- Sermon Notes
Learning to Stand
Genesis 3:1-13 March 17-18, 2018
Genesis 3 is the story of the fall of man. Each of us is affected by what happened the day Adam and Eve rebelled against God. We all carry the consequences of their decision every day, but we also face something similar ourselves on a regular basis.
We need to understand what happened in this story and gain the insight we need to stand in victory. We know we have forgiveness of sin in Christ Jesus, and praise God that we do, but God wants us to grow in our faith so we can walk victoriously. In other words, sin does not have to master over us; we can be victorious.
That’s why studying this story is so important; we gain the insight we need to stand when we understand the schemes of the enemy and become prepared to walk as God wants us to walk.
I. The Battle is Spiritual
- The first character we see in the chapter is “the serpent of old” as he is called in the book of Revelation.
- This is Satan of course, and though he is referred to as the serpent, he does not present himself here as an ugly beast. Eve is not even slightly alarmed at his presence or appearance. She isn’t suspicious or defensive
- In other words, he wasn’t wearing a plaid jacket, he didn’t have a scar on his face and he wasn’t wearing a black hat.
- This story gives us insights into the nature of the enemy’s schemes and spiritual warfare.
A. He comes as an angel of light
- This is perfectly in keeping with the fact that the ‘serpent of old,’ or Satan, the devil, was a liar from the beginning.Jesus said of him…
John 8:44, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
- The nature of deception is to deceive; therefore, the schemes of the enemy include coming in the appearance of something that looks good, that looks attractive or enticing.
- We saw in the book of Revelation that the Antichrist comes as a genius of diplomacy and will be hailed as a hero by the nations of the world.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore, it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
- The root of the word serpent in the Hebrew has a secondary meaning ‘to shine.’
B. He draws you to what you don’t have
- The serpent came questioning, but not because he was looking for information, the questions were leading her toward doubt.
- “Indeed, did God say that you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?”He was driving her to the one thing she didn’t have.
- “From the trees in the garden we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’”Eve responded.
- There was only one restriction, only one thing she didn’t have, and he was drawing her towards it.
- At this point, she had everything; she was the most beautiful woman who ever lived.Of course, at this point, she was the only woman who ever lived; and she was the most brilliant, the wittiest and the most fit, she had no bills, no children waking her up at night, and no in-laws.There was nothing lacking.They lived in Paradise, in a beautiful garden planted by God himself.
- But there was that one thing she didn’t have, and he was drawing her toward it.And now, because we have inherited our sin nature from Adam and Eve we have the same problem.Instead of appreciating all the things we have… in our flesh, we focus on what we don’t have or shouldn’t have; and when you focus on the things you don’t have, even the things you do have lose their meaning.
C. He draws you to justify sin
- Verse 6 – when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise…
- Those are good things, nothing wrong there, what could possibly be wrong with eating from this tree?
- What’s wrong with it is that eating from it is simple disobedience to God.The one simple thing was that God said not to do it.
- Notice that each justification was a deeper desire; good for food, a delight to the eyes, and finally, desirable to make one wise.
- Once the heart’s desire is locked onto something, it will make a convert of the mind.In other words, people will say the stupidest things to justify their sin. Sin affects judgment; professing to be wise, they become fools.
Romans 1:18,22, …of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…professing to be wise, they become fools.
II.Stand Firm Therefore
- The dialogue between Eve and “the shining one” is a lesson in deception; to understand how Eve was deceived is to learn how to stand victoriously ourselves.
Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-14, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil… and having done everything to stand firm, stand firm therefore.
1 Peter 5:8-9, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith,
A. Stand on the rock of God’s Word
- At first, the serpent drew Eve to doubt what God had said. He begins by asking a question that is far off the mark from what God said; suggesting that God was overly strict, “Indeed, has God said that you shall not eat from any tree in the garden?”
- The serpent then moves to straight-out contradicting what God said and even questioning God’s motives, “You surely shall not die!But God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God and He gets very upset about that, I should know.”
- He’s driving a wedge, drawing her away from trusting what God said. If Satan can get her to doubt God’s Word, it’s the first step in separating her from God.
- You see this attack in the world all the time.
Illus – When someone gives their life to Christ they often face that same question from some of their old friends in the world, “You believe the bible? Don’t you know that was written by men?” Or, “don’t you know that it’s full of contradictions?”
Illus – Or when young kids head off to college only to face atheist professors professing to be wise and challenging everyone’s faith. They are trying to do the same thing that Satan was doing in the garden, separating people from God.
- The answer is to stand on the rock of God’s Word and not be moved.
- When Jesus was tempted in the desert, He responded to each temptation with the words, “It is written…”
- After Jesus had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He then became hungry.The tempter came and said to Him, “Since You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Matthew 4:4, But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Ephesians 6:13, 16-17, Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day… in addition to all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
A. Don’t add or subtract from God’s Word
- Eve’s answer is close to what God said, but she leaves out and adds to it. She says, “From the fruit of the trees we may eat.” She left out, from any tree you may eat freely… She left out the abundance and lavishness of God’s allowance.
- “But from the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God told us not to eat from it or even touch it lest we die.” Now she’s adding to what God said. He never said not to touch it, now she’s making extra restrictions that go beyond what God said.
- That’s the beginning of religion — adding to God’s Word traditions and restrictions that God didn’t say.
- The problem with adding to God’s Word is that it becomes a burden God never intended…
Illus – In the Mishna, a Jewish book that interprets the Law, it says that there 39 ways to break the Sabbath and 39 ways to break each of those 39 ways. In other words, there were 1,521 ways to break the Sabbath. We were in Jerusalem on the Sabbath and because it was Shabbat, we couldn’t take the bus, that would be lighting a fire. You can’t push an elevator button or turn on a light switch. But you can walk more than eight miles up and down the hills of Jerusalem!
Matthew 23:4, “The scribes and Pharisees tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”
- The problem with taking away from God’s word is that you lose the lavishness of God’s grace and you lose the power of the truth.
Mark 4:14-15, 19, “The sower sows the word.These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sound; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them… And others are those who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
A. What God does is good
- Notice Satan boldly contradicts what God said, “You surely shall not die!” The Liar is calling the Giver of truth a liar! And the problem is that what Satan was half-true.
- They didn’t physically die on the day they ate of that tree, although their death warrants were surely written that day.However, they did die spiritually, and it caused separation from God.
- And that’s man’s problem today.People can be physically alive, but very much dead spiritually.
- That’s why you must be born again.You were born physically, but what’s dead is the spiritual part of you that brings you into fellowship with God.
- You need to be born again spiritually and being made alive spiritually, you can have fellowship with the living God that’s far beyond what you can experience physically.
Romans 6:21-23, Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 16:11, You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Genesis 3:1-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Fall of Man
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves [b]loin coverings.
8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the [c]cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”