Romans 5:12 (CSB) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.
Genesis 3:1-13 (CSB) Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “No! You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman.“In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
11 Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
13 So the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
In this particular study, I was tempted in breaking my usual template and wanted to step away from examining God first. But the more I read the passage, the more we can see what the passage does proclaim God in the light of the lies and the schemes of devil.
In other words, the more you know God and his word, the more that your mind and heart can reject the lies of Satan and the philosophies of this world.
3:1a Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made.
God is the creator of all things--heavens, earth, animals, plants, humans, angels, Satan, demons, and hell.
A question might arise, "Did God create someone or something that go on to undo His good creation?" God did create all but not for the expressed purpose of countering and end up sinning against God. (If you want to counter this with Romans 9, jump om my channel on Monday where in a few months, I will be digging into Romans 9.)
We have examined Genesis 1 and 2. We know the intentions of God that this creation was always suppose to be perfect with the jewel of his creation, mankind, being in perfect, right-standing, and holy relationship with his maker. When it goes wrong, that blame does not fall at feet of the Creator of all things but rather those who willfully sinned against the Creator.
Is God powerless to stop evil? No, absolutely not. God is omnipotent. He is all powerful. He is the Almighty God. The explanation on why he did not stop the serpent nor Eve nor Adam from sinning against him cannot be easily explained away. This is where I confess where my finite mind cannot comprehend the Infinite God who is all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere. I am a mere mortal that will not dare judge God and make this all of his fault. I know that my actions against him was sin and it has devastated and destroyed my life and those around me. But only God is good and He was the only one who can come save me out of death and into life.
Our counter to that: we are not good and we were born into sin. And from the start of sin, we love to blame everybody else for our sin. Blame-shifting is a sin that the sons and daughters of Adam love to participate in. Instead of accepting blame for their own sin and then repenting of their sins and giving their sins over to Christ who was crucified for the sin of his people, we instead think that we still need to blame others for our actions. If you believe and trust and obey God, Christ is no less crucified if you blame others for your sin. Just repent. Go to God.
Ah, easier said than done. Why is it so difficult to repent? Why can't we do so naturally?
Let us get into the text and let us see God for who he really is.
3:1b He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Satan here will immediately attack the children of God and lie about God's perfect provision and generosity.
The counter punch to this Satanic lie comes from Christ himself:
Matthew 6:31-34 (CSB)So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God is generous by default. Listen, he created everything out of nothing. Do you think he is limited in his provision?
And he is not limited on grace for he gives graces upon grace. He is not limited in his mercies for they are new every morning.
Christ has commanded us to seek Him first and his righteousness--for our God has already provided and will always provide.
More so, the Father has his kids forever. No one is going to snatch them out of the seal of the Spirit and the double grip of the Father and the Son.
If the children of God can never be separated from his love, then what is generosity but by the grace of God? And what is provision other than the Sovereign Lord himself.
3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”
Did you catch that? What is the difference between what God commanded and what Eve repeated?
... or touch it,...
God is holy--God is completely set apart from all evil and sin. Or to say it right, sin and evil is completely separated from God. God is far above, far from, separated, and God wholly rejects sin.
The saints of the Old Testament had a grasp on his holiness and they knew the gospel. But not in a million years could have guess that God would have come into our broken world as a newborn baby boy and be able to topple kingdoms left and right for thousands of years after his life, death, and resurrection.
God is holy and the commandments that come from God are holy.
But what is our response? Either we sin or listen to me carefully, not instead of sin but in the midst of our depravity and wickedness, we dog-pile man-made rules on onto his holy law because man is a legalistic machine.
Here's the counter punch to that. Matthew 23 is Christ on a rightful rant against our tendencies to add on to his holy word. Here's a sample of his preaching:
Matthew 23:23-24 (CSB) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, and yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, but gulp down a camel!
God gives commands and we get it all jacked up. Yet, God is still holy and his law is still good. Not content just for the word of God to stand alone, we love to put rules on top of God's good gifts. Gifts like love, ministry, raising children, marriage, and relationships. We don't need more rules. We need God and we need his word because it is true and perfect.
And you think three little words in addition to God's commandment wouldn't do any harm. Adam and Eve thought so well. And they could have never imagine where that little bit of separation would be their utter destruction and death.
Those who have read Genesis 3 and heard it preached before know we are going to get to the first instance of the good news preached by God.
But because we have his precious word, we can see the good news before it was preached.
3:4 “No! You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman.
In this, the serpent told a half-true, which is always a full lie. But the Devil will never give us the full truth. Do you think when sin entered into this world that Adam and Eve thought they would see death all around them and then live long enough to see their son, Abel, murdered by his own brother? Only then, to die and to perish?
They didn't die instantly. But they did die. The spirit of God that was in them left their now mortal, sin-filled bodies to rot and perish.
The counter punch to this was the life and existence of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:10-11 (CSB) Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.
Jesus was born just like we were. Grew in stature and wisdom. And when the time came to step into his ministry, the Spirit of God descended upon him and remained in Christ until Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross so that the children of God would live forever!
Go back to Genesis 3 where Satan keep spitting out more half-truths:
3:5 “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Are there any other gods?
Psalms 97:9 (CSB) For you, LORD,
are the Most High over the whole earth;
you are exalted above all the gods.
Isaiah 44:8 (CSB) Do not be startled or afraid.
Have I not told you and declared it long ago?
You are my witnesses!
Is there any God but me?
There is no other Rock; I do not know any.
Asaph writes it in this way about those who think of themselves like a god
Psalms 82 (CSB) God stands in the divine assembly;
he pronounces judgment among the gods:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
4 Rescue the poor and needy;
save them from the power of the wicked.”
5 They do not know or understand;
they wander in darkness.
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods;
you are all sons of the Most High.
7 However, you will die like humans
and fall like any other ruler.”
8 Rise up, God, judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to you.
Adam and Eve were tempted by being like God. They were not satisfied with being right-standing and in perfect community with God. They thought there was something more--something more life giving. There is nothing more than God. Sin, hell, Satan, and demons will preach to your heart and soul and mind all the long day: "There is something greater than this. Follow your heart. You are sad. Just be happy"
You followed your heart. And you end up in the deepest, darkest trenches, left for dead. And if God has mercy on your soul, you will want something more than death.
3:6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Here's how Paul describes that moment:
Romans 1:21-23 (CSB) For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became foolsand exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
In this great exchange, we swapped God for something that we thought for something that would make us happy. But in the end, we exchanged God for death.
Christ arrives and he exchanges death for Himself.
John 6:65-69 (CSB) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”
66 From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
When we sin, we feel shamed. And if we get good at sinning, then we can harden our hearts against feeling that shame. We can cover ourselves in our self-righteousness and do our best to cover up that shame that covers up that sin.
And we are sinned against, when we don't run to God and get healing from God, we cover up the shame with bitterness and anger which is all rooted in self-righteousness.
The only way you can be free from shame is to be open and confess your sins to the Lord God. Christ has demanded that you give your sin over to him. Why? So he can shame you? No! So he can love you and set you free. To condemn you? No! Jesus is the one who died--you have no condemnation because you are in Christ Jesus. So he can punish you? No, he has no wrath for you. His wrath is only for those who disobey him. Your confession and repentance is obeying him. You took him at his word and you trust him.
3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Christ will do this for each and every one of us:
Matthew 11:28 (CSB) “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
You do not need to be afraid. Christ has come to save you, commune with you, and be with you.
3:9 So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
If you have heard the Lord God call you, you know that your life and mind and heart was changed in an instance. Look at the Bible. Look at when God had called his people to himself. They responded. Even the most harden sinner and persecutor, in the middle of his response, Saul who becomes Paul, calls him, "... Lord?"
Look at how Paul describes that moment on the road to Damascus:
1 Timothy 1:12-14 (CSB) I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry—13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an (violent and) arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief,and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Realize and know: God is merciful, kind, and gracious to you--even if you think you have committed the worst kinds of sin
3:10 And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
Luke 18:13 (CSB) “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’
What did Christ say about the tax collector? He went home justified.
Christ comes to you. You cannot run too far off. He holds the stars in his hands. The prophet Isaiah says, "Is the saving arm of God too short?" That is a ridiculous question: God has the opposite of T-Rex arms. He saves whom he wills.
3:11 Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
Romans 2:3-4 (CSB) Do you think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment?Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
God is so patient with you. Come to him and let God take the burden of sin and death off of all you.
The evangelist Paul Washer said it this way, "The arms of the Loving Savior are extended far and wide inviting you to come in--until one day, a day we do not know when--he will drop his arms down for all of eternity."
3:12 The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
That sin doesn't belong to anybody else.
Men, you are looking at porn because you have no wife or did you just figured out that your wife is a whole human being made in the image of her creator and wasn't created to fulfill your porn fantasies? But you are sexually immoral and you are lavishing and heaping God's wrath upon your life.
You are going to stand before God and blame your wife or the lack of having a wife? Lunacy.
Women, you have convinced yourself that men are evil and depraved and that gives you the freedom to do whatever you want and your disobedience, in all of its forms, is going to look kindly upon by God for your unrepentance.
I was introduced to porn when I was 8. I was addicted to porn longer than some of you have been alive. I was molested and raped as a kid. But I get a free pass to consume porn and continue to sin against His precious imagebearers and store up lustful thoughts and intentions in my heart? That is madness.
3:13 So the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
That was the moment that single human born of a woman would be born into sin. There would be no escaping from it--not even death.
Paul puts it like this:
Ephesians 2:1-3 (CSB) And you were dead in your trespasses and sinsin which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.
We were so foolish, dumb, blind, and dead that we didn't know we were being deceived and led astray right into death.
But this what God is offering: Himself.
This is his response to his lost and forsaken children:
Ephesians 2:4-5 (CSB) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
You are not going to think right and love right on your own. If you sit and think I don't need God to do those things, then I have no good news for you. But if you know you are desperate and need to be rescued from the world and this life, call to Jesus.
Call upon his name and he will give himself over to you.
He is going to ask for your life--all of your thoughts, your heart, your sin, your wrongdoings, everything. But in exchange he gives you eternal life, complete satisfaction, fullness of joy and pleasures evermore.
Paul says it like this:
Galatians 2:20 (CSB) I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.