comic books growing up… I never did… I just watch the movies...
But superheros always have an origin story.
How did they come to be super?
So Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider and Captain America was an orphan who received super-soldier serum so he could fight in WWII… they always have an origin story.
But not only super-heroes have origin stories, but so do super-villains..
And usually this story gives you some sense of empathy… they suffer some injustice and seek revenge against society.
So the Joker from Batman got caught up with the wrong crowd, turned to a petty crime while trying to feed his starving family, accidentally fell into a vat of industrial chemicals that bleached his skin, turned his hair green, and destroyed his smile… all the while the gang who hired him to do the job killed his family.
Makes you feel bad for the guy and almost justifies him being a super-villan, right?
And I think a lot of times, people like to think of their origin stories like that…
We think that our origin story is that we are generally good… generally powerful… generally smart… we are the superheroes of our story...
And if there is anything wrong in us… any character flaw... it’s because of something that was done TO us… something that was taken from us… some injustice or suffering that we endured that made us this way...
Super-hero and Super-villain origin stories
But as we get into , we see that WE are the source of our own fallenness.
And we see that we are the source of our own fallenness.
And let me be clear from the beginning… there are injustices done to us that shape us in certain ways.
That is part of the tragedy of a fallen world… and I don’t want to minimize that pain for a second.
But until we can come to grips with the fact that we are part of the problem and not merely the victim, we can’t see our way to the Savior.
Last week we saw that every single one of our stories BEGINS with a GOOD God who created everything by his word.
And that can be confusing to us… because when we look around, things don’t always look so good.
There are hurricanes destroying the tropical paradise of the Bahamas...
This week marked the 18th anniversary of 9/11, and it still brought tears to my eyes to see the replays and hear the recordings of the final calls to family and the air traffic control interactions during that tragic day.
Just this week a well-respected pastor, author, and mental health advocate took his own life after battling depression.
And it leaves us asking, “Why does all of this happen??? Is there any hope??? How could God let it get this bad???”
And our only hope in the face of those confusing questions is to allow the bible shape our thinking and understanding of man’s sin and God’s grace.
Our only hope is a Christ-centered, biblical worldview… that sees GOD as the hero of the story, not us.
Today we are going to see our real-life origin stories move beyond the goodness of Eden to the descent of the destruction of sin…
And sin would seek to destroy everything. It SHOULD destroy everything. But God’s plan cannot be overcome.
In fact, our sin was no surprise to him, and his plan included salvation from sin from before the foundations of the world.
So as we continue in the story today, I want you to see that…

Big Idea: The fall destroys everything in your story, but God promises to cover and conquer sin for those who turn to him.

Context: God has created man and placed him in a garden...
He has given him every tree of the garden to eat EXCEPT for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Which would seem like a pretty good deal…
Except that you know how it is when you are told you can’t have something… you get fixated on having that one thing.
Read .
Seems pretty insignificant, doesn’t it? It’s JUST a piece of fruit… it’s JUST a little mistake, right? We’ll fix it… get over it… it’s all good.
But we are going to see that this is sin. It’s never small… never insignificant… always devastating.
If we are going to understand our story, we have to understand the devastating nature of sin.

The Essence of the Fall - Sin (v. 1-7)

It’s not just brokenness… it’s not just that we mistakes sometimes… it’s sin: it’s an attempt to be like God… to take his place… to live without his rule... which is, by definition, rebellion against God in both our activity and nature.
And here we see the moment that sin entered the world.
Explain: And this begins in verse 1, when we are introduced to the closest thing to a super-villain… the serpent.
He is described as crafty… the most crafty of all the creatures.
The word actually means “wise… shrewd...” It’s not necessarily a bad characteristic…
but we see that this “wisdom” is applied to doing evil rather than good.
Now, who is this serpent?
When you compare this with other texts in Ezekiel and Revelation, you get the origin story a little more clearly...
Really, in Genesis, that’s all we get about him.
When you compare this with other texts in Ezekiel and Revelation, you get the origin story a little more clearly...
We know he is a created being. He’s in some way like the other beasts of the field and in some way different.
We don’t know what he looks like… that’s not really where the author wants us to focus...
Apparently he can talk… But we don’t get much more than that here.
But we don’t get much more than that here.
The serpent is identified with the character “Satan” or “The Devil.”
But we do get the sense that he wants to undermine God’s plan…
He is a created being… and was created as an angel… one of superior beauty and power.
But he thought he could be like God… and so God cast him out of heaven.
And ever since, he has been trying to disrupt God’s plan.
The only sense that we get is that he wants to undermine God’s plan…
It’s like a someone in a horror film leading his victim down dark stairs into the basement… you’re watching saying, “Don’t do it… don’t go!!!”
That’s the essence of the temptation that the serpent is about to put in front of Eve.
Now I want you to remember: Adam and Eve are already created to be “like God.”
They are created in the image of God.
They have the ability to think and choose… they have some sense of wisdom already.
So God has not withheld himself from them… he has not withheld wisdom from them… and he has not withheld anything good from them…
But they are tempted to think he has...
And in this first temptation, we see a pattern for every other descent into sin since that moment.

Illustrate: I want us to see a pattern here for “The Descent into Sin”

The first step is “Detachment” (3:1b)
Look at verse 24 and 25 of the previous chapter - “ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (, ESV)
So there is a togetherness… and an innocence… and a relationship between man, woman and God that is complete and beautiful...
But look at 3:2 - “He [the serpent] said to the woman”...
Now it’s interesting… in verse 6, it says that the man was “WITH her.”
I always pictured Eve as alone and then Adam comes along and she says, “Here eat this… oh by the way, that was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
But v. 6 says he was WITH her.
So then why does the serpent talk to HER and not to both of them?
And where is God in this part of the story?
I believe from the curse, and from the way the NT writers reflect on this story… that the serpent is striking at the bond between the man and woman and the order of the relationship between them… that she is his helpmate… he’s detaching them from one another.
There is a sense in which he deceives HER... in particular… to overturn the order God created as good.
Now I’m not saying that the man would have been any stronger against the temptation if he was alone… I’m saying that detachment from others makes us vulnerable.
He is DETACHING them one at a time… coming in between that one flesh union… coming in between the order of the home with man as the leader and the woman as the helpmate.
And the man is complicit in this. He falls right into the serpent’s trap. He’s passive and doesn’t take responsibility. And he tries to shift the blame… unsuccessfully in the end.
The serpent gets her alone. He isolates her from community.
He is DETACHING them one at a time… coming in between that one flesh union… coming in between the order of the home with man as the leader and the woman as the helpmate.
The enemy wants to get you detached from the bond of relationship that God has established.
As God said in chapter 2, “it is not good for man to be alone.”
He will puff you up… he will isolate you… he will convince you to take on a role you’ve not been given… he will convince you to sleep on the role you HAVE been given… he will make you think that you know better than everyone else… he will make you think no one else is out for your best interest...
says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” (, ESV)
He will do anything he can to detach you from the order of God-given relationships in your life.
The first step of the descent into sin is detachment which provides the opportunity for this second step:
“-> Deception” (3:2-4)
He said to the woman, “Did God ACTUALLY say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”
Let me ask you… hopefully you read this again this week in : Did God actually say that?
Well, if we went back to chapter 2, we see that the answer is “No. God did not say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden.”
But this a leading question… to sow the seeds of doubt into the woman’s mind. It’s subtle, and effective.
And that’s the nature of deception. It’s subtle. Crafty. It KNOWS right from wrong… and gets as close to the truth as possible in order to sell the lie.
So the woman tries to correct him, but doesn’t exactly get it right: “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 is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it.”
In chapter 2, God never said anything about touching… she imagines the command as more strict than it really was.
You see, the enemy doesn’t necessarily need you to agree with him… he just needs to deceive you enough to move you off the precise truth of God.
How many sins in my life have come from not believing the truth of God FULLY or imagining his law as less good than it truly is!
So the deceiver whispers his final lie: “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.”
In other words, “God is holding out on you. He is withholding something that you need.
They are created in the image of God.
He had ALREADY given them every good gift.
They have the ability to think and choose… they have ALREADY been given wisdom.
And we could be tempted to think that God goes a little overkill with the curse he’s about to lay down.
He’s killing your joy.
So God had not withheld ANYTHING from them that they needed…
But we have to see what was at the heart of the deception: the promise that she could be “like God.”
Your best is not in God being God, but you being god.
But they were tempted to think he had...
Once you disobey God, THEN you will know perfectly. THEN you will live fully.
And they were tempted to believe that they could obtain goodness apart from God.
Sound familiar in your own story?
That the way to get what we need is to escape God’s commands rather than to run toward them.
They were tempted to think they could become “like God” in a way greater than the image he had already created them to reflect.
Every sin has it’s root in the deception that we could be “like God” in ways that God did not intend us to be like him.
We try to control situations and people… and so we manipulate and control, taking shortcuts around God’s commands...
Idolatry is the attempt to live for something that we can create and control rather than the one who created and controls us.
Lust and gluttony are attempts to use created things and people for our own purposes rather than for the purpose God established.
We try to receive glory and power… and so we maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses and try to put on our Sunday best while we hide
Anger is the attempt to get people to submit to our control and standards instead of Gods.
Perfectionism is the attempt to be without fault or limitation like God.
Unbelief is the attempt to have the breath of life while denying the giver of life.
Now if the woman would have stopped to think about this, she would have remembered that she was already created to be “like God.”
Not that she was God, but she was created in the image of God.
God had ALREADY given her everything that was GOOD… eveyrthing that was needed for flourishing.
She had been given the ability to think and choose… she ALREADY HAD the wisdom God wanted her to have.
So God had not withheld ANYTHING from her or her husband that they needed…
But they were tempted to think he had...
And they were tempted to believe that they needed something more and that they could obtain goodness apart from God.
So we may ask, “If they didn’t need the tree… and they weren’t supposed to eat of the tree... then why did God put the tree there in the first place? Was it just a test? Was it just torture?”
And I believe it was to show that they had all the wisdom they needed if they just obeyed his command and trusted his good provision… that was the source of true wisdom, not the tree.
The tree would prove that they could not simply reach out and grab wisdom by following their own desires.
He put the tree there to show that the way to get what we need is to run toward God’s commands, not away from them.
But they were tempted to think they could become “like God” by following their own way rather than just bearing his image and trusting his way.
And this flicker of desire in her heart became a flame that consumed her. Once the enemy detaches us from relationship.... and deceives us… he merely needs to wait until our desires get the best of us… the third step down is desire.
That’s the third step in the descent into sin:
“-> Desire” (3:6)
The third step is “-> Desire” (lust of the flesh, eyes, pride of life)
You see, for deception to take root, it has to be something that we desire more than God.
Look at verse 6 - “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (, ESV)
You see, at face value, Eve’s sin doesn’t look like much. She ate a piece of fruit she wasn’t supposed to eat. Most of us do the same thing by the time we are two years old.
And we could be tempted to think that God goes a little overkill with the curse he’s about to lay down.
But we have to see what was at the heart of the deception: the promise that she could be “like God” without God.
Up until this point, it was God who “saw” that his creation was “good.”
But now, Eve puts herself in this place of judgement and says, “That thing that God said is NOT good FOR ME sure LOOKS good TO ME.”
She SAW that it was good.
It was a DELIGHT to her eyes.
It was DESIRED to make one wise… to be, as the serpent put it, “like God.”
And so she ate it.
This is not just eating a piece of fruit. This is mutiny. Treason. A coup attempt on the very throne of God.
And in that short amount of time, the rest of the story of mankind was forever destroyed.
Every sin has it’s root in the desire that we could be “like God” in ways that God did not intend us to be like him.
Idolatry is the desire to live for something that we can create and control rather than the one who created and controls us.
Pride is the desire to be given glory rather than giving God all glory and living out your identity in him.
Lust and gluttony are the desires to use created things and people for our own purposes rather than using them to fuel our relationship with God.
Stealing is the desire to provide for my own needs and wants without going to the one who owns all things.
Stealing is the desire to
Anger is often the desire to get people to submit to our control and standards instead of Gods.
Perfectionism is the desire to be without fault or limitation like God.
Working without rest is the desire to never need slumber or sleep like God does.
Unbelief is the desire to have the breath of life while ignoring the giver of life.
If you want to understand why you sin, understand your desires.
That is so important in understanding your story… understanding your desires: what motivates you… why do you do what you do?
James wrote, “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.” (, ESV)
The problem is NOT that a temptation crossed your path. The problem is that the temptation ignited a desire in your heart to be “like God.”
And James says that desire, when it has conceived… when it is given a home to nourish it and let it grow… gives birth to sin...
And sin brings forth death. Devastation. Destruction.
The final step is “ -> Destruction” (3:7)
“In the day you eat of it, you will surely die,” says God.
“You will not surely die,” says the serpent.
Now who is correct? ...At first it looks like the serpent is correct.
At first it looks like the serpent is correct.
As we read this, we are waiting for them to bite the apple, breathe their last, story over.
But we read. She ate. She gave some to her husband who was with her. He ate. And their eyes were opened.
It sounds like the serpent was telling the truth.
They are wise… they know right from wrong.
But notice what that brings: not unrivaled delight… not more oneness between them than they ever imagined… not power and glory beyond their wildest dreams.
No, it brings shame. - They knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths.
Seems like kind of a pathetic thing to do when you first become “like God” doesn’t it???
And we are going to see that the death God meant when he promised a consequence for eating of that tree was much more far-reaching than just no longer breathing.
See, Adam and Eve were actually created for eternity… to live with God forever in the Garden.
So the sense of death had to be some sort of eternally ongoing form of destruction.
But before we get there… I just want you to understand… this descent into sin is the same staircase that has been walked BILLIONS of times in the story of the world since that first sin.
It’s the same descent into the basement with the serial killer that we take every single time we sin.
Detachment from the order of relationships God established.
Deception that calls God’s truth into question.
Desire that is aroused by that deception.
And then destruction.
And the details sometimes differ in subtle ways, but check this out in your own story… the pattern stays the same.
And we need to become aware of the pattern so that we can see when it’s happening... turn and run back up the stairs to the strong arms of our savior who deals with our enemy.
Now maybe you’re like, “If the pattern is really that simple… if the pattern keeps repeating, then why can’t we just recognize it, hit the enemy over the head, and get out of there on our own???”
And the reason is because the effects of the fall are that great.
This pattern is not only in the sinful actions you commit… it’s hardwired into you since you are born of Adam’s seed.
It’s not enough to know the pattern… we need a savior who can BREAK the pattern.
But before we get there, let’s look at the effects of their destruction…

The Effect of the Fall - Fear, Fight, Frustration, Futility, Fatality

Read v. 8-13
So the first effect of the fall that we see is this...
Fear... of the Creator
Now I don’t mean “the fear of the Lord” in the sense of a healthy reverence of him and his commands...
They had already thrown that out the window.
I mean fearing God in such a way that we refuse to approach him.
That we know that we no longer should come near him.
Their eyes are opened… they know that they are naked… not just physically, but spiritually...
They are exposed. They are ashamed. They are vulnerable.
They are ashamed.
And so when they hear the sound of him walking in the cool of the day, they hid from his presence.
The word for “cool” of the day could also mean “wind” of the day… it’s the same word as is used for the “breath” that God put in Adam’s lungs.
What was once a welcome sound… the same wind that filled their lungs… is now a fearful thought.
And I want you to see that God is gracious in his approach.
One commentator noted that instead of driving them out of hiding through intimidation, he draws them out of hiding through questions.
‘Where are you?” God asks.
“I was afraid.” Adam answers. And then he admits his sin.
And at that point, God continues with the questions, but his tone is almost as lawyer in court, interrogating the witness to the point of confession.
In his confession, Adam blames God even as much as he blames the woman… “The woman YOU gave to be with me gave me the fruit.”
There is a riff in the relationship between God and man.
We will come back to the rest of that statement… but I want you to understand that we were not created to live in a fear relationship with God… we were not created to be his adversary.
The woman blames the serpent.
Are we to have a fear of the Lord in the sense of observing his commandments and knowing that he is God and we are not… yes, absolutely.
But a fear of drawing near to him. A fear of him withholding goodness from us. A fear of shame and what he would think of us. No.
That distance from God that we experience is an effect of the fall and the result of sin.
And for that distance to be removed… [in order for that fear… and that adversarial relationship with God to be removed]… we need our sin to be removed.
And when our sin is removed through Jesus Christ, our adversarial relationship with God is resolved.
This coming week in the Discover the Story plan, you are going to read .
And in chapter 4, there are these two characters named Cain and Lamech.
And both of them assume that because they have sinned in some incredibly horrible ways, that there is no way back to God’s grace.
But I want you to notice how God deals with Cain specifically. He is gracious to him and protects his life even though Cain has sinned incredibly.
Over and over throughout Genesis and the rest of the story, God is showing grace to his people when WE would think that all is lost.
And we see in chapter 3 that our sin puts us in a fear relationship with our creator God that only God can relieve through his grace.
So as Adam shifts the blame to God, he also calls out the woman… and she shifts the blame to the serpent.
The created being… the one who was under mankind’s dominion… was the one whom she followed.
And so God starts with a curse on the serpent. As Adam and Eve gave into his temptation, they allowed him to enslave them… and they sparked a longstanding war with him… that’s the second effect of the fall:
And yet, the giving in to this sin sparked a longstanding war… the...
Fight... of the Cosmic Enemy
God curses the serpent… look at v. 14 [read 14-15]
So the curse starts that he will go on his belly and eat dust… the serpent is shamed and beyond restoration… there is hope for the man and woman, but not for him.
But even more than the physical animal, we see here a cosmic struggle.
There is no vindication for the serpent.
But even more than the physical animal, we see a cosmic struggle.
Verse 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.”” (, ESV)
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
There are generations and generations engaged in this war… but he uses a singular term: he [the offspring] shall bruise YOUR head… that original serpent… and you shall bruise his heal.
And we are reintroduced to him later in the story in Ezekiel and Revelation where he is identified as Satan and the devil.
You will inflict some harm, but he will have your head.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 3:15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
We will come back to that, but for now, I want you to see the cosmic struggle.
This shows us that the serpent is not just an ordinary snake…
And we are reintroduced to him later in the story in Ezekiel and Revelation where he is identified as Satan and the Devil.
The fall into sin began a war with the enemy of our souls.
Man gave into him once, and we have been giving in ever since.
Again, God warned Cain, Eve’s first offspring, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”” (, ESV)
Cain gave in and murdered his brother… And for thousands of years, not one person ruled over their sin after him.
In , we see that the enemy continually entices humanity, and listen to God’s assessment: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”” (, ESV)
That’s what drove God to send a worldwide flood… but he saved Noah.
Not because of Noah’s own righteousness… we see Noah’s lack of righteousness in chapter 10…
But because of God’s own grace… favor…
There is a cosmic fight that would destroy our souls that only God can win through his grace.
Now we may think at this point that the blameshifting of the man and woman to the serpent was effective...
God cursed the serpent… that’s it. Deal with the serpent… deal with sin… everything is easy.
But not so fast.
In this fight… in these offspring… we also see..
Frustration... of the Creation Mandate
When I say “Creation Mandate,” I’m talking about the purpose God gave to man and woman when he created them in chapter 1… look at this with me again really quickly: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (, ESV)
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 1:27–31). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Man and woman were created to be fruitful and multiply...
They would have children...
And those children would bear the image of God ad would be the result of a one flesh marriage in which the father and mother bore the image of God.
They were to fill the earth and subdue it and cultivate the garden and eat the produce of the vegetation.
So in the curse on the man and woman, everything God commanded them to do before the fall doesn’t go away… rather it gets frustrated.
God’s mandate… his command on their lives… doesn’t change… it just becomes hard and painful.
So God told them to be fruitful and multiply.
And now to the woman he says, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing.”
It’s not that she won’t bear children… it’s that it will be painful.
Can I get a witness from the mother’s that are out there???
(I don’t know firsthand, but I’m told)… Carrying and giving birth to children is INCREDIBLY painful when it goes as good as it can possibly go… and it is certainly painful when it goes poorly… [pause] or doesn’t work at all...
And then it is painful as they bring forth their kids and are confronted with the fact that their kids are sinners too… and their kids have sins commited against them… there is nothing more painful for a mother.
That’s something Eve knew all to well in her sons Cain and Abel.
But it wasn’t just having kids that would be painful… the creation mandate also included bearing God’s image as male and female… the makings of a one flesh marriage. And NOW...
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”” (, ESV)
This is such an important verse to understand in marital soul care and even just in identifying problems within a marriage.
Marital Strife
Why is marriage so hard? Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.
Our desires are at war within our marriages. It’s an effect of the fall.
It’s an effect of the fall.
The woman wants to have a role in the marriage that she has not been given.
The husband abuses his leadership role that he has been given and uses it for his own comfort.
It is a MESS.
And it plays out in a million ways, but it all comes right back here.
So there is difficult childbearing… difficult relationships… and…
Difficult Work - Look at verse 17 - He says to Adam, “I’m cursing the ground because of you so that thorns and thistles come up and you have to eat by the sweat of your brow.
Work and responsibility were pre-fallen gifts… TOIL is the post-fallen curse.
Toil is the frustration of the purpose God has given us.
If you’ve ever had one of those weeks where nothing is “working” in your work… technology or machinery is skitzing out… schedules aren’t going as planned… if you are a farmer… literal thorns and thistles are in your way... it’s all an effect of the fall.
And there is only one who can rescue us from that frustration.
Ultimately, the curse on Adam is also a curse on the ground. Which explains a lot that we see around us:
Futility... of the Created World
We’ve already seen a curse on the beasts when God talked to the serpent… cursed are you ABOVE all livestock and above all the beasts of the field… implying they are cursed too.
The curse on the land comes when God says to Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you.”
Paul explained to the church in Rome: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (, ESV)
Sin has far-reaching effects.
It’s not just a little apple.
It doesn’t just affect the unseen spiritual realm.
There is a close connection to the physical world as well.
And every time we see a hurricane or tornado or earthquake… every time we hear of a wildfire or drought or invasion of some bug species, we should hear that as the groaning of creation for the return of her creator.
And Paul says it affects our bodies too… our bodies are longing for redemption… for a glorified state in which we will dwell secure.
Sick season plagues every new school year.
Our livers and kidneys and lungs wear out and die...
Cancer can threaten every part of our bodies.
Mental disorders disrupt our ability to think and reason clearly…
Even a simple lack of sleep which would have been part of the GOOD creation now has devastating effects on our ability to obey God’s commands.
The futility of our created bodies reminds us of the fatality of sin… the...
Fatality... of the Closed Way Back
Look at verse 19 - “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (, ESV)
Sin brings death.
Physical death - you are dust and to dust you shall return...
You will see this in the geneology in chapter 5… “so-and-so fathered so-and-so and he died.”
Over and over again the woman who was the mother of all living saw the death of her offspring.
Again in Romans, Paul explains, “...sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—” (, ESV)
Sin brings physical death… But also spiritual death.
But also spiritual death.
Banishment from the place of close communion with their creator.
Paul explains in Romans 6:23 - “for the wages of sin is death...”
He explains in chapter 6:23 - “for the wages of sin is death...”
And shows us why.
The essence of the fall is sin… the attempt to be LIKE God and have the benefits OF God WITHOUT God.
It’s mutiny… treason… deserving of death.
Therefore the effects of the fall are Fear, Fight, Frustration, Futility, Fatality
This is to be expected when we truly understand the story.
No longer are we asking, “Why do bad things happen to good people.
After reading , we will come away with the conclusion, “There are no good people.
And we will learn to ask a new question when looking at our story: “why does anything happen with so much evil in the world???”
And from that better, and more humble question, we can be surprised by the grace God gives… to Adam and Eve… to their descendents... and to us…
Even in the darkest day of the Story, there is hope…

The Expectation of Hope - Conquering and Covering (3:20)

First, I want you to see the hope of...
Covering - 1
Do you remember the man and woman’s first impulse when they realized they were naked?
To cover themselves. To hid from the face of God.
They realized… RIGHTLY… that sin brings shame in the presence of a holy God.
And that shame must be covered.
But their fig leaves were lame.
They were insufficient loin cloths.
They would not hold up to the elements of the hostile environment outside Eden.
And so in verse 21, God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Garments in place of loin cloths.
Skins in place of fig leaves.
An animal died and the skin covered their nakedness.
And this foreshadows later in the story where God’s people would have to sacrifice animals and identify that sin deserves death… but that God provides atonement… payment for sin...
And he would clothe the priests in linen garments that were purified through ceremonial washings..
And they would minister in his presence on behalf of the people in his temple… his dwelling place that recalled the garden of Eden.
And so even here in the midst of he curse, we have the expectation of hope that God covers the guilt and the shame of his people.
He did it for Israel.
And he does it for those who put their faith in Jesus Christ today.
When they were banished from garden, God gave them skins of animals...
But there will come a day in the future when he welcomes his people into the New Heavens and New Earth, God will clothe us in robes of white.
In Revelation, we read, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” (, ESV)
So how do we conquer? Because we clearly see a cosmic enemy of our souls in … how do we conquer him?
There is a cosmic enemy of our souls… how do we conquer him?
If billions and billions have lost the fight to this deceiver, how could we ever defeat him?
The only way to conquer is to join the side of THE conqueror.
THE offspring promised who crushed the head of the serpent.
That’s the second expectation of hope in the account of the Fall...
Covering -
Conquering -
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.”” (, ESV)
promises one who will win the fight with the cosmic enemy… and we learn later in the story who he is…
Born of a woman… a virgin… free from the stain of Adam’s sin.
And she called his name “Jesus” for he would save his people from their sins.
And everywhere Adam failed, he succeeded. He was tempted in every way as we are… and yet without sin.
He lived the perfect life we could not live.
And he died the death that we deserved to die. - The serpent bruised his heel.
The serpent bruised his heel.
But he rose again, conquering the enemy we could not conquer… he crushed the serpent’s head.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (, ESV)
Seeing the origin stories of really shows you that we are not the super-heroes of the story...
And there is nothing to bring about pity so that we can justify our sin…
But God IS the hero…
So this week: look for the pattern of descent into sin in your own life… both on a large scale and on the level of individual sins...
And you see the pattern of descent...
Be warned of the deadly affects of the Fall...
And then turn to the ONLY one who can cover your sin and conquer your enemy, Jesus Christ.
Trust him fully today.
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