We return to Genesis chapter 3 in our series in origins. I didn’t know when I started out how long we’d be into this series, but I’m certainly enjoying every bit of it as we look at the origin of those things which are absolutely critical to any kind of true world view. And we have dealt with creation, seen how God created the entire universe in six days, six solar days, an evening and a morning. And we are now studying the Fall of man. The third chapter of Genesis in many ways is the most defining chapter in the Bible because it explains why things are the way they are today. Why there is what there is in the world. Why there is decay. Why there is disease. Why there is dysfunction. Why there is disintegration. Why there is ultimately death and judgment. Those things plague our entire universe, and they all come out of the event recorded in Genesis chapter 3, the Fall of man and his universe.
And as it is true of Genesis 1 and 2 that you have God’s own account of creation, here again you have God’s own account of the Fall. This is God’s history. Yes, it is true that Moses was the human instrument who wrote this history, but it was all inspired by the Spirit of God. As the New Testament tells us, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Holy men of God, including Moses, were moved by the Holy Spirit as they penned the Scripture. And this is God’s inspired history on the Fall. It explains why things are the way they are in the world. It establishes the dilemma of sin, the presence of all those things I mentioned, decay, disease, dysfunction, disintegration, death, and judgment. It also establishes for us the need for restoration, the need for recreation, and the need for regeneration and salvation. All of this is built on Genesis chapter 3.
Now what happens in Genesis chapter 3 is that Adam and Eve who up to this point are sinless and living in a perfect environment in which death does not exist and disintegration doesn’t exist and disease doesn’t exist and dysfunction doesn’t exist and decay doesn’t exist – none of those things exist. It’s a perfect world, perfect in every sense. It is complete in terms of its creation and it is flawless and without any decay or anything that disintegrates. It is the perfect Edenic creation of God and they live in it without sin, enjoying all the wonders of God’s creation. But at some point – we don’t know exactly how much time elapsed from the sixth day of creation on. We don’t know how long from the time they were created till they sinned. It was certainly before they gave birth to children. Somewhere in there this occurred, and there is really no way to know precisely when it happened. But we can know how it happened. And what you have here in Genesis 3 is not legend. It’s not myth. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s not a tradition passed down from generation to generation. It is the written and inspired Word of God. And it explains to us exactly why things are the way they are and how sin came into our world and how it began to affect our world.
Now again, the first seven verses give us the account. And as we flow through these verses, we identify certain features that become the hooks to hang our thoughts on. First is the solicitor – the solicitor. That is Satan, introduced to us in verse 1, “The serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” And here we are introduced to the solicitor, the one who solicits sin, the one who is the tempter. And this is a real reptile, as we have already learned, because he’s compared to other beasts of the field. This is not a supernatural creature. This isn’t a figment of imagination in the mind of Eve, as Jewish scholars have always believed, that there never really was a serpent. It was just something going on in the mind of Eve. But it clearly indicates this was a serpent. This was a nachash. This was some kind of reptile. A synonym to that is the word tannin, used as a synonym in some places and translated dragon. And Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20 verse 2 describes Satan as a serpent and a dragon. Some kind of reptile and in this case an upright reptile coming up and holding a conversation with Eve.
More intelligent, more crafty – the word crafty means intelligent or wise – than any other animal, because this animal was merely an instrument for Satan. Satan was talking through the animal and therefore the animal had supernatural wisdom. Not in its own animal life, but because it was an instrument of a supernatural creature, namely Satan. Satan, as you remember, fell. He was Lucifer, son of the morning, probably the praise leader of heaven, and he decided he wanted to be like God. He wanted to be like the Most High God. And so God threw him out of heaven, along with a third of the other holy angels and they constitute Satan and his demons. So when cast out of heaven, he then goes down to earth and attempts to bring the rebellion into the perfection of the earth. He comes as the primary solicitor of evil. He still is behind evil in our world. Obviously we are all sinful and so evil is in us, but he is still the main solicitor. He still – not that he comes individually to everybody and solicits like he did Eve, but he has developed a world system. He has developed a world cosmos, a world order that becomes the source by which he tempts. Through many avenues in the world temptation comes at people. He is still the primary solicitor of evil. Since the time his own rebellion was quashed in heaven by God and he was thrown out, he has become the number one adversary of God and the number one adversary of man. And so he continues even today and will always be, until he is cast into the lake of fire, the primary solicitor of evil. So we saw the solicitor.
Secondly, we began to see the strategy starting in verse 1. We followed the dialogue. “He said to the woman, ‘Indeed has God said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?”’” Now remember, his strategy is lies and deception. It’s not any different now than it was then. So the main solicitor is working primarily through lies, disguising himself as an angel of light. He is really the angel of hell. Disguising himself as a speaker of truth, he is a speaker of lies. He is a liar and the father of lies, it says in John 8:44. And what he wants to do is to get people to believe that God doesn’t tell the truth, to get people to believe they have a right to question God and they have a right to doubt that God has told them the truth. He really solicits people to believe God lies and he tells the truth. And that’s what he did.
He says in a very somewhat benign way initially to Eve, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” Is that what God said? Let’s talk about what God said. That is in fact similar to what God said. God said they could eat from any tree of the garden, every tree of the garden, but there was one tree that they were not to eat of. Well Satan sort of introduces the issue. Let’s talk about God’s prohibition. And this is where solicitation to temptation comes initially. It comes when you question God. The assumption here is that you have a right to render human judgment on what God commands, on what God provides. And that’s where things begin to come apart. At this point Eve should have said God has made it very clear, and that’s all there is to that. We will uphold the Word of God, and we will honor God and we will trust God.
But she got lured into the idea that she could sit along with this being she was talking to in a position of judgment on what God had said. In fact, the implication was that God was not really good. If God was really good and really cared and really loving, He would never have put a restriction at all on them. The idea is that God is restrictive and God is narrow and God is cruel. And Satan is generous and Satan loves freedom, while God really is in to bondage. That’s the way the dialogue goes and Satan begins to try to lead Eve to think of God as restrictive. So then you not only question God, you question God’s goodness, God’s nature. And Eve falls into this by responding and saying in verse 3, “God said you shall not eat from that tree in the midst of the garden, or touch it, lest you die.” And she adds this little phrase – touch it. It may have been that Adam had said that to her to keep her from the tree. But she says it as if God said it. It may be that she just invented it to make God harsh.
Yeah, she’s kind of saying. Yeah, you know, you may be right, because God says you shouldn’t eat of that tree or even touch it. She’s sort of narrowing God down and making Him appear more harsh with her own perception here. What she should have done is defend God. She had all the necessary truth about God, as we said last time. She could have defended His character. She could have defended His goodness. She could have defended His perfect wisdom. She certainly could have defended their perfect contentment and need of nothing. And she should – we said last time – have questioned the tempter. She should have asked questions to unmask the tempter. Why are you saying this and where is this coming from? And why do you care? And why do you want me to question God, and why do you want me to question God’s goodness?
But Satan has got her on the slippery slope and subtly suggesting that in truth he is more devoted to her joy. He is more devoted to her freedom, more devoted to her fulfillment and her satisfaction than God is. He is for freedom and God is for bondage. And that lie still dominates in Satan’s world. Doesn’t it? It still does. You hear all the rhetoric that was going on in the last couple of weeks in the anti-proposition 22 group. They were talking about, you know, why do people want to restrict our freedom. Why do people want to restrict our freedom? We’re free to love anybody we want to love. What’s wrong with loving anybody that you want to love? Love is a wonderful thing. Why not love anybody you want to love? And that all sounds so good and so saccharine and it’s all about freedom and being whoever you want to be. That’s always Satan’s approach. And when you step into that environment and you say, well, I would like to say this, God says that is a sin and you’re not to do it. And when you say that, that convinces them for sure that God is not about freedom. God is all about bondage. And that is essentially the lie that Satan led Eve to buy into. And it’s the same lie that you buy into and I buy into whenever we sin. When you sin, you have in that sin believed that you will get greater enjoyment by sinning than by not sinning. Right? So therefore you have believed that God’s promise of blessing for righteousness isn’t really true. That’s the practical reality of it. Because when you sin you believe that you will get greater joy out of your personal fulfillment by violating God’s law then you would get if you obeyed it, which means you believed the lie.
Well by verse 3 this is all being internalized by Eve. And she’s beginning to not trust God as fully. I mean, she trusted God 100 percent up to this point. Now she’s beginning to not trust God. She’s beginning to see Him as restrictive and narrow. And I said this last time and I repeat it because I think it’s sort of a nexus in the discussion here. As soon as one does not completely, unreservedly, and wholeheartedly trust in the wisdom and absolute goodness of God, as soon as one does not believe that the purposes and the commands of God are for our best and highest joy, sin has entered the heart. Because anything less than loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is sin. That’s how you break the law. And so if you have any level of distrust, any level of questioning God’s goodness, any level of questioning God’s wisdom, that’s sin. That’s sin. So it’s when she’s internalizing this that sin comes into her heart. So she joins the cause of Satan and makes God appear harsh by adding the words or touch it, as if God had said that, when God’s words in chapter 2 verse 16 and 17 don’t say that at all. So her heart has set its course. God is harsh. I’m beginning to feel that. She’s not defending God, nor is she offended that God’s goodness is being attacked and that God’s commands are being questioned.
The Fall took place then when she stopped loving the Lord her God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving Him means believing Him and trusting Him. She believed Satan was telling her the truth and maybe God wasn’t and that Satan was offering her the true fulfillment and the true satisfaction that God was holding back from her. Well Satan knew he had her, so he pushed in for the kill in verse 4, and he gets blatant. “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall not die.’” God had said, “You surely shall die.” By the way, she left out the word surely in her report on God’s command, but God did say you surely shall die. And Satan picks up on God’s word and says, “You surely shall not die.” Now you know the truth about Satan. Whatever God says, he says the opposite. His subtleties end at this point. He’s no longer subtle, he simply overtly says, “God told you a lie.” God told you a lie.
Satan said the lie is that you have to pay for your sin. The lie is that there’s judgment. That’s the big lie of God. There is no judgment. Believe me, folks, that is the lie that Satan wants the whole world to believe, there’s no judgment. Right? All these people living in this homosexual lifestyle, living it blatantly, overtly, living it almost flauntingly in front of our society, are doing that because they have believed the lie, first of all, that there is no absolute authority. But they’ve believe that second compelling lie that there is no judgment – there is no judgment.
Now they have to work – to live that kind of lifestyle, you have to work through guilt. And you have to basically come to terms with your guilt and you have to believe that your guilt is illegitimate and wrong. But you do have to work through it. You have to work through the fear of judgment, the fear of God. You’ve got to work through that, because the fear of judgment is built into the fabric of the law of God written in your heart and your conscience. So you have to work through that and effectively silence your conscience. And you effectively do that in our society today by flaunting it in such a garish way with other people who flaunt it, that collectively you sort of ride across the top of your guilt. And then you have to be convinced that there will be no judgment, that this is all about love and all about caring and all about freedom. And that’s the lie.
Well there you have Satan’s strategy. Question God. You have the right. Question Him if His laws don’t seem reasonable to you, if they seem restrictive, needlessly restrictive, and narrow. If God seems like He’s in to bondage rather than freedom, you need to assess that. And if that’s the case, then you have every right to doubt God’s goodness, because God is holding back from you something very good. If you will sin, you will find real pleasure in your sinning. Not just of course homosexual sins but any kind. And then you want to follow the pattern that to be convinced that you defend God any more. Eve didn’t defend God. That is to say Eve should have risen up and said, wait a minute, there is a divine law and God has given it. There is a divine lawgiver and it’s God and I will not violate God because He is the divine lawgiver and because He has given His law. But she basically came to the practical attitude that she was not under any authority to obey God’s law because she disobeyed it. And she also was convinced there was no judgment. So that’s how Satan works. First you question God. Then you question God’s goodness. Then you believe that the real satisfaction is in the sin. And then you begin to hedge on the absolute character of Scripture as its authority. And then you begin to hedge on the fact that you’re going to have to pay a consequence for your sin. And Eve made all those wrong choices. They’re the same wrong choices that you make today when you sin.
And then the question came up last time, but why would God be so narrow? Why would God be so restrictive? And that’s a fair question. And you can know that it was in the mind of Eve. Okay, she’s this far down the line, but why would God be like this? Then in verse 5 Satan says, “Because God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.” And Satan, what he’s saying to her is the reason God doesn’t want you to do this is not because He’s a good God and He wants to protect you from dying, He wants to protect you from death. The reason God doesn’t want you to do this is because He’s a bad God, and He’s jealous and He doesn’t like rivals and He doesn’t want competition.
You see, that would be Satan’s personal testimony. After all, he tried to be the rival of God, tried to compete with God as we learn in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. He tried to compete with God and got thrown out of heaven for it. So it sticks in his craw that God will not tolerate a rival. And so there’s a certain amount of truth in this. He’s saying God just doesn’t like anybody getting on His level. But from Satan’s viewpoint, it’s not because God is all glorious and holy. It’s because God’s character is flawed. And God is jealous and envious and selfish and motivated by self-interest. He hates rivals. He doesn’t want you to eat that fruit because you know what? That fruit is not only not going to kill you, it is so good, not only will it not kill you, it will make you like God. Now that’s a noble thing. That is a noble thing.
Well Satan says that a lot. He tells the Mormons that all the time. You know, you’re going to become like God. You’re going to be the God of your own planet and have celestial sex and populate your own planet. That’s the Mormon view of heaven. He tells people in forms of mystical religions that they can ascend to the higher levels. Gnostic theology is like this and mysticism, and they can ascend higher and higher and higher into the eternal consciousness. And even within the realm of Christianity there are those who believe somehow that they can become higher and higher and higher, ascending toward God by some mystical experiences.
Well, it’s not a totally ignoble thing to want to be like God. We have to realize that this is a pretty subtle thing. He’s saying to Eve, you’ll be like God. Well on the surface that’s a good thing. After all, we’re all trying to be like Christ. The Holy Spirit is trying to make us like Christ. That’s a good thing. So there’s a certain half-truth, and that’s the way Satan usually operates. But for Eve to be like God in Satan’s scheme, she has to disobey God. For us to be like God in God’s scheme, we have to obey God. So he’s got the thing completely reversed. But it is a noble thing to want to be like God. And he says you’re going to be like God, you’re going to know good and evil. Now that’s a half truth.
They did know good and evil, Adam and Eve did. That’s why over in chapter 3 verse 22, “Behold, the man has become like one of us knowing good and evil.” But as I said last time, they didn’t know good and evil the way God knows evil. They knew good before but they began to know evil not the way God knows it. God knows it like the physician who offers the cure to the cancer victim. They know evil like the cancer victim who is dying from it. They knew evil experientially. It wasn’t that they knew evil. Oh, now I understand what evil is. It wasn’t that. It wasn’t some kind of cognitive thing. It wasn’t some rational thing. They knew evil by doing it. And so Eve, wanting to be like God, thinking probably that’s a good thing and doubting that God was all good, and if God’s not all good and there are things outside of God’s allowance for me that are good and satisfying and fulfilling, I can get those things and at the same time be like God, I think that sounds pretty good to me.
And so the sin had already taken place in her heart. The Fall already came before she even ever took the fruit. And I remind you, there’s nothing magic about the fruit. There wasn’t some magic potion in the fruit. This isn’t Aesop Fables. There’s nothing magic in the fruit. It was not that that brought about some change in her nature. It was the moment that she first distrusted God that catapulted her into sin. Nothing in the fruit was evil because nothing in the world was evil, right? Even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was part of God’s good creation, very good creation. So they knew evil when they distrusted God’s character. And the evidence that they distrusted God’s character in the heart came when they disobeyed His Word by taking the fruit.
So by now Eve’s mind has changed. Now it has to work on her emotions. So let’s go to tonight’s point and see how far we get. From the solicitor to the strategy – from the solicitor to the strategy, we come thirdly to the seduction – to the seduction. Now what happens is – this is in the mind of Eve, that she has sinned by not loving God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. She’s now sinned in the mind. She’s distrusting God, distrusting His goodness, thinking He’s narrow, thinking He’s harsh. She’s changing His Word, altering what God said to accommodate the way she’s thinking. She’s not defending God’s character. She’s not defending God’s Word. She is even believing the lie that there is no absolute standard that she has to conform to or she will die. She now is convinced that it’s not as absolute as God said it was and that she won’t die. But that’s not all that has to happen. That’s just the mind. That’s just the cognition process. It’s got to move beyond that. So now you come to the seduction. Look at 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, she took from its fruit and ate.” And we’ll stop at that point.
Now here’s the process that’s going on inside of her. It’s in the mind now. She’s got doubts about God. She’s got doubts about God’s character. Satan has caused all of that to happen in her mind because she made all the wrong choices down through the whole conversation. But what is in her mind has to work in her emotions in order to activate her will to actually take the fruit. And that’s what’s happening. This is defined for us in very clear terms in James 1. James tells us how this process works. James 1:14, “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” Now we move from thinking to feeling, from the mind to the emotion. We have a thought and we let that thought begin to move and seduce us through our lust. In verse 15, “When lust finally conceives, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” So there’s the sequence. It goes from the mind to the emotion. It goes from thinking to feeling.
Now in her mind – now follow this – her goal has changed. Now this is a monumental change. Up to this time the goal of Eve in life was to glorify God. Right? And that’s the perfect goal, to love God with all heart, soul, mind, and strength. That’s the fulfilling of the whole law. That’s perfect righteousness. So she just loved God, consumed by loving God. There was nothing but the love of God in her and all she wanted to do was love and honor and praise and glorify God. That’s all she wanted to do. There was never any thought about self-satisfaction. There was never any thought about self-fulfillment. There was never any thought about personal pleasure, personal gain. Those thoughts didn’t exist. Now there is a new thought in her mind, it is this – self-fulfillment. That’s the new thought. It never existed before. Never that thought.
Now not only is that her thought, that has become her goal. Her goal has come to be – I want to have the satisfaction that that tree will bring me, and what that tree will bring me is to be like God and know good and evil. I want that, because God wants to withhold that from me for the wrong reasons, because He’s not good, He’s restrictive and He’s narrow. And I want that, and I’m surprised God doesn’t want me to have it. But I want it. And here is the first time on earthly soil you have somebody saying essentially what Lucifer said in heaven, I will – I will – I will – I will – I will, five times. You remember that? Now Eve is saying I will. Self-fulfillment has taken over for consuming love for God.
For the first time ever what is driving her is her satisfaction and that’s when sin moves from the mind into the feeling. She’s already sinned in the mind, but now the sin is going to work on her emotionally. And it’s going to conceive, and it’s going to bring forth evil disobedient behavior and that will produce death in exactly the pattern of James 1:14 and 15. This is the self-seduction. This is where the feelings follow the mind. Look how it unfolds in verse 6. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food” – that’s not intellectual. Now you say, well what kind of tree was it? We don’t know what kind of tree it was. Have no clue. You say, I thought it was an apple tree. It wasn’t an apple tree necessarily. I don’t know what kind of tree it was. The reason people traditionally have called it an apple tree is because in the Latin there’s a word for apple, malum, M-A-L-U-M, malum. There’s a word for evil in Latin, malus. Pretty close? And in the genitive case, both apple and evil are mali, M-A-L-I. So some people have taken that little linguistic thing and turned this into an apple tree. And then there’s the silly legend that Adam choked on his apple and that’s why men have an Adam’s apple, which is about as silly as saying it was an apple to start with.
Now what is going on here is that now all of a sudden self-satisfaction drives her. It isn’t the glory of God any more. It isn’t the honor of God any more. She is being seduced by her physical appetite. She looks and she sees this as good for food. Now let me ask you a question. Do you think she was hungry? Think she was starving in the garden? No. There was plenty of food. There was food all over the place. But she had come to believe that there was something satisfying in this food that she had never enjoyed in any other. And this is lust. This is the emotions following the mind. And now she begins to feel the desire for the satisfaction, the taste, the flavor that this fruit can bring.
Secondly, she not only sees that it’s good for food, but she also sees that it’s a delight to the eyes. There’s a certain emotion going on here. Oh, it’ll taste so good. Oh, it’s such a beautiful fruit. It’s exciting her aesthetic appreciation. It’s not as if there wasn’t anything – as if everything else in the garden was brown and ugly. It wasn’t. But here again is a selfish discontent. And once the mind went, then the emotions begin to take over, and it looks like the only food you really care to eat. Oh, it’s so beautiful. And you can just see that the appetites are taking over and conceiving the behavior.
Also, there’s a third element. She also saw that the tree was desirable to make her wise. Now she was very concerned about herself and that she could have this delectable satisfaction and that she could become wise. This has emotional power. I want that. I want that. And what’s happening is, her imagination is shaping sin. It’s conceiving sin in her.
Now I want you to notice these three things. They’re very important. She saw the tree was good for food, it was a delight to the eyes. The tree was desirable to make one wise. Let me tell you something. These are the same three approaches that Satan still uses – still uses them. And they are described in 1 John 2 – 1 John 2. You will remember, if you don’t now, this passage if you’ve studied the Bible much. First John 2, listen to this, 15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Now here is verse 16, 1 John 2:16, listen to this, “For all that is in the world” – here it comes – “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.” Did you hear that? Everything in the world, all, the whole evil system, the whole evil kosmos of Satan, the whole Satanic system, the whole thing can be summed up in three things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It all fits in there somewhere. The lust of the eyes, the pride of life, the lust of the flesh.
Now go back with that in your mind to Genesis 3. She saw that the tree was good for food; that’s the lust of the flesh. She saw that it was a delight to the eyes; that’s the lust of the eyes, the material side. And she saw that the tree was able to make one wise; that’s the pride of life. There they were right in the garden. They’re the same three. Can’t be any different because that’s the bridgehead to sin in all our lives. What happens is the mind begins to distrust God, the mind begins to question God, begins to question God’s Word, begins to question God’s judgment, God’s authority. And then it begins to work in the emotion. As we look at the temptation, as we look at the sin, it begins to work its way down into our imagination and we begin to conceive it by thinking how much it will satisfy the flesh, how much it will satisfy the eye, that we want to wear it, we want to do it because of its beauty, because it will enhance us, because people will notice us. Or as the third one would indicate, the pride of life, it will elevate us above everybody else. And we do what we do out of pride. We do what we do out of the desire to fulfill what the eye sees and covetous things. We do what we do out of the desire to fulfill the hankering lusting desires of our flesh. Always those same three. So what you have there in Genesis you have also in 1 John 2.
Now in another little while, we’re going to be looking at Luke 4. But turn to Luke 4 for a moment, because I want you to see this. In Luke chapter 4 – Jesus’ temptation, and in the temptation of Jesus, Luke 4, the devil came to Him in verse 3 and he said, “If You’re the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Now what was the condition of Jesus at this point? He had been doing what for 40 days? Fasting. Okay? So there’s no question that He became hungry. Verse 2, He was – hungry would be a mild word. Forty days of fasting. The devil comes, “If You’re the Son of God, tell the stone to become bread.” That’s the lust of the flesh. That’s exactly the temptation that came to Eve. “You’re hungry. That food is good. It will satisfy You. grab it.” Jesus said, “No.” I’m not going to do that. The only bread I want is the Word of God. What He was saying was when God gets ready to feed Me, He’ll feed Me. I won’t grab that satisfaction for Myself.
And then he took Him up into a high mountain in verse 5 and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said, “I’ll give You all this domain.” That’s the lust of the eyes. He showed Him the whole kingdom of the world, some view – overview of all the kingdoms of the world which really belonged to Him. I mean, the bread certainly was His. He could turn stones into bread if He chose to. Certainly the kingdoms of the world belong to Him. But God had a plan and a purpose in which He would reveal when and how that came to pass. Satan showed Him everything, that’s the lust of the eyes. And Satan’s requirement was You have to worship me and Jesus said, “No, I only worship God.”
Then he led Him to the temple, the pinnacle of the temple, probably about 400 feet in elevation, to dive off that southwest corner – or southeast corner of the temple. It’s incredibly steep. Took Him up there and said, “Jump off.” Jump off. That will be the last discussion about whether You’re the Messiah. There was another guy earlier that tried to do that and made a splat, and it was fairly convincing that he wasn’t the Messiah. But why don’t You just dive off, after all, the Old Testament says, “He’ll give His angels charge over Thee and ... You won’t hit Your foot against a stone.” Just come down to a landing and that will be the end of that. Everybody will know that You’re Messiah. That’s the pride of life. Why don’t You grab a little pride? You’ve been humiliated long enough. Why don’t You grab a little bread? You’ve been hungry long enough. Why don’t You grab the kingdoms of the world? After all, take a look, they’re all Yours anyway. Satan always comes on the same grounds. Here he is on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, coming after Jesus Christ. That’s it, folks. That’s the same three appeals that he always makes. And what happens is the mind has come to terms with some of Satan’s lies and then they begin to work on the emotion and they work on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to conceive the sin that finally comes.
That takes us to point number four, the sin in verse 6. Back to Genesis. I’m sure your Bible opened rather readily to Luke, but we’ll go back to Genesis. Genesis, we come to verse 6, “She took from its fruit and ate.” Are you surprised? I’m not surprised, not knowing where she is by this time. It went from the mind to the emotions, and the emotions overpowered the will, and the will produced the behavior. She took from its fruit and ate. A simple act, very simple act with massive impact – massive impact. And then it simply says, “She gave also to her husband with her and he ate.” Now all of a sudden Adam’s here. Where has he been when we needed him? Well I’ll tell you one thing, he wasn’t there during the temptation. How do I know that? Because it says in 1 Timothy 2:14 that Adam was not deceived. He wasn’t there during the deception. Satan pulled her out from under her protector. But Adam appears from where, we don’t know. But again 1 Timothy 2:14 says he wasn’t deceived. So he wasn’t there through this whole process of deception. Or else if he had been there he would have been in the conversation, believe me. But it just says she gave to her husband with her and he ate.
Why? You say why, Adam? Why? Why? Hold it, hold it, hold it, Adam. What are you doing? Why did he do it? We aren’t told why he did it. Can we speculate? Sure. I don’t really know why he did it. And I mean, you can speculate, but what’s the point? I don’t know why he did it. You say, well maybe Eve took him back through the process of how she had been approached by this amazingly wonderful reptile and maybe she said to Adam, guess what, Adam? If we do this we’ll be like God. Isn’t that good? Isn’t that neat? We can be like God, Adam. Maybe she didn’t tell him the whole deal. If that’s the case, he should have stopped her and said, whoa, whoa, whoa. You were talking to who? A what? A talking reptile? I named the animals. I never ran across him. I mean, at some point it doesn’t make sense for Adam to just say, oh really, a talking reptile told you to do this, and you’ll be like God. Give me one. That’s a little – that’s a fast track for a man of the intelligence of Adam.
Maybe she said to him, you know, Adam, God said – or maybe we didn’t hear Him right. God said in the day you eat of that you shall surely – what? – die. Hmm. Well you know what, Adam? I’m here and I did it. So I guess you can eat that, and it is good for food, and it’s beautiful, and it’s going to make us like Go. And guess what, Adam? I didn’t die. Maybe that was like some part of the conversation. I don’t know. But I do know 1 Timothy 2:14 says he wasn’t deceived. He just did it. He didn’t go through the deception process that Satan took Eve through. Maybe she just said to him, isn’t it wonderful? Now I’m like God and, oh Adam, you can be like God too. Wouldn’t that be great? And by the way, we must have misunderstood what He said. You know, we kind of thought He said that you’ll die, but I didn’t die.
Well you say, does Adam have less guilt? No. In fact, whenever you look at the Scripture in other places, the Scripture always holds Adam accountable, not Eve. Right? First Corinthians 15:22, “As in Adam all die.” Eve has immense guilt, no question. So does Adam. Eve was deceived by the serpent through the whole process. Adam just joined in the sin for reasons or explanations that we don’t know. But both of them disobeyed God. God did say don’t eat, and they disobeyed God. And that’s sin. You say, “Well then why doesn’t it say as in Eve all died?” Because there’s a principle of headship in the Bible and it starts with Adam and it never ends. And it works in marriage, just as well as it works in the trinity, as it works in the church. There’s a principle of headship. And the husband is the head. Right? First Corinthians 11, “The husband is the head of the wife as God is the head of Christ.” And so he then becomes the responsible one. By God’s design, headship is in the man. The man then bears the responsibility.
You say, well what if Adam said, I don’t care what you did, Eve. I’m not doing it? I don’t know. How could you ever know? There’s no way to know that. But Adam tried to play that because when he was confronted by God, he blamed God for giving him that woman. He said, “The woman You gave me.” He didn’t really blame the woman, he blamed God for giving him the woman. He went to sleep single, and woke up married and said, I didn’t ask for a wife, let alone that one. I didn’t even know what a woman was and then I had one. And You had to pick her? It’s not my fault.
So those are questions we don’t know. But we do know that Adam bears the headship and so whenever we talk about the sin of the Fall, it goes back to Adam as the head. It doesn’t lessen Eve’s guilt. It doesn’t increase Adam’s guilt. It’s just the fact that when referring to that you refer to the head of the family by design. And that’s a great reinforcement, isn’t it, of God’s design for marriage. We see that in the trinity and we see it even as Christ is the head of the church. So the one that God had given to Adam to be his helper became the instrument of his disaster and death.
Since the sin – as soon as they sinned, as soon as Eve sinned, you know, on the inside, she started feeling things she never felt, desires she had never felt, lusts she had never felt, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life. And the moment Adam bought into deciding to be disobedient, immediately the principle of decay and death entered into his life, and at that point the whole human race is plunged into evil. And whenever you refer back to that event, you always refer to Adam, because Adam is the head. And it takes the work of the last Adam to undo this.
For a moment, turn to Romans 5. We could go into some depth in Romans 5, obviously, but just a look at it will suffice, I think. In Romans chapter 5 verse 12, “Just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Let me tell you what that verse is simply saying. One man sins, Adam. He is the head. Of course his wife sinned as well, but the sin of Adam as the head is how sin enters the world. And it enters the world and with it comes death, spiritual death, physical death, and eternal death. And that death spread to all men because all sinned. You say, well how in the world did we all sin? We all sinned in the loins of Adam. We were all there. We were all there. Whatever he became by way of corruption, we were there in his loins, in his genes and Eve’s genes, and whatever they would produce would be sinful. That’s the point. So sin reigns and death reigns in everyone who comes out of Adam and Eve.
So what the apostle Paul is saying is that sin entered the world through Adam. Death entered the world through sin. Death spread to all men because all sinned in Adam. We were all there and when he was corrupted, then everything he produced was corrupt. And he says this over and over again here in verse 15, “By the transgression of one, the many died.” Verse 16 talks about the one who sinned. On the one hand, the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation. Verse 17, “By the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one.” Verse 18, “Through one transgression the result of condemnation to all men.” Verse 19, “For as through the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners.” Over and over and over again Paul says that our sinfulness is the result of Adam’s sin. When he sinned, he brought down the whole human race that would come out of that original couple. We were all in his loins. We were all in the genetics. We were all there, and when he was corrupted, everybody he produced was corrupt.
The other side of this, of course, and what Paul’s trying to say here – you see, the question that Paul is answering here – somebody is going to say when Paul talks about Jesus being the Savior and Jesus delivering you from your sin, and the Jewish people would argue and say, well, how can one man die for so many? How can the death of one man apply to so many? How can the work of one man influence so many?” And Paul’s answer is if you think you have a problem with that, wondering how the one death of Jesus could apply to so many, let me give you an illustration of the one man Adam, because one man literally catapulted the whole human race into sin. One man, the last Adam, can save many. That’s the comparison. And so he makes it all the way through. In verse 15 again, he says it was much more through the grace of God and the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, to many. And in verse 16 he says it again, “The free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.” Verse 17, “The abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ ... The one act of righteousness,” verse 18, “brings justification of life to all men.” Verse 19, “One man’s disobedience made many sinners, the obedience of One made many righteous.” So that’s the comparison. You see the comparison? So it is possible for what one man does to effect many.
Somebody asked the question, well, it’s not fair. I mean, how can we be held responsible for Adam’s sin when we weren’t there? How can we sin in Adam when we weren’t there? Well, ask yourself this. How can we die and rise in Jesus Christ when we weren’t there? Or you say, how can we be held responsible for what Adam did? On the other hand, how can you be saved by what Jesus did? Well the answer is, because that’s the way God designed it. That’s how God designed it for His glory. God allowed this in order that sin might come, in order that He might destroy it, so that it wouldn’t any more be a possibility. It would become a reality and He would destroy it and in the process He would save sinners who believed and judge sinners who did not. And therefore He would put Himself on display as to His power, as to His grace, and as to His justice. And He couldn’t display His power and He couldn’t display His grace and He couldn’t display His justice in that way if there weren’t sin. So God allowed it. Just as we fell in one man, we rise again in one man, the last Adam, Jesus Christ.
Well that leads us to the last point, which I will make in brief words, shame. Back to Genesis 3. We go from the solicitor to the strategy, to the seduction, to the sin, and then comes the shame. And this is quite interesting, I think. In verse 7, “The eyes of both of them were opened” – immediately bang, their eyes were opened. What did they see? They saw what? They saw evil. That’s what they saw. They were aware of their wickedness. They knew they were naked. They had been naked for who knows how long. They knew they were naked, all of a sudden, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Why do you think they did that? That sounds like a bizarre thing to do. Why didn’t they put a mask on their face? Why didn’t they cover their entire body, or why didn’t they cover their feet? What’s going on here?
You see, once they knew personal evil because they did it, a whole new way of thinking entered their minds. They were wicked. They were evil. And they were embarrassed. They felt it. They felt self-conscious. They felt guilty. They felt fearful. And they were gripped by a new emotion – wicked desire, evil desire, perversion, lust, and shame. As Derek Kidner wrote, “This was a grotesque anticlimax to the dream of enlightenment,” as sin always is.
They were in the same garden, looking at the same spouse, in the midst of the same creatures, under the same sky. But all of a sudden into their pure world of relationship, into their sexual innocence came perverse evil thoughts. And sin clung to their innocence. And they felt it strongly and they felt exposed and they felt shameful about feelings they had never felt before. Their purity was marred. They were shocked by thoughts that were wicked and impure. Even that pure gift of marriage was so polluted as to make them feel that they needed to hide their loins from God and from each other. That very part of their body which was the source of joy and the source of life became a source of guilt and a source of shame, and they were embarrassed to be naked. And they did an appropriate thing. They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. This is a feeble effort to cover their shame and cover their guilt.
Now let me tell you something, folks. Wearing clothes is good. You know why? Because it covers our shame. Wearing clothes does not signal that you have abnormal inhibitions. That’s what the nudists would tell us. That’s what these wacky evolutionary anthropologists would tell us. We all ought to be running around stark naked in a jungle somewhere and return to being noble savages. Whether they’re nudists or exhibitionists or primitive tribal people or even anthropologists who celebrate nakedness, or whether they’re rock musicians who seem to me to be mostly naked most of the time, or whether they’re movie actors and people who bear themselves as if this is some testimony to their freedom from inhibitions, they would like us to believe that there’s a road back to the noble savage who has no shame and no inhibitions.
Listen folks. I’m going to say this carefully. The unembarrassed nudity of primitive tribes, the flaunted nudity of warped naturalists, the perverted nudity of pornographers, rock singers and movie actors may be called freedom, it may be called a return to nature, it may be called a return to innocence, it may be called deliverance from inhibitions, but in reality it does not and it cannot ever recover innocence. You know what it does indicate? That the person who is naked has accomplished a victory over reasonable shame. It indicates that the person has conquered normal reasonable guilt and shame. They covered themselves and that was reasonable. It was a signal of their fall. It indicated that they had fallen. And people who are civilized understand that. People who are naked have triumphed over reasonable shame and guilt, and they do what they can by dressing appropriately, not to totally unabashedly inflame their shameful lust. Those people who are advocates of nudity flaunt their wicked desires.
One final thought. They could cover their bodies. It was a nice try. It was reasonable. It was a good thing to do. But they couldn’t really hide their sin. And there’s a beautiful picture of this. We’ll see it in verse 21. It says, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” And I’ll just point this – we’ll get to that later, but I just point – in order for God to make them a garment of skin, what did God have to do? Kill an animal. That’s the first time. And the little analogy that I would make here, you can try to cover yourself with your own fig leaves, but in the end you can only be covered by God through a sacrifice. In the end, that’s for God to do, to cover sin. More on that when we get to verse 21.
So, let me sum up. Like Lucifer, Adam and Eve fell so far there was nothing good in them. They fell so far that they were absolutely embarrassed and full of shame. They fell and an avalanche of sin was loosed that would never stop. They pulled a stone from the mountain and were horrified to discover that the fatal rock slide would bury all humanity and its environment in the dirt and rubble of sin. Satan had done his work and he disappeared from the garden. And they were left to face God. And we’ll see that in our next study. Let’s pray.
The entrance of Your Word gives light, illuminates our minds and hearts, and Lord, we do learn so much when we understand the strategies of Satan. We understand what he wants to do is kill and destroy. And that is exactly what he did in the garden, and he’s still endeavoring to do it. Lord God, how we thank You that we have been delivered from death and delivered from destruction because we’ve been delivered from sin by Your grace. We praise You for it. We thank You for it in our Savior’s name. Amen.
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