Man and Woman Sin—And Everything Falls Apart
· Adam and Eve were created with the freedom and power to choose. God does not force love.
· Genesis 3 recounts the day that mankind’s struggle between good and evil began. It is a pivotal moment in the story and one that we can all relate to.
· Our Core verse is Gen 3:6 and shows the exact moment is all went south. We will look at the whole story together.
· Genesis 3:1-24
· God only had one rule: Let me be God!
o Adam and Eve rebelled against God and ate from the forbidden “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and God’s vision to be with people was ruined
o They were ruined because of their own choice, but they were deceived
· Satan = deceiver. He will do anything he can to thwart your journey to truth and life
o Jn 8:44 “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”
· Weapons Satan loves to use:
o Relativism-assumption that there is no such thing as absolute truth
o Subjectivism- I have the right to determine what is right and wrong without submitting my judgment to any authority outside myself
o It’s the True-ish things he says
§ Its not the blatantly false that leads us astray.
§ True-ish mindsets:
· As long as I’m happy
· As long as I’m not hurting anybody
· As long as I’m sincere
o He will constantly leverage your pride and lust
Sin’s damage to the human race is catastrophic.
· Because Adam and Eve chose a different vision than God’s vision, sin became part of their spiritual DNA and they produced more sinners. Sin becomes a cycle.
o It’s a short ride to murder, illicit sex and other sins.
o It gets so bad that God’s chooses Noah to build the ark and God does a “do over” of the human race after the judgment of flood waters.
o The flood erased the wicked human race, but did not erase the sin nature from Noah and his family
o Sin has tainted us…even the best of us
o You would think that after Adam and Eve and Noah that God would finally give up on us. But He didn’t. He couldn’t! He’s willing to do whatever it takes
But God Promises—There is Still Hope!
· While Adam, Eve, and each of us are struggling with our sinfulness the God of the universe is unfolding His story of redemption
· Even in the midst of the chaos of the world, there are 2 hints of hope in Chapter 3 of Genesis
o 1) The first Messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15
o 2) God killing an animal to cover the shame of sin in Genesis 3:21
§ First shedding of blood. Innocent animal had to die.
§ God provided a way to get this right but it came at cost of life
The Truth about my Sinful Nature ( via Bob Russell)
1. I have inherited a sinful nature that is bent against God, and if unrestrained, is capable of terrible evil.
o Paul wrote in Romans 7:18: "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."
2. I need Jesus Christ to transform my sinful nature.
o The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." One of the glorious things about becoming a Christian is God doesn't just wipe away our sin from the past and forgive everything we've ever done, he also gives us a new nature.
3. I must rely daily on the Holy Spirit to empower me in my struggle against the sinful nature.
o You sin nature even through crucified is still struggling for survival. And even though we're Christians, we have to take up our cross daily and crucify the old self, or else we can slip back into those old habits.
o In Romans 8, Paul says: "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you."
4. I look forward to the day in heaven when the struggle will be over and the victory will be won.
In the Beginning….2 Stories Emerge
· Garden to Grace or Grave to Garden
· There are a hundred different stories in this room, but there are really only two: One walks from a garden into a grave, and one walks from a grave into a garden. Which story are you living?
Core 52 -Week 2
· Core Verse Gen 1:26a Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”
· Larger Context: Gen 1:26-27 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 7 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
· Gen 1:28-31 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
· Gen 2:1 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
We are Image Bearers: Created for Relationship
· Created for Relationship with the Creator
o Seen well in Genesis 2:
· Genesis 1 inspires awe and wonder. Then in chapter two, God seems to say: I want to show you this again; but this time I want you to see this from the earth's perspective.
o Genesis 1:1 reads, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;"
o Genesis 2:4 says, "the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."
o Do you see the shift? Chapter one reads "heaven and earth"; chapter two reads "earth and heaven." Chapter one sets the stage; chapter two begins the story.
· There's an incredible shift related to the name of God in the second “account” of the creation.
· Chapter one records 30 occurrences of the word Elohim.
· In chapter two, God is called "the Lord God." That's the word Yahweh, or Jehovah in some Bibles. This name for God isn't even introduced to us until the Book of Exodus.
o As Moses is preparing to lead the people out of Egypt, God says, tell them "I Am"—Yahweh—sent you.
o The Hebrews wouldn't pronounce the word Yahweh. Instead, they substituted the word Adonai. That's why, in our English translations, we find the word Lord in capital letters.
· Suddenly in Genesis 2, the name "Lord God" is used instead of Elohim. This name is a covenant name, a relational term. With this shift, God and humankind began a journey together.
Created for Relationship with Each other
· Everything in Genesis 1 and 2 is said to be good, until you get to Gen 2:18. Here we read: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.
· God declares a man without a companion to be "not good."
o Big deal considering there is no sin yet. What? Something Not good?
· There is more to this truth than Adam simply needing a wife. Even more vital than Adam's physical, emotional, and psychological needs is Adam's mandate to bear God's image.
· Relationships are messy, but they are not optional. You cannot fulfill God's call on your life without being in a relationship with Him and other people.
· True identity is found in community not in individualism.
We are Image Bearers: Created to Create
· We often make an artificial distinction between sacred work and secular work; between God's work and our work. But the Bible tells us that all work is God's work, if it's helping people and the world to become all that God intends them to be.
o God wants his world to be beautiful, so he commissions people to be artists, and designers, and beauticians, and paint store owners.
o God wants people to be healthy, so he commissions others to be physicians, and nurses, and nutritionists, and therapists.
o God wants children to be loved and nurtured, so he raises up parents and grandparents and coaches and den mothers and child care workers.
o God wants knowledge to increase and to be useful, so he recruits people to do research and design computers and write books and teach students and explore new frontiers.
o God cares about justice, so he calls people to be attorneys and judges and lawmakers and social workers.
o God values order, - so He puts managers in charge of departments, secretaries in charge of offices, and homemakers in charge of households.
o God wants people to live in peace and safety, so he enlists soldiers and police officers and government officials.
· You get the idea. When we work to make life better for the people God loves, for the world he created, we're doing good work. We're doing God's work.
· Every Monday morning, you and I have the same opportunity, to put our knowledge, skills, and connections to work;—if not for justice, then for beauty, or truth, or health, or whatever endeavor God calls us to.
· When you and I work to make life better for one person, for one community, for one industry, we are joining God in the work he's been doing from the very beginning—the creation and expansion of a universe that will reflect his glory in ever increasing ways for all of eternity. When you understand this, work is good. In fact, it's very good.
We are Image Bearers: Created to Reflect
· When Genesis 1 says we were created in God’s IMAGE
· The word image is actually the word statue, and in the ancient world, kings would set up statues in remote parts of their empire.
o Before the days of printing, you couldn't have a poster of yourself as king in some remote part of your empire to remind everybody that you were in charge.
o You couldn't give a "State of the Empire" address and have everyone hear that. So kings would set up these statues, these images that would remind people of their presence.
o These statues would provide a visible representation of their invisible presence. In Daniel chapter 3, we read that that's what King Nebuchadnezzar did. He set up an image 90 feet high and 9 feet wide to represent himself. Some ancient kings referred to themselves as images of God. By that they meant they were representing the gods or goddesses that they served.
· So when we read that we are made in the image of God, we are to read that as, Wow, God has made us to serve as his representatives. We're like kings who thought they were representing certain gods. We are representing our Creator. The word likeness here reminds us that we represent him by resembling him.
o “We are created to reflect God's rule down to the earth and to reflect the earth's joy up to God.” NT Wright
This all Sounds Great right? Created For relationship, Created to Create, Created to Reflect. What the catch?
The Ugly Disruption of Sin
· So I don’t know, you tell me….How is the Genesis ideal going these days? Is the earth pretty much covered with the glory of the knowledge of God like the waters cover the sea?
· No, it's not, because of the presence of sin. God is still here, but because I'm sinful, I don't want to be a mirror. I don't want to reflect God's reign. I want to reign.
· I want my will to be done, not God's will. When praise and glory come, I don't want it to go up to God. I want it to come to me because sin, pride, selfishness, and deceit have robbed me of this mirror and distorted the image of God in me. I want now to be my own little god. I live now in the kingdom of self instead of in the kingdom of God. We all do.
· Sin has messed everything up. As a result of the Fall (SEE NEXT WEEK), we see the effects of sin immediately in what's called the curse. Our work—our dominion—is messed up. Now there are thorns and thistles. We labor by the sweat of our brow. Work is messed up. Relationships are messed up.
· Instead of there being community, harmony, love, and joy between people, there is hostility. There is a struggle for power; we attempt to reign and inflict our own wills on each other.
o Does anyone here ever mismanage conflict?
o Do you ever harbor resentment?
o Do you ever not go directly to somebody when you have a problem with them? Ever send a nasty-gram email?
o Ever make a cutting comment about someone behind his back to another person?
· See, we have become people who destroy community, who damage other people and ourselves. This is serious. This behavior violates the image of God.
· And it brought a hard stop to the perfect world God created. Adam and Eve banished from the garden. We only get Two chapters into the Bible before it all falls apart.
· But God doesn't give up. He begins again. This is who our God is.
By Grace, there is another Genesis story in the Bible
· In Jesus, God is beginning the Genesis story all over again but this time at incredible personal cost.
· The price of the rebellion must be paid. And on the cross Jesus paid it in full.
· On the cross where Jesus dies for your sin and mine, you might remember Jesus' final words: "It is finished!"
· Incredible! At the end of creation, God said, "It is finished." Now, finally, all the damage sin has done has been defeated. Jesus says It is finished!