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A Great Fall

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Genesis 3:1-15 (NIV)

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7Then 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.

8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

        “Cursed are you above all the livestock

        and all the wild animals!

        You will crawl on your belly

        and you will eat dust

        all the days of your life.

15        And I will put enmity

        between you and the woman,

        and between your offspring and hers;

        he will crush your head,

        and you will strike his heel.”

Introduction:

Humpty Dumpty – Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horses, and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

I.        Witness the Deception

A.       Inviting doubt

B.      Introducing Dishonesty

- Eve did not even have the concept of lie yet, but in pitting a lie against the truth, Satan presented Eve with a choice. To believe God, or to believe Satan. He was calling God a liar, and Eve believed him.

Quote: Men who could not sin would not be men; they would be good clocks ticking out goodness. --- George Arthur Buttrick (1892-1980)

C.      Initiating Distrust

-The trick here is to make God out to be the bad guy.

Illust.: There are two big lies that Satan has been perpetrating ever since the Garden of Eden. The first is that God is mean, vindictive, a spoilsport whose main role in life is to keep us from being fulfilled and happy--when we step out of bounds, he takes delight in making us pay.

   The second lie is that God really doesn't care what we do--probably doesn't know. And if he does, his business is to forgive us. He'll always forgive no matter what, so it really doesn't make much difference how we live and what we believe.

   -- B. Clayton Bell, "Many Happy Returns," Preaching Today, Tape No. 135.

II.      Witness the Disaster

Quote: One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake. ---Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

- Sin brought about the greatest disaster ever known to mankind. The one thing we must get a handle on, is that sin is bad. We have sugar coated sin, until it looks like a step in the wrong direction, instead of a terrible fall.

A.      A Lost Battle

                - The choice was open to our first parents, but the battle was lost when they chose to follow Satan and their own pride, rather than follow God.

B.       A Lost Innocence

Illust.: It was your great American wit, Mark Twain, who once said, Man is the only animal that blushes, and the only animal that needs to. We are ashamed, are we not, of things we've done in the past. Nobody is free who is unforgiven. Instead of being able to look God in the face or to look one another in the face, we want to run away and hide when our conscience troubles us.

   -- John R. W. Stott, "The Up-to-the-Minute Relevance of the Resurrection," Preaching Today, Tape No. 79.

C.      A Lost Relationship

1.       With Humanity

Illust.: This sign was seen at the desk of a country inn in Stow on the Wold, England:

   Please introduce yourself to your fellow guests since we are one big happy family. Do not leave valuables in your room.

   --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 368.

2.       With Earth

- Brambles produced instead of food, and hard work and much toil to get her to produce fruit.

3.       With God

- As in the garden, so in the promised land. The promised land and fellowship with God and man are intertwined and interdependent. When the Israelites sinned, they were cast out of the land where they were to be in fellowship with God.

Quote: It is against himself that everybody sins. ---Latin Proverb

Qoute: Like a bramble, anyway you grasp it, it hurts. ---Arabian Proverb

III.   Witness the Defense

"Quote:*  It is so much easier to fix blame than to fix problems. -- Kathleen Parker in the Orlando Sentinel, quoted in The Speaker's Digest (Oct./Nov./Dec. 1992). Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 6.

A.      Blaming God

-“The woman YOU gave me.”

B.      Blaming People

                “She gave me and I did eat”

Quote:  Think of all the squabble Adam and Eve must have had in the course of their nine hundred years. Eve would say, "You ate the apple," and Adam would retort, "You gave it to me."

   -- Martin Luther, "Martin Luther--The Early Years," Christian History, no. 34.

C.      Blaming Satan

                “The devil made me do it.”

-Notice, that in blaming all the others, no personal responsibility is taken, and repentance is impossible.

Quoote: Few blame themselves until they have exhausted all other possibilities. -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).

IV.    Witness the Declaration

A.      The Plan of Restoration

- Notice that it was not man’s plan, but God’s plan that went into effect. God took the initiative. God desires restoration. It is not only in the New Testament that we find grace, but the Old Testament is saturated with grace.

B.      The Promise of Restoration

Quote: God never made a promise that was too good to be true. -- D.L. Moody, Christian History, no. 25.

C.      The Person of Restoration

- Jesus, who was both the seed of women, and the Son of God, fulfilled this role, as the person of restoration. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.

Conclusion:

All the kings horses, and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again. But the king himself can. Jesus is the one that restores our relationship to God, and cures our rebellious heart. If your life has been broken by sin, Jesus can put the pieces back together again.

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