Creation and Fall
Maybe we should this can go down here. It doesn't need to be up there anymore.
Oh, yeah. Thank you. And then I go to the scripture.
Good, and I'm going to see if I can. oops
Thank you. Appreciate it. He's doing a bit better. Tuesday probably
Are sermon for today is titled creation and fall Grayson and fall is the beginning of the story of scripture. And I'd like to have this fall walk us through the story of scripture in through God's promises scripture text for today comes from the book of Genesis chapters 2 & 3, you may open it in your Pew Bibles or have it on your hand out there and some of it will also be on screen occasionally this new sermon series today is all about God's promises. And by the way, I'll be reading the scripture text bit by bit through the sermon. So let's first begin with a prayer of Illumination that the spirit may open our eyes to his word. Oh Holy Spirit Come Among Us now we pray that we may know Jesus Christ The Living Word as we review these words from the page may your spirit breathe them to life in us and we hear the story a new may we know Jesus Christ in us and I sent him that we may be his people to shape us inform us through your word today our creator and Redeemer God in Jesus name we pray.
God's promises are woven all the way throughout scripture and this fall will witness God promises to all Humanity first in creation. And then to Abraham and Joseph and Israel and David later on in the fall. We'll hear God's promises through the prophets to his people by the time we get to Christmas will be brought to the birth of Jesus and then we'll pick up the Gospel of Luke will be in the Gospel of Luke from Christmas all the way until Easter hearing of the promises of Jesus to Walk With Jesus Through the cross and the resurrection and by the time it warms up again will be seeing God's promises a new to the early church through the book of Acts and threw on some of the Paul's letters and that is the plan that would be going throughout this year. If you ever want to know what the whole series is. I've got a handout I can give you We may step away from his the spirit lead me but that is where we're headed during this year. Cuz he God is calling us back to his word. We need to be grounded in the word grounded in this with big story of scripture because biblical literacy is at an all-time low. Even among people who say they're Christians. Probably even among people in our church that people don't know so we've got to come back to the word constantly continually or we're going to be swayed by our culture. We're going to be swayed by what we hear the news media. We're going to be swayed by what we hear politicians say Your followers of Jesus Oh and love the big story of god of what God is doing to redeem. This broken world are we cannot call ourselves Christians? And we'll see how each of these stories this fall and spring fit into God's story. And one way you may have heard of a framing God story is this creation fall Redemption and a new creation craft. You've heard it before creation fall Redemption New Creation that God created the world good for humans and plants and animals and stars everything that exists, but all creation fell into sin when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. But God is making all things new God is redeeming and restoring and renewing all of creation and all of humanity. And one day God's New Creation will be complete. There will be no more death or disease no more suffering or sorrow God's kingdom will be all in all. So today we start at the beginning. With creation, but will quickly move into the fall and I'll read the scripture bit by bit and sections as the story unfolds the first need to come to the problem. We suffer and die from the effects of the fall and I don't need to stand here and tell you what we all know that that sin and Brokenness and suffering and death infect all of creation. Even our bodies are we know it because we've seen it. We know it quite a year. We know it because in the last month or so, it seems like more people than usual in our congregation have been sick or hurt or in the hospital. There's more people suffering serious illnesses more people who are close to death. I think of Jim and Lindell they've both lost spouses lately. They met last fall at Good Sam and then they got married in March and 5 Weeks Later Jimmy Fallon hurt his hip and the doctors diagnosed him with the stage 4 cancer and they put them on radiation and chemo and he lost his hair and he got weaker and the cancer kept on spreading and now it's better to his long and into his spine and receiving Hospice Care at home. And and now he's at the Georgia house Liddell is taking every bit of good pair of that. She kind of him just like she did her first husband. That's not with them a little over a week ago on the porch and Jim spoke to me with such wisdom and love the focus of God's word. He gave me advice as a pastor and he spoke with such base one is born from his 77 years of Walking With Jesus.
This week if you decided to move into the Georgia house to get better care than Mandela car offer him & I we had a hymn sing for him at his church last night. It was a memorial I am staying and he was there in a wheelchair the gospel song seeing some of his favorite hymns and and hearing words of thanks and Remembrance from people who spoke of a meeting him many many years ago of his work with the carrots Prison Ministry of his service cooking food for people of his teaching as a as a teaching driver's ed and school and a Bible teacher so many people have been touched by his life and we celebrated his life while he's still living remembering that the good times and the suffering and we prayed for healing for the weather is in this life or in the Life to Come. And at the same time in my own life, my dad is sick and my family has been walking with him through this brain bleed that keeps coming back through out this past month. And if we had a third surgery to deal with the bleeding he's discouraged and so are we meet might even be watching right now from the hospital and Dad if you're there. I love you. Thankfully last night he seemed to be doing a little bit better. I saw a picture of him smiling while talking on the phone to my sister Sarah who who who hasn't spoken with him for years. But his condition is still fragile, and we still need to pray for God to heal him. Because the suffering and illness and death are not the way it's supposed to be. This is not how God made us. This is not right. This is not good at what why does God allow his why and that is the question that these at least this chapter of Genesis chapter 2 and 3 try to answer the question that we bring to the text today. Why. Are you like this? Why is your world full of suffering and Brokenness and evil and death? And that's the question that Israel was asking God to when they heard this story. That's why the author of Genesis tells the story like it is because Israel suffered as slaves. They wandered in the desert. They failed to take the promised land completely. They were expelled from the land after they fell into sin and and they lost hope of ever coming back to why did God allow this suffering they asked and they're from Exile the author of Genesis answers this Another says let me tell you a story and it goes back to the beginning of the story starts in the first four if you want to read along with me and your Bibles.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
No, no scrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up for the Lord. God had not been trained on Earth and there was no one to work the ground but streams came up from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the Man became a living being This is the story of creation a different story than the one that's in Genesis chapter, 1 like a like a different camera angle on the same scene of a close up shot versus Ryback zoomed out shot of Genesis 1 and the story starts a little bit dry there. There's no water on the ground just dust dry dust. There are no plans. And the first thing that God makes is the first thing that God does his water the ground and then God makes a human out of that muddy dust. And there's this interesting word play in Hebrew here. God formed a man from the dust of the ground God makes Adam from The Adama says in Hebrew God makes swing from the earth or is as one commentator says we shouldn't call this guy Adam. We should call him Dusty because that's what he is. But that's not all he is. God gives this human being the breath of life. Now. This this brother life is the animating spirit of God, and that's what makes this man a living creature like all the other living creatures, but at this point there's not yet anything special about the human until we get to verse 15
Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it and the Lord God commanded the man you are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil 4 when you eat from it, you will certainly die. The first God makes the the heavens and the Earth and then God made a human and a next God plants a garden and in the garden God puts all sorts of trees and he puts Adam in the garden and gives him a job. The job is to work the garden. And take care of it.
This is that word to work. The garden pick in Hebrew is other word ever said it's it's the word to serve. The land to Adam is in there to serve the ground and the other words Shemar is to take care of it to protect or guard. The land is he that atoms job is to be a servant a groundskeeper a tenant farmer. He's not there to be a ruler or an owner of the land. He's there to be do the humble and necessary and Dirty Work of serving the ground. Someone has to do the job and Dusty Adam. The Earthling is perfect for the job. There's nothing to notice here God made plants and animals interdependent a Jewish commentator says there are no self pruning apple trees in the Garden of Eden. A human creation near each other God made a garden first and then God made it. One of the garden. He made a human to take care of the garden just like humans need to live in relationship with each other. We also need to live in relationship with God's creation, but there's a little wrinkled hear a small hint of a problem a foreshadowing of the Fall because God has a command block commands him to not eat of One Tree in the garden. He said you can eat of any of the Trees of the garden even the tree of life, but not this one not the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Why would God do this it it doesn't seem fair it it seems like a test. So I let God call it that why doesn't God say I'm going to test you. Or maybe God made human beings with free will with the ability to choose and God sees that humans choose wrongly. I got a. Steven this horrible fall into this even more glorious Redemption, but a better question to ask then why would God do this is this why would the author of Genesis right at this way? Why would the author of Genesis say this about God I want commentator says that we need to read this text from the ground up. That means why would human writers inspired by the Holy Spirit talk about God and Creation in this way, and I remember that we reformed Christians believe in this thing called The Organic inspiration of scripture. Maybe you've never heard that but it means that God did not dictate scripture word for word the human writers. Maybe you thought that at one time I know I did but that what we believe is that God inspires human authors. To write scriptures that is Holy and true and full of in his truly God's word that speaks the truth of God in the context of their own culture. In a world full of suffering and death things don't make sense to be as Ritz human to have this this self-knowledge is moral awareness. We're going to die. The only ones in all of creation who know that why are things that way well because the world was created a paradise God made everything good and then humans fell and this is why the knowledge of Good and Evil is not good for us because we aren't made for it. That's why God says when you eat from it, you will certainly die. Know your will skip ahead 2 chapter 3 to the fall and we heard the department were skipping the part about Adam and Eve and how they were formed bone of my bones and Flesh of My Flesh. We covered that last Falls Little skip ahead 2 chapter 3 and then see the story of the Fall. Goes like this. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made and he said to the woman to God really say You must not eat from any tree in the garden. Now here we get this new character. There's a snake and it's so far. There's only been the Lord God and Adam and Eve in the story. But here we have a snake that is unusually crafty or sneaky now, it is one of God's creatures and the Israelites know how deadly snakes are they no snakes from their desert wandering. They know that if you get bit on the hill by a snake you might die. But the snake is not just crafty it and talk. No other snakes can speak not even in Paradise. An end of the snake must be controlled by some evil power some other Force some other being and it is clearly evil because what the snake says is questioning God and calling God a liar. I was naked sneaky just follow the dialog on versus 125 first that the hook did God really say and then he said something that God didn't actually say God did not say Don't eat from any tree know God effects of you made from any tree except that one tree but the woman she bites Chief versus to say we make me she doesn't verse to we need from the the fruit of the trees in the garden. But God did say you must not eat from that one tree that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die pretty good response considering that she was not even there when God first gave the command was only out of there at first. But she should have started with a firm no to the snake because the snake was so wrong and even more interesting though is what she adds to God's words. You must not touch a garden say that you look fine say don't touch the tree. So why is Eve adding two God's words? Why is she making things harder for herself? I mean human beings do this all the time. It's a bit like like going on a diet. Some people say no, I won't touch any processed sugars and other person says no, I won't lie and carbs at all. But we don't do so well with hard boundaries like that. It's so easy to slip and across the line and then throw the whole of the towel out and just Dive Right In and eat whatever you want. Humans like to cross the line any line, wherever there's a line drawn in the sand. There's someone who's going to cross it adults have this problem and so do kids and boy, I know this from having a toddler kids are always trying to figure out the rules. Why do we have to do this? How do I follow the rules or in some cases? How do I break the rules? Do we have a hard time following strict arbitrary rules? We want to know why and how we want to understand the meaning behind the rule. Well the snake the snake takes the opening in verse for the next snake says you will not certainly die for God knows when you eat from it. Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God Good and Evil. That is Crafty the snake through the snake comes out and says it is a liar. God is a lot of God didn't tell you the truth. Sure. God doesn't want you to have this special knowledge and whenever human see a line any line God's boundary in the sand they want to cross it and for 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 and she also gave some to her husband who is with her and he ate it but 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. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of God the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. They hid from the Lord God Among the Trees of the garden.
This is the heart of the story. This is the heart of the fall and it goes by so quickly. I mean just look at the few verbs sheep. She looks and takes me back there. She looks and takes and eats and gives and then and he eats 2 undercard Leah pause in the action At first. She sees that the tree is good and pleasing and desirable and then she takes the fruit. She touches it there is no misunderstanding of God's command again. Remember if she she said God must said, you must not touch the tree.
When she touches it and doesn't die, then she eats it and she gives it to the manager and he eats it too and the Man by the way, was there all along with her the whole time Adam is right there beside her. So why didn't he stop her? Why does he eat with her then? He remember God's command. Some people have used this story to blame Eve for the fall and that is not right that is not fair to her and it is not fair to the text is not faithful to what the Bible says. If you read Genesis 2 carefully, you see that both the woman and man were there and they both share the blame for the fall if anything the man is more responsible because he heard God's command firsthand the first time around and the story continues in verse 9
But the Lord God Called to the man. Where are you? He answered. I heard you in the garden because and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid and he said who told you you were naked. Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from and the man said the woman you put here with me. She gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it then the Lord God said to the woman. What is this you have done and the woman said the serpent deceived me and I ate Now they both bear the effects of the Fall they both send and note that the text doesn't actually use either one of those words. There's no guilt or sin or fall in this text. Those are our leader interpretations of the story and they are true and faithful and accurate but we see in the text is that the first effect of sin is shame? They they they realize they're naked. They're ashamed of their bodies this beautiful creation that God made good and beautiful and their first instinct is to cover themselves. They hide from each other. Their perfect marriage relationship is broken. And then the second effect of sin is fear. They fear God when God comes walking in the garden in the cool of the day looking for a personal relationship with Adam and Eve May hide from God their relationship with God is broken. They put a barrier of trees between themselves and God. So the effects of Sinner by shame and fear and that there was this this long Jewish history of arguing with God based on the Bible and often Jewish Scholars or rabbis with will write a commentary of scripture where they argue with God in the midst of a story of the text and hear some Jewish Scholars take issue with God after all the serpent was right. God why'd they did not die. They ate the fruit and lived or so. It seems the serpent seems to have told the truth all along. I'd God was the liar. But no, that's not right. Did not lie. I did die not immediately not physically, but they died spiritually their bodies from that moment on would suffer and die. Either fall into sin had consequences curses literally in the text and in chapter one. God bless his creation three times and appear in chapter 3 God curses creation three times. Chris's the snake and God curses the ground and in the next chapter God curses Cain for killing his brother. Because the effects of sin are so widespread from this moment on but the effects of God's grace are even greater. In verse 14. So the Lord God said to the serpent because you have done this accursed. Are you above all livestock and all wild animals you will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life 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. This curse has within it the seed a promise the seed of the woman The Offspring of the woman it is this this little bit of Grace and promise in the midst of a story of fall and broke innocence in the early church fathers called this the the protoevangelium But First Gospel this little gospel does little promise that God is bringing Redemption runs throughout all of scripture. It's a promise that zosyn runs deep God's grace is more the God will send an offspring of the woman a seed and he will be victorious over evil and sin and death and he will defeat the powers of evil on the cross. He will disarm them showing them to be nothing. His name is Jesus the seed Hebrews 12:14 says that Christ shared our flesh and blood so that through death. He might destroy the one who has the power. Of death, that is the devil. And the rest of chapter 3 goes on to work out the effects of sin on the man and the woman and the ground and all there is is suffering and work and hardship and death. We won't go into those details today instead will focus on this kernel of the promise. God will renew his creation through the work of Jesus Christ.
This is the story of the beginning but the beginning also points to the ending and in revelation 22 that says this about God's New Creation. Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of Life as clear as Crystal flowing from the Throne of God and from the lamb down the middle of the great street of that City and on each side of the river stood the Tree of Life bearing 12 crops of fruit yielding its fruit and every month on the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the Nations no longer. Will there be any curse the Throne of God and the lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve him and blessed are those who wash their robes for they will have the right to eat of the tree of life and may enter the City by its Gates. You see we we need to know the whole story. We need to love the whole story of God from creation to fall to Redemption 2 new creation, and we need to go back to scripture to God's holy word to The Living Word to Jesus Christ. And I want to challenge you today to do just that this has been on my heart for months and pain on the the heart and conversation of council members and Elders fear that we are being swayed by the current of our culture by news media by politics and politicians and today. I want to challenge you all of you too fast. Dakota immediate fast with the word fast and as fast as two parts of putting down and picking up I want to challenge you to put down to give up to lay aside to turn off one media Source until the end of the year one media Source now, which one well with that which is the one thing that you watch or read or hear that gets your heart unsettled and all riled up. What is that? One thing that unsettles you in consumes your attention and you can hardly get away from it. That is the thing. You need to give up. This year turn off the TV unplug the cable can put your subscription on hold for a while to deactivate your Facebook account temporarily and reactivate it later. No problem. Delete that one app from your phone. The one that you keep on spending all that time on I change the radio presets in your car. Go to the word put down that one video source and pick up the word dive into God's word again and again longer and longer more and more and don't just read about God's word read the word itself. Don't just read a devotional or a Christian book or listen to a good Christian speaker or listen to Christian radio. No go to the word pick up your Bible and read it read it a lot listen to it on your phone use a devotional grab something like that the today devotional to use in the evening and when you use the today or something like it, be sure to read the whole scripture text not just one little verse maybe even the whole chapter that's pointing YouTube. Go to the word. There's so many ways that you could do that. You could get an app on your phone. Like the today a for the Bible app is another excellent one use whatever source is easy for you. Listen to the Bible. If you don't like reading it, you can just use an audio Bible on your phone or on another device to read the word and pick up plan or a way that you can manage for example in the morning everyday. I listen to a prayer podcast called pray as you go where there's a scripture text for that is read twice and there's some music and some props for prayer and takes 10 or 11 minutes every morning and then in the evening before bed. I grabbed my phone and I read a phone or a part of the song Just 15 20 30 vs. At a time, whatever I can manage and then the next day I pick up where I left off the pretty easy way to work through the Bible as soon as as soon as I finish the song I'll probably start in the Gospel of Luke. Whatever works for you. And I can even make you a custom reading plan on my computer with as many verses as you want per day as many chapters as you want per day of whatever part of the Bible that you want so that you can work your way through scripture and there's even a few more options. I've got here. I've got a reading the Bible reading challenge from another church that I looked at it and thought was pretty good. I've got to a monthly reading plan of that's based on the text, but I'll be preaching on so it's got every week the text that I'll preach on but also some other texts, it's around it. There's so many ways that you can go to the word in the today, by the way at our entrance. We always have today version normal version large print version in this is the James specialty extra large print version, which I can print out for you upon request. I only make two or three of these a month. This is really good for those who have trouble reading.
Whatever it is. I want to challenge you to go back to the word 222 pick something that works for you to put down that one media source that consumes your heart and pick up God's word because God's spirit is calling us to be people were formed more by the word than by anything else out there. And this time calling us to account on because many of us here myself included have been more formed by things that we read and see and watch then we have been by God's word and that is not right. And as I look at you some of you all of you in the eyes, you know what that thing is that you need to lay down. And the thing that you need to pick up is God's bird. That's the challenge. I know the grace. Last night I thought him sing in honor of Jim Jensen. We sang one of his favorite songs and it is one of my favorites too. It's it's one that we sang two weeks ago when we when I was preaching on another worship that is ongoing even now in God's throne room had called the Revelation Song by Jennie Lee riddle and Jim told his pasture before the service that he loves this song because he said it tells the whole story it tells the whole story from creation to Christ to New Creation. It says Worthy is the Lamb and holy holy holy and all we can do is to bow down in worship before God's Throne now and forever one day forever more and that is the Hope That we see in creation and fall and Redemption a new creation. That is the Hope For The Suffering and the dying for we may suffer and die in this life. But God is making all things new God renews us in Christ. And God prepares us for the garden that is in the city of God at all. That is wrong will be made right all that is broken will be made new all that is separate will bring we brought together in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God the father and to that all we can say is a men. What's playing?
God you called us to your word truth to your your word that that shows us that the promise of the Fall that you're good creation broken and falling will one day me be made new. And we ask that you make us people who are formed by your story more than any other story out there in the world any other narrative that we may be people of the word people of your kingdom being formed to to be your hands and feet in the world of people of the Kingdom being prepared for that day when your kingdom will be all and all and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Forgot by your spirit shape us inform us protect us from evil guide us and comfort us and lead us that we may be people of your word your living word Jesus Christ. And whose name we pray. I meant