Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Genesis 3

The Fall of Man

When we study scripture, we often find out that He was not what we thought He was.  It changes our impressions of Him.  God wants a relationship with man.  He provides for our needs and shows how He handles us when we mess up.  Only God can restore man from our bad choices.

The serpent was an angelical being and very beautiful.  He served God and was very wise.  Eve was not startled by him or his appearance.  The enemy will not always appear scary.  He preaches a counterfeit gospel.  He stirs up doubt.  He is deceitful.  He still tempts people to doubt God and specializes in half-truths. 

Adam told Eve what God had said about not eating the tree of knowledge of good and evil or they would die.  The serpent caused Eve to question God by asking, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen. 3:1  He enticed her to be independent from God causing her to think these instructions were unfair.  He convinced her she needed what God had forbidden.

Eve told the serpent what God had said – or at least what God told Adam, but she added that they were not even to touch it.  The serpent told her they would not die.  He told her what she wanted to hear and this caused her to doubt.  “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.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”Gen. 3:6  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked” – Gen 3:7.  They focused on the serpent’s words and their desires and lost sight of God.  Eve was deceived and sinned.  Adam willfully chose to sin.

The serpent in Gen. 3:1 and Rev. 12:9; 20:2 represents Satan who is also called the devil and the great dragon.  God instructed Adam that he could to eat of any tree in the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  God allowed them to eat of the tree of life, which is represents eternal life.

Comparing this scripture with Matt. 4:1-11:  both quoted what God said and both Eve and Jesus were tempted:  Eve with wisdom; Jesus with power.  Eve gave in, but Jesus did not.  Temptation is not a sin.  It is only sin, when you give in to it and your evil desires.

Characteristics of Satan:
Matt. 13:19 – he snatches away what is sown in your heart.
Matt. 13:25, 39 – he sows seeds
John 8:44 – he is a murderer from the beginning, a liar and the father of lies.
John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11 – he is the prince of the world.
2 Cor. 4:4 – he is the god of this age.
Eph. 2:2 – he is the ruler of the kingdom of the air.

Satan has a strong influence in the world, because it is so easy to follow him – just do what you want to do.  It’s hard work being a Christian and obeying God.  We really have to work at it.  The devil does have limitations.  He can only do what we let him.  He can only do what God allows him to do.  He has to ask God’s permission.  One day he will be bound for a 1,000 years.  Then he will be released for a short time to deceive the world, and then he will be thrown into the lake fire.  See Job 1:6-12; Luke 4:1-13; Rev. 20:2, 7-10

What temptations are you facing?
Do you give in, because it’s easier than obeying God?

When we are tempted, we do have defenses against the schemes of the devil:
1 Thess. 5:17, James 6:16 – we have prayer.
Matt. 4:1-2; Luke 4:1-2 – we have the Spirit within us
Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12 – we have the word of God
James 4:7 – if we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us.

People who don’t want to be under God usually question Him and His Word.  God knows what we need and what is best for us.

Do you have moments when you think God doesn’t know what you need?
Do you doubt God’s goodness?

We struggle when we don’t get what we desire.  Man’s wrong choices are not God’s wrong doing.  Adam remained silent when Eve was being tempted by the serpent.  A lot of times we remain silent, when we see others being tempted, struggling, or doing wrong.  There are things we can do.  We can pray about the situation, speak up or even share the gospel; but we remain silent.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, they heard God walking in the garden.  They hid from Him.  They realized they had done wrong by disobeying God and were ashamed and guilty.  They were in fear of God.  We all say that Adam blamed Eve, but actually he blamed God saying “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”.  Eve blamed the serpent.  They were just like us today, always making excuses and blaming others for our mistakes and not owning up to them.

Are you running and hiding from God?
Are you convinced God is mad at you?

As a result of their sin God punished the serpent by cursing him above all livestock and animals.  He made him crawl on his belly and made him enemies with the woman. – Gen. 3:14-15.  God punished Eve by increasing her pain in childbirth and childrearing and her husband would rule over her. – Gen. 3:16.  God punished Adam by cursing the ground and making his work painful and hard. – Gen 3:17-19

As a result of Adam and Eve sin there is now sin in the world and spiritual death comes to all men.  God’s remedy is forgiveness of sin.  His remedy of fear is His Son.  He wants to forgive you and restore you.  God provided a way to restore our relationship with Him.  He reconciled us through the blood of Christ.  He provided Jesus as a sacrificial lamb to take away the sins of the world.  John 1:29“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  John 14:6“Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one come to the Father except through me.”  Rom. 3:25“God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.”  2 Cor. 5:17-19“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” THANK YOU, JESUS!!!

Have you allowed Jesus to reconcile you to God?
Are you still guilty and afraid?  What do you do now?  Choose to believe.  Adam believed God and demonstrated his faith by giving Eve her name in Gen. 3:20.  Her name, Eve reflects life.

The first shed of blood in the Bible was when God had to make garments from the animals for Adam and Eve.  Their life was perfect, but they chose to believe otherwise.  Satan hates you and he wants you to be absolutely certain you can’t be certain of God’s grace.  God is the only solution to sin in your life.

Sin takes hold when we doubt God’s Word and God’s goodness.
Sin results in pain, conflict and death.
Sin leads to shame, fear and hiding.
The Lord Jesus Christ is man’s only solution to the power and penalty of sin.

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