I can remember as a youth in school, one of my favorite topics was History.
I never liked Math... English was boring because I was already speaking and reading it... so, I couldn't understand why I had to continue studying it.
Shop class was good too because I've always like working with my hands. I hated P.E. because I was overweight and couldn't run fast or climb a rope...
But history... This was different. It peaked my interest and I found it fascinating... and especially so when it was taught by someone who had a passion for it too.
I loved it when the people from the past were brought back to life and I could visualize in my mind their lives and the events surrounding their lives and how they dealt with these events.
I have always enjoyed coming to an understanding of why certain events in history came about... who brought them about... how they brought them about.
I also realized that through the study of history, we can learn and apply the lessons we learned from the mistakes of the past to today in order to avoid the same problems our ancestors went through.
But you know what? One of the many problems of mankind is that we tend to think that we're smarter... more evolved... more intelligent than those who've gone before and in our arrogance we don't actually learn from history but tend to rewrite it to suit our fancy... and then we end up repeating everything all over again because we just didn't listen.
The Bible is filled with history. The book of Genesis tells us about the beginnings of many things, such as... time and space... life... sin... salvation... the human race... the Hebrew nation...
Genesis clearly demonstrates to us the love, mercy, and grace of God toward mankind... and man's continued response to that love, mercy and grace with greater and greater sinful rebellion.
There are some who say that Genesis is simply an allegory... a symbolic fiction no different than other ancient pagan accounts of creation and that we should view it as mythical, figurative, or allegorical, rather than true historical.
What's even sadder is that this very idea is held by people who claim to be “believers”. Many are leaders and teachers in the church... teaching and training other believers that they can't believe their Bible.
I wonder what these “believers' believe in if they don't believe in the Bible?
Folks... if the Bible is untrue in any part of it... then all of it is suspect. We can't trust ANY of it if ANY of it is found to be false.
Furthermore... we need to stay away from “interpreting” the Bible as much as possible. We should rather take it at face value for what it is... the Word of God.
And since God is true... and in Him there is no lie... or shadow of turning (Rom 3:4; Jam 1:17), then we can count on His Word being true and the best way of “interpreting” it is through the literal, grammatical-historical method.
Now, there are several reasons why I believe that Genesis is an actual historical account that should be taken at face value and as literally truth... but I don't have the time to get into that here.
I will say though that the primary reason to believe it's a literal and true history is because Jesus, and the New Testament authors viewed it as such. Jesus had good reason to believe it... He was there!
Ray Comfort puts it this way... “Deny Genesis, chapter one, and you stand on the oxygen hose of your understanding. Death and suffering won't make sense. Evil and good won't have a definition. You will have no idea of your origins, and you won't know your Maker or bother with seeking the Savior.”
The first two chapters of Genesis gives us an account of the creation of everything that exists... and that everything that exists was created ex nihilo—out of nothing!
The 3rd chapter tells us of the Fall. It gives us an account of the beginning of all of man's troubles.
So, turn with me if you would, to Genesis 3:1-6, and let's read about...
I. The Crime
Someone may ask... “What is sin?” It's a valid question and worthy of an answer. After-all... if we're wanting to stop sinning and follow after Christ... it would help us to know what sin is... and isn't... wouldn't it?
And depending on who you ask, you'll probably get a different answer each time you asked the question.
I've heard some say that “Sin is anything that separates us from God”. This is true in the sense that sin does separate us from God, on the one hand... but on the other hand, it makes me now ask the question, “What is it that separates me from God?”
I've also heard that sin means... “missing the mark”. Ok... What was... or is... the mark that I missed?
And we find in Rom 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”... and once again I have to ask... “What IS the glory of God?”
So, these definitions of sin, along with many others, is incomplete. It leaves us asking more questions.
The best definition of “sin” that I've been able to find... A definition that makes it perfectly clear what sin is... what that thing is that separates me from God... what the mark is... and what the glory of God is... is found in...
(1Jn 3:4 KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
And if this isn't clear enough for you... listen to how the Holman Christian Standard Bible translates this...
(1Jn 3:4 HCSB) Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.
Now someone may say at this point... “Well, the Law hadn't been given yet!” To which I'd have to reply... “Yes it had!”
In Genesis 2:16-17, God had given a commandment to Adam that he was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. One law...
One simple little law! And we couldn't keep it. I mean... Really?! Come on!
Don't eat the fruit of that one tree Adam... Eat it and you will die... This is the only command I'm giving you. You can do anything else you want... just don't do this ONE THING!
And many years later, God would give man several other laws on Mount Sinai. But if we couldn't keep even ONE simple little law... why should we think that we could possibly keep many others?
When the serpent approached Eve and asked his question and began his process of deception... she looked at the tree with an interest she hadn't known before.
She saw that the tree was good for food. She noticed that it was pleasant to look at. And then we see the first inkling of doubting God and believing the lie... it was desirable to make one wise!
She was thinking... “It'll make me like God!” I will become just like Elohim... the Supreme One.
The tactics that the serpent used in the beginning on Eve... he still uses today. 1Joh 2:16
Eve saw that the tree was good for food... the lust of the flesh!
She noticed that it was pleasant to look at... the lust of the eyes!
She saw that it was desirable to make one wise... the pride of life!
In Gospel of Matthew, when we read of the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness... In chapter 4:3, Satan tells Jesus... “make these stones become bread”... the lust of the flesh!
In vs.6 he tells Jesus... “throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE OVER YOU,' and, IN THEIR HANDS THEY SHALL BEAR YOU UP”... the pride of life!
Then in vs.8 & 9 he shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world and tells Him... “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”... the lust of the eyes!
* * * * * * * * * * *
The sin that was committed by Eve in the Garden occurred because she was deceived (1Tim 2:14)... Adam however was in full blown rebellion against His Maker!
Gen 3:6 makes it clear that he was there the whole time! He didn't try to stop his wife! He didn't correct her when she added to the prohibition... “neither shall ye touch it”! He didn't tell the serpent to “Get Lost!”
No... he let all of this occur, and then he ate also. It was rebellion of the highest order...
R. C. Sproul coined the phrase “Cosmic Treason”, (which I've also named this sermon...) and that's what this truly was.
Man committed treason... Cosmic Treason... against the Sovereign... and this treason is cosmic in scope because it affects not only Mankind... but all of Creation...
II. The Cover-Up
Man has not changed. We may be more technologically advanced than the ancients...
We may have a greater understanding of how things work...
We may be able to extend life through a better understanding of Medical Science...
Our Scientific prowess has created things such as the automobile and airplanes...
We have even been able to go to the moon and back...
But Man... the creature... has not changed since the beginning.
Our interpersonal relationships are the same as they've always been. We fall in love... we marry... we have children... we have friendships... we conduct business...
And to this very day, when we do wrong... we either try to cover it up... or we pass the buck by blaming someone else.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they knew they had “done wrong”. They saw that they were naked, and they tried to cover their sin themselves.
And the covering they provided themselves was totally inadequate. The fig leaves would provide very little protection from the elements... and if they were similar to the fig leaves we have now... they probably would have caused itching.
Then, they discovered that the covering they provided for themselves didn't keep the Lord from seeing them afterall. The tried to cover themselves... tried to hide... and God still found them out!
So, since trying to hide the sin by covering it up didn't work... they moved on to the next step...
They started playing the “Blame Game”!
When the Lord asked Adam what was going on... Adam's responded by trying to spread the blame, not only to Eve... but to God Himself!
He said... Genesis 3:12
The woman...whom YOU gave me... Lord, it wasn't me... it was that woman... and it was Your fault for giving her to me!
Then when the Lord turned to the woman, she said... Genesis 3:13
The serpent... he deceived me! It's not my fault! That mean old serpent... I was tricked!
And our forebears found out what we know today... that ignorance is no excuse. If you break the law... you will suffer the consequences.
And, the consequences for mankind is...
III. The Curse
Genesis 3:14-20, 22-24
The consequences for mankind is... there's quite literally... hell to pay!
Everything changed... Life as it was meant to be lived had been radically altered, corrupted, by the curse.
Rather than the relatively easy-going life in the Garden and daily communing with our Creator... we are now subject to hardship... pain... and suffering.
We will face “spiritual” battles all the days of our lives because of the death we all died in Adam.
Born into sin, our natural inclination now is more toward the serpent... than toward God. Though we may wish to do good... the doing isn't in us. (Rom 7:18)
We will face “emotional” battles. The perfect union and perfect equality that existed between man and woman has been corrupted to a “battle between the sexes” and a power struggle for the leadership.
Where God says in verse 16 that “thy desire shall be to thy husband”... doesn't necessarily mean that the woman will seek after a loving relationship with a husband... but rather that she'll seek after his position as the head. This is explained in the very next statement... “and he shall rule over thee”.
And we will face “physcal” battles all the days of our lives.
Though most people these days aren't farmers or ranchers... we still “labor” and “by the sweat of our brow” eat our bread. We struggle every day just to “make ends meet”.
The “thorns” and “thistles” that “come forth” for us could easily be the debts and bills and other things we now deem “necessary”... and we have to struggle every day in order have a little left over after the “thorns” and “thistles” are dealt with.
And if all these battles weren't enough... to top it all off... we have been barred from the Garden! We've been cast out of our original home and are now strangers and pilgrims on the earth!
Our lot in life is truly sad. The consequences of our treason are enormous.
We could easily despair and believe that there is no hope... crying out as Cain did... “My punishment is greater than I can bear!” (Ge 4:13)
If it weren't for the fact that God has given us hope! He gave us hope, by showing us...
IV. The Cure
Our forebears tried to cover their nakedness themselves... and utterly failed.
They tried to hide in shame from God... and He still found them out.
But in His great love for mankind... He freely gave us what we knew we so desperately needed... but could not provide for ourselves...
A sacrifice had to be made so that a covering... which literally means Atonement... could be provided for us... Something had to die...
“Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” (Gen 3:21 NKJV)
And by providing our parents with the skin of animals, He demonstrated the truth that... “...the wages of sin is death...” (Rom 6:23 NKJV), thereby instituting the sacrificial system of worship that would be used throughout the Bible.
But, those first animals that gave up their lives so that man could receive Atonement... be covered... and every one of the animals that were offered in sacrifice throughout the ages to come... pointed to the final sacrifice...
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph 1:7 NKJV)
The cure that has been offered to us is the Son... Jesus Christ...
Rom 10:8-13 NKJV