God is Just

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I am thankful for those of you that are here today to learn God’s word and go through this passage of scripture that we’re going to dive into this morning. We’re going to be in Genesis chapter three we’re in a new series together on believe. Actually, I don’t know how you label the word new. I guess it’s subject to definition here, but we’re, we’re on the third week of of a seven part series on this theme of belief from the first three chapters of Genesis. The reason we’re focusing on these three chapters is I want us to see you from the very beginning of scripture, the very first book of the Bible, how the pillars of Christianity are laid out for us from the beginning, the chapter that we’re going to be in today, Genesis chapter three in understanding this chapter, I think this chapter is paramount to understanding the rest of scripture.

If you get this passage, this chapter of the Bible, you will see how all of scripture unfolds itself. Beginning in Genesis chapter three all the way to the last chapters in revelation. The theme of all of scripture are really laid out in Genesis three. This is a very powerful, important passage of scripture that we get to dive in together today and I am excited about it. This is going to fall up. The fall into really two messages is going to be a two part series. I want to give you a warning here on the front end. Today we’re going to deal with the bad, and next week we’re gonna deal with the good ruin end. On a positive note here this morning, but today we’re gonna talk about some heavy things that relates to sin. This is the part of the passage that refers to the fall in the garden of Eden, but we’re going to bring this to the end where where Christ intercedes in all of it.

And so from this point on, as we look at these next couple of weeks, as we go beyond that, we’ll then look back to what Jesus promises for us in the book of Genesis. But I will tell you if you can understand Genesis three you can see how this theme is carried out throughout the all of the Bible and if you approach the Bible, you’re looking at it and thinking, man, I don’t get all of this, how this works together. Genesis three lays that foundation very important passage for us. I’m glad you’re here to understand it with us today and I want to put it sort of in the context as to where we’ve been as we get ready to dive into this chapter. If you remember the book of Genesis, the first five books of the Bible are written by Moses. If you think about this time period in history when Moses is writing, he’s writing to the children of Israel who were leaving Egypt as slaves.

They’re going into the promised land, the land that God has given to them and at the land of Canaan in this transition from Egypt into Canaan, God is helping them shape their identity. In fact, the beginning of Genesis covers a large span of history in just a few chapters to sort of catch Israel up onto the major questions of life. Who am I? Where did I come from and where am I going? The first three chapters of Genesis lays out for us beautifully. We started in the first section together just identifying the nature of God. Who is God? We looked at his name together in Genesis chapter one it specifically mentions his name and Genesis chapter two verse four Yahweh, Elohim that has God’s specific name. It was given to Moses at the burning Bush and Exodus chapter three the great I am. We said this about God, Yahweh, Elohim is his full name.

We said about God and the things that he has created and all that, that God has created God in referring to himself as the I am. He is the only being who finds the purpose for his existence within himself. Everything else created finds the purpose for his existence outside of itself. In fact, last week we looked at the idea of being created in God’s image. When God, Yahweh, Elohim, the one who was sacred, Holy, other separate, transcendent. When he creates, he makes himself imminent, personal and real. He created an all of earth. When it goes through the days of creation, the last thing it tells us God creates is mankind in his image, which is different than any other creature God made being made in his image, it says to us very specifically in chapter two in verse seven God breathes his spirit into life, which means that we are able to relate to creator God because we reflect characteristics of God being made in his image. God made us to enjoy him and to know him forever.

Moses and writing this book to the people of Israel leaving as slaves, their identity in slavery. He’s saying, look how sacred, important and valuable you are, that when God, when he makes creation, he gets the very end of creation as he’s creating every day. He says, it’s good, it’s good, it’s good, but it’s not until he makes mankind that at that moment he pauses, he stops and says, this is very good. As if the crown of all of his creation was mankind in God, who is the great I am in creating all the things, finding purpose of existence inside them itself though all of creation now being created finds its purpose, purpose for existence outside of itself being created in the form and for the purpose of God. We being the crown of that creation being made in his image, finding our purpose for existence outside of ourself demonstrates us and being made in God’s image as creatures created for worship. It’s the reason you look at the grand Canyon. You’re inspired. You look at yellow stone, it’s breathtaking. You look at the, at the sea in the sunset and it mesmerizes you because, because of the glory of all that’s created and you captivate in that moment, think of something greater than just yourself. You realize you’re a part of something bigger than yourself because you are created to find the purpose for your existence outside of self being made in his image. That purpose finds itself designed for relationship with God.

When we said last week and we dove into this, I don’t want to get into the specifics of it, but being made in God’s image, it doesn’t make me made in his image in every way. There are some things that God transcends us as creative. Creative creators are as creator with creature, but there are some things in which God has made us in his image that helps us reflect him and connect to him and rejoice in him and experience relationship in him. When we think of all the good things that God has made and the fact that after God made everything he said it is very good.

The children of Israel be asking the same question probably that we should ask this morning. If we were to stop at Genesis chapter two and it’s sorta like this, what happened, right? I mean I, I was just a slave and now I’m walking around in the desert for 40 years. Where is this garden of Eden? You speak of Moses? What in the world happened? That’s what Genesis three explains to us. God created all of this and God created you to enjoy him, but let me, let me just describe for you what happens in the Genesis chapter three in verse one starts in a very unique kind of way in Moses answering this question for Israel as they would probably begin to ask this very good garden. Where is it?

It says in Genesis three in verse one now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. Now you guys are probably familiar with the story right now. You’ve got a children’s Bible home. You maybe have read to your kids. He come to this place and the story of the garden of Eden. You see these pictures of Adam V not, not wanting to show everything off, but they’re probably standing behind some Bush. Just this photo is take opportunity where everything just happens to be covered that no one wants to see. And then the snake hanging over the Apple tree, right. And then it tells us in Genesis chapter three, it’s not creating that story that maybe you’ve seen images of in the garden of Eden. But one of the things that blows me away is I’ve, I’ve read this story is the response that we get from Eve talking to the snake.

I don’t know about you, but um, I’ve seen, um, some ladies around snakes and some guys around snakes, they don’t typically respond the way Eve responds here. I mean, even even a little, a simple gesture for me of like how, how ridiculous it might be that you’re walking past the garden and, or you’re walking past a snake in the garden and it says something like you’re walking into it talks and you would expect maybe in the texts will be like, Oh my word. Like a snake is talking to me. Right? Or something like, you know, animals are talking to her and you can, you can get the picture ad it might be outside and [inaudible] and eaves and the garden. He says what you doing? And he’s like, well, we’re having the snake over for dinner for another conversation. Like she responds like this is a typical thing in her life.

You know, the conversation with the snake, you know, we often talk to them in the garden, right? In a realistic society today, you know, you, you walk out in your garden, you see a snake and no one here waiting to see if it talks right. We were running the other direction. We are taking off. It said we are doing something but we are not having a conversation with this snake. By the way, if a snake ever tries to have a conversation with you, history has told us, do not do that. Right? But Genesis chapter three in verse one, I think what’s happening in this passage of scripture, I don’t really believe that what Eve is having a conversation with is actually a snake. Um, now I will tell you on the back end of everything I’m about the snake. Say if you want to believe snake’s talk or that snake talked to Eve in this gardens.

Okay? We don’t have, we don’t have to divide over this topic, but I want us to recognize what it’s saying in this passage of scripture because when Eve is having this conversation, the very reason that she’s not, you know, going crazy over the fact that snake’s talking to her probably points to us something significant about the identity of what this serpent represents. And in fact, if, if you read it in the Hebrew text, the word for serpent in this passage that we often translate a snake, it’s at the very bottom. It’s three Hebrew consonants, right? The Hebrew word for serpent or snake derives from the Hebrew word for enchanter. Another word, same concepts put together. Another word in which it can be translated is as copper or brass. In fact, when you look at these three words that are distinct in the Hebrew text, the thing that makes them distinct are these little symbols underneath the three concepts they’re called diacritics.

These are, these are the symbols that are placed under the Hebrew text. Something interesting about these symbols place onto the Hebrew text as this, these, these symbols were inserted later in history. Some Mazur Etix who translated texts and Hebrew inserted these. We’d understand Val sounds because the Hebrew language didn’t have vowels and so the only way you’d really know how the vowel pronunciation would go in between these constants is to audibly hear the word. And the reason we translate often as serpent is because of the words that happened just previous to this or in the context of this passage. It says now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast. So we’re talking about a beast here. So the way that we know what this word would be is to say that it is a serpent because we’re talking about a beast. That’s how they got the translation when there were no di diacritics to distinguish what Hebrew word we’re talking about.

Let me, let me give you an example. If you’re like what? How do I wrap my head around this? The first week we studied the word Yahweh. Yahweh is a word of consonants, Yahweh. We said that the Hebrews actually don’t even know how to pronounce it because they considered the names so sacred. They wouldn’t utter it. They would substitute it with the word add an eye and they considered God’s name, such a Holy name. They didn’t want to utter it to file it. And so they didn’t say it. And so they, they, they lost the ability to pronunciate the name of Jaco over time because the word was just constantly and they couldn’t understand how the Val symbols connected. Now Yahweh is most likely the way it’s pronounced, the, that’s the, that’s the general idea of general thought of the way that we’d pronounce God’s name.

But it wasn’t until later they inserted these diacritics to help us understand how these words came about. So this is what I think is happening in Genesis chapter one when the serpent’s talking to Eve, the, this, this first three chapters are written in poetic form. And what Moses wants us to understand is the characteristic of the one who was presenting himself to Eve. And so these three words are mentioned as a play on words. For another example, the word Adam inscription in scripture is a play on words. It comes from the Hebrew word adema, which means of the ground, and so when Eve is encountering this, this beast that’s crafty, it’s saying it’s carrying the characteristics of a snake. It’s enchanting, it’s luring and it’s deception and it’s bright and shiny. It’s it’s appealing by its appearance and when you study the concept of Satan and and, and demons or the devil in scripture, you see those characteristics described of Satan and I think the reason they choose these characteristics that goes all the way back to the garden of Eden.

In fact, in thinking about the word in chanter in John chapter eight and verse 44 Satan is called the father of lies. He’s deceptive in the way that he lies. In second Corinthians 1114 he’s called the angel of light. He’s considered in scripture the most glorious of God’s creations. In revelation 29 verse nine he’s referred to as a serpent or a dragon. And so Satan carries all of these characteristics. It’s a play on words in the Hebrew text, even though your children’s stories might have a snake, it’s okay, but, but I think what’s ultimately worth recognizing is the characteristic of a snake is taking place in the life of Eve and this deception that looks bright and shiny and attractive.

If a snake talks run, as the story goes on, it said now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, the God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden. And the woman said to the serpent, we may not eat of the fruit of the tree in the garden, but God said, you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden. Neither shall you touch it lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die. Right. The way that this actually reads in the Hebrew text is kinda like,

If we’re just throwing some street slang in there, it’d be like a say, Whoa. You know, like no shoe that did not happen. Are you for real? Like that’s, that’s what the serpent is saying here is like Eve now come on. Did God really say you’re going to die? I mean, you think about everything you just read in Genesis one and two, God created all of this and then he made you the crown in his creation, in his image. And he didn’t. It wasn’t until he made you, he said it was very good. Surely you’re not going to die. It’s that really what he’s what God said. So yeah, the serpent’s not doubting the, uh, the statement of what God said about the tree and he’s simply taking a half truth of what God said. He’s, he’s acknowledging maybe it, God said, okay, you can’t eat in the garden, but, but the consequence of it is that really is that really what God intended for you to, to really think. And so as he talks about this half truth, he then inserts something else to believe rather than this thought that surely, surely you’re not going to die. Even he’s this way. He said, for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be open and you will be like God knowing good and evil, maybe, maybe rather than God being honest with you. Maybe he’s trying to hold something better from you, right?

I mean that’s really inevitably what we believe when we dive into any lie in life, right? There’s the truth of God. Maybe this is better for me, right? And then verse five the the serpent introduces the this thought, these two thoughts. Really, you will be like God, and with that you will know good and evil. But let me just talk for a minute about this thought. You will be like God. All right. We’ve already talked about the monotheistic belief of scripture. There is only one God. We quoted it in in Deuteronomy six the great Shamal hero Israel, the Lord your God is one and Isaiah 43 verses 10 your honor, my witnesses declare the Lord and my service that you’ve chosen that you may know and understand and believe that I am he before me. There is no God formed, neither will there be after me. Scripture is monotheistic. There is only one God, but here’s the kicker with this thought that Satan is sharing the very thing that got Satan kicked out of heaven was the belief that he could become like the most high.

This is not a good truth. This is a lie that destroys and kills. In fact, you can read about it in Isaiah 14 Isaiah 14 is describing a a ruler on earth during the time when it gets to verses 12 down to verse 16 it starts to describe this rule in such a metaphorical way that you realize that this can’t be just referring to someone physically on earth. That one is actually doing the book of Isaiah. Chapter 14 is it’s relating the fall of Satan to this leader that’s corrupt and listen what it says in Isaiah 14 verse 12 how you are fallen from heaven, old day star, son of Dawn. How you are cut down to the ground. You who laid the nations low, and this is the reason why you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high. I will set on the Mount of assembly in the far reaches of the North. I will ascend above the Heights of the clouds. I will make myself like the most high. The very thing that gets Satan kicked out of God’s presence in heaven is the same lines telling me, Eve, you can become Oh God, and this is the further explanation on top of it, knowing good and evil.

Now this doesn’t translate completely in the English and the way it’s trying to communicate to us what the serpent is saying here. It’s not just understanding right and wrong. That’s not what the serpent’s completely saying. That’s a piece of what he’s saying. What he’s actually saying is this, you will know good and evil and you will declare in your authority what is right and wrong and elevating yourself as God. You will dictate what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong.

In eating of this fruit, you’re not going to die. But rather what’s going to happen is you’re going to become like God yourself and you’re going to declare what is good and what is bad or what is evil. And so in Genesis three in verse six the most costly conversation breeds sin. The first sin takes place and it says in verse six so when the woman saw the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate and she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate. In this, this passage, it shows us that Eve is slowly entice towards her loss. She believes the lie is better for her than the truth and she gives into it. James one 15 says this, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. So the promise in the book of Genesis, God, he creates two trees. It tells us in the book of Genesis, he creates the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they eat it, it’s death. The tree of life they eat it’s life. Adam and Eve, when they’re created, they’re in this position of untested creature holiness. That’s what theologians refer to it as. It means this. They’re in this, this unstated place of of holiness or separation to God, but it’s not other own choice. Now God’s given him the opportunity. Choose the tree of life. What’s representation of a relationship with him for all of eternity to enjoy it or reject that and and choose to make yourselves God and the result of that is death. This is not a good choice, but the whole point of love and God creating us as human beings is that love. What makes love, love is the freedom to choose.

The idea to love also carries with it the freewill to not love and God created mankind in his image. We are loving beings with the opportunity to choose. And in creating these, these two trees, God gives mankind the opportunity and, and the results of what they chose was death. When you study death in, it’s important to recognize that it’s a little different than the way that we commonly think of it in our own humanistic terms. Today, the word death, we often think about it. Someone goes to a grave, we bury it and their life was ended right on her. But when the Bible talks about death, it’s in reference to us in two parts is CR as creators, as creatures, excuse me, you’re both a physical and spiritual being. The moment Eve ate of this fruit, which is not an Apple, it is whatever fruit you don’t like, make it that fruit. Okay? It is none of the Apple. It’s just a fruit. So what it tells us in scripture, it’s a prune or plum. Maybe it’s a Meda. That’s a fruit, right? Um, I’m not a fan of tomatoes. So, so, so when Adam and Eve, when they sin, the Bible tells us that they, they, they experienced death. And death means separation.

Physically Adam and Eve, they began to die. Your body decays. I mean, physical death is a reminder of the decay of sin, but in addition to that, we spiritually died. We’re spiritually separated from God.

The consequence of the sin in death focuses on two parts for us, the physical death and the spiritual death. That’s why Romans six tells us the wages of sin is death. You have been separated from creator God. This picture is ultimately seen at the end of Genesis chapter three when God sends Adam and Eve out of the garden, it’s showing physically that there has also been a spiritual separation in our relationship with God and this is where it begins to talk about the problem that we’re facing. Children of Israel who has left Egypt, you’re wondering what in the world happened to Eden? Well, here it is. The life that you’ve been created to having God, you’ve separated yourself from and and and pursuing and trying to be our own gods and trying to declare what’s right and wrong. We’ve experienced death and so let me just focus for just a moment just to get really nice.

Now I want to focus on sin. Just think about SIM for a minute because on the back end of this we’re going to talk about the importance of life, which really identifies the significance of Jesus and what he’s done for us. And so when we understand this text, it is highly critical. We think through the effects of sin, Eve and Adam in this rejection of God. Everything that that is negative, bad, sinful about creation is born here and you can’t undermine the, the significance of this moment. It’s often referred to as the fall in the garden, but that is like the understatement of all of eternity here is far more than just a fall. It brought us to a place of, of utter despair. And so let me ask if someone were to say to you what makes sense so bad, fair to think about it. Maybe a specific sand like we talk about things like adultery or murder or what, what makes that so bad? We think about any sin. We talk about specifics of sin, that the thing that, that we often think that makes that so bad, we, we typically describe the consequence that happens through it. Like, Oh, you don’t want to do that because it’ll affect these relationships and people will be hurt by it and, and that’s what makes sense so bad, right?

I will say consequences to sin. Those are bad and we don’t want to, we don’t want to experience that. I don’t want to walk in consequences. And I say that sometimes and then I go and sin and I’ll give them the consequences. And the consequences of sin are, are they’re, they’re not fun to experience. They’re not enjoyable, but the thing that makes sin bad isn’t the consequence. The thing that makes sin bad is ultimately the violation that we commit against a Holy God. The thing that makes sense, sin is the violation against the nature of God. You think about this for a moment. The reason we call adultery sin, it’s not primarily because of the consequences it has on relationships though those are bad. The reason we call it sin is because it violates the nature of the one of whose image we’re created in being made in God’s image. God has designed you to reflect his glory. In this world. You are image bearers of God and when you display unfaithfulness, you have violated to reflect the character of the one who is faithful. I mean, you’re going to see this in the story of garden, the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve sin, but beginning in verse seven is a story that continues to unfold. You’re going to see even in spite of that sin, God continues to pursue us.

Why? Because he’s faithful. God is faithful. The reason that murder is wrong is not just because it harm somebody, not because it ends life there. Those consequences are bad. The reason we say that murder is wrong is because it violates the nature of the one who is the life giver. The one who created us in his image, desecrating one made in the image of God is the ultimate violation against the one who created us in his image. And so long before we start talking about consequences against us, it’s important to recognize that the ultimate place that consequence takes place is against the nature of Holy God. What makes sense and starts with the idea that we have violated the nature of God, that that is sin. It sorta helps us answer the question then if, if, if someone comes to you and says, you know, I think murders, right? And you’re like, no, it’s definitely wrong. What do you do to get outside of the opinions of two people to determine a basis for truth? Well, that basis is discovered in the moral law giver who has created all of us. It’s, it’s founded in his image. It’s founded in his characteristics. It’s like this. I had a conversation with a young guy. Our culture today is just obsessed with sexuality and defining yourself in different ways in sexuality. And so he’s telling me what he thinks is right and wrong. So I just said, okay, it’s interesting you have your definition. I mean, Genesis tells us, I didn’t tell him this, but Genesis tells us with Adam and Eve, they say what’s right and wrong. That’s a part of the fall. We determine what’s right and wrong, but let me just ask you a few questions. Do you think, do you think rape is wrong?

Well, yeah. Well, how do you know that, right? I mean you’re determining yourself as a basis of saying other things are right. How do you know rape is wrong? Ha, how do you know beastiality is room, right? You know what he has to go to in order to find those things are wrong. Something that transcends outside of himself, his moral law giver, right? And God is the one who establishes that for us. The nature for which we live our lives, it’s, it’s, it’s founded in, in, in the character and the nature of God. I mean if, if you separate yourself from God and you try to rationalize why things are right and wrong apart from God, I mean th the answer you were left up to is, is maybe because, or because the society society said so, but why is it all, why is it all society simply seem to trajectory and the trajectory of, of, of this ultimate moral, uh, standard, uh, of life and the appreciation of life and that murder is wrong and that rape is wrong. Why is that we, we tend to lean that way because just seems like it works.

I mean, why is it when, when you see an experience, the end of a life that you, you grieve within your soul. Why is it you care so much about death? I mean, if there is no God and you believe evolutionarily that you, you came together and if evolutionary is a word, but, but for this sake let’s say it is, if you just came together, I mean you’re just start us bumping into, start us among other things that were created, start us bumping into why would you care or something else loses its life?

Why does that feel so sacred to you? When you, when you look at even an animal that’s lost its life, why in that moment is there this concern or attachment to something that dies? It’s because it’s connected to the nature of God and when we violate that nature, that is what’s in us.

So when you think about our own personal lives and the consequences of sin, usually what we, what we use the word repentance for is like, man, I can’t believe I did that. And man, I can’t believe I got caught. And I’m so sorry that I got caught.

Well, here’s what’s really important to think about when the Bible talks about the word repentance, it’s not talking about paying any penance. What it’s saying to us is there needs to come a place in your life that ultimately when you really talk about sin, you’re not repenting of the consequence of sin. What really matters and what really demonstrates that you get the point of sin is the violation against Holy God and the word repentance means this. It’s not penance. It’s not. It’s not going through this process of punishing yourself. What does the word repentance really means? Is that you’re agreeing with God. You’re saying before God. Got it. I see. I see in your nature why this is so sacred and important, messy and my nature, how it was contrary to you, but in my heart now I’m turning from that. I’m turning to you as the one that I have violated and agreeing. I’m agreeing now with you, God. I’m forsaking that and I’m coming to you. That’s the idea of what repentance represents. And so when the Bible talks about consequences and the wages of sin, it’s, it’s for us to recognize that the ultimate violation and all of this isn’t necessarily the consequence of what happens. The violation is the one that we, we we come against in his very nature. Who is God?

Notice in this passage by the way, that when Satan first experiences this conversation with Eve, that he, he, he’s talking to her alone. I think it really reiterated the significance of community. God has created us for community. When God made Adam, he said, it’s not good for you to be alone and God made Eve and when God made the church, he gave us all different gifts to live as a community.

To encourage one another. We’re not designed to be alone, but in, in, in the community we find support and the ability to lift the up on another, but it’s when the serpent gets with Eve that, that he’s able to attempt her on his own and then it goes on from verse seven and it goes there. It says this. Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew that they were naked.

It’s not like they were walking around with closed eyes. What I’m saying is now they’re able to really experience things. They’re seeing these things and they were naked is talking about shamed. And so now they’re aware. This openness is, they’re aware of their shame and this is what they do. They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. I’ve never seen to the point where I’m like, I need to start selling, right? But, but in this passage, they sewed fig leaves together and they, they made themselves loin loincloths and they heard the sound of God walking in the garden, the coal of the day. And the man, his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees, the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, where are you this idea of this, these fig leaves. And loincloths is very important to the story because as we described sending this passage, we’re also going to look at two ways. Adam and Eve relate to their sin and it’s very important. And what this is going to say to us. When we look at the way Adam and Eve relate to their sins, I want us to recognize that there is nothing do mankind is doing in order to handle their sins. Today.

The same story that started in the back all the way back in Genesis chapter three is the same garbage we’re doing today and it starts with these fig leaves. They’re the, the, the word for these fig leaves that they’re sewing together. It’s expressing verse seven as loin clause. This phrase is literally [inaudible] in the Hebrew. It means armor. So they’re looking at what they’ve just done in violating against the Holy God and their decision now is to handle it on their own. They’re literally creating armor to go into battle and fighting the sin, and this is the way they’re doing it. They’re hiding from God and they’re saying, you know, I’m going to go take care of this on my own and then I’m going to come back to God and I’m going to present myself in such a way that he doesn’t even have the ability to reject me. I am going to be so lovable, he will not have a choice other than to just love me.

When Adam and Eve had done this passage has literally created the first manmade religion. I mean today we call it by different names and it’s got different looking fig leaves, but ultimately that’s what religion is. I’m going to design these fig leaves a beauty appearance on the outside, so much so that it’s going to have to force God to accept me, right?

So a few problems with that. God doesn’t care about the outside. Well, God is in pursuit of is your heart and no matter what you put on the outside and no matter how you try to cover up what you’ve done wrong, God sees the heart.

In fact, Israel believed with the old Testament law that if they lived that law, that God would just have to accept him. They literally thought all the a hundred commandments that they had that they could live those and find themselves acceptable to God and Jesus and Matthew when he preaches the very first sermon, the sermon on the Mount, the very first teaching we hubs of Christ, he says to the people you’ve heard it said, you shall not murder, but I’m going to tell you, you have had anger in your heart. You have murdered. What Jesus is saying is, listen, you think it’s just the outside, but I’m looking at your heart. You think it’s wrong to commit adultery, but I’m going to tell you, you have lusted in your heart have committed adultery and so what Jesus is saying and scripture like when you’ve approached the law, you’ve approached it from the wrong basis. You think it establishes your righteousness, but it doesn’t.

When you think about the sin that Adam and Eve commit here, just consider for a moment why you’ve, you’ve looked at the violation of what is sin, but consider the magnitude of it. For example, if I were to walk out today and hour just to find a piece of grass growing up in our rock area out front, and I just started kicking that grass, like punishing that grass, killing that grass, you guys would be like, man, I can’t believe he violated that grass that was so sacred. No, you won’t care. Like get rid of the grass. It doesn’t matter. You can’t violate it. But if I were to go outside today and out, you’re going to see me in the parking lot doing that to a person. You’d be like, man, that is wrong. That is wrong. I said, they are created in God’s image there. They’re valuable. They have worth. What are you doing now, if I were to do that to a police officer, consequences are greater, right? Fair to do that to the president.

Consequences are even greater, but in this passage, we’re not talking about a person talking about God. It’s the magnitude of the offense. Sin against Holy God. Just just to talk in in more sinful state. When Paul outlines this forest, he does it beautifully in Romans, but just listen to this. It says in Romans one 18 for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness. And if you’re wondering where that wrath of God lies against the people who suppress the truth, it tells us in Romans three 23 for all have sin. Everyone has sin. Everyone has violated this, Holy God, and so the wrath of God rest in that, which is why in Romans six 23 it tells us for the wages of sin is death. All of us experienced separation from God because all of a sudden and all of us are under his wrath. That’s the magnitude of the sand. You’re like, man, this is not good. I know when you understand that the significance of Genesis three starts exploding and not only it’s understanding what the rest of scripture, and so just just keep walking with me in this, in this simple thinking for just a moment. I’ll never encourage you to send beyond that. Okay?

The magnitude of sin. Consider this the consequences. Genesis three 16 we talked about the consequences. It relates against the nature of God, but consider, consider how this consequence affected our nature in everyday living. If you’re looking Genesis three in verse 16 and on, he gives us the curse of sin and that curse he is even done. So according to to to gender, he says to the woman, he said, I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth in the pain. You will bring forth children, yet your desire will be against your husband. He rule over you and Adam. He said, because you’ve listened to the voice of your wife and eat into the tree, you should. You should not eat from curses the ground because of you in toil, you’ll eat of it all the days of your life, both thorns and thistles. It shall grow for you and you will eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your face. You will eat bread until till you return to the ground. Because from it you were taken and for it you will become dust. Okay.

So he’s saying the consequence of sin is always around you and the effects of it. You have the ability to recognize every day just the destruction that that has taken place in this and how much we need rescued. I mean, the fact that you die demonstrates the curse of sin. And when you get to the story of Adam and Eve, this is how it’s similar to every religion in the world. Every religion, the world says, you know, I’m going to, I’m going to undo what I’ve done wrong by just putting myself up with everything good that I’m going. Uh, I think that will help with the problem with that is you think you think about the old Testament. Old Testament gives us laws, right? And Israel began to believe, you know, if I live these laws that will make me good enough before God. But there’s a problem with laws.

That’s not how law works. An example in our own society today would be to think about cops when a cop pulls you over. I don’t think anyone in this world would probably say, you know, when he pulled me over he said, man, thanks fro bang all the laws today. That was really great. Have a nice trip home. I hope you have a great day and I look forward to seeing you a Bay, all the walls again tomorrow. You are so good, right? That’s not what cops do and that’s not their objective in the law. They’re objective in the laws. When you get pulled over, they’re going to tell you, guess what? You broke it and guess what? You’ve got to pay. The purpose of law isn’t to show you how good you are. The purpose of law is to demonstrate how much you need the grace of God.

This is where the wheels fall off the bus. This is where every religion performs exactly what Adam and Eve did in verse seven they’re trying to put the wheels on the bus with all of these rules to make God X, have to accept them, but the whole point of the law isn’t approved. How great you are may have you been in religion before and you’re like, man, I keep trying to perform and I just felt unworthy and I feel unworthy and I feel like I’m failing. I would say to you, that’s exactly what the Bible says. That was the whole point of the law. Listen to these verses for a moment. Isaiah 64 in verse six all of us have become like one who is unclean. All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. I mean even your good deeds are filthy. Isaiah 59 verse two but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God and your sins.

I’ve hidden his face from you so that he does not hear you. And James two 10 whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles in one point has become guilty of all in Romans three 20 because by the works of the law, listen, no flesh will be made right in the side for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. I mean Paul is saying in Romans three 20 it condemns you. That is the whole point. In fact, if you ask the question, what is the purpose of the law? That is exactly what Galatians chapter three in verse 19 says, you can quote a verse of the Bible, what is the purpose of the law of in? And Paul defines it in Galatians. And in fact, the reason he defines it is because in the church of Galicia, there are Jews who have crept in and kept telling the church, you have to obey the laws to be acceptable to God.

And so Paul writes the book of Galatians to talk about how you receive righteousness and it’s not by the law. And so then he poses the question, well, what is the law? Therefore in verse 19 he goes on in verse 21 he says, this is the law then contrary to the promises of God, well, if it doesn’t give us righteousness, is it even good? I mean, why do we have it for? And so he says, may it never be listen for a football had been given, which was able to impart life. Remember we just experienced death separation from God. If a law had been given, which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on the wall. There would be no need for Jesus dying on the cross. But verse 22 but the scriptures has shut everyone up under sin so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law being shut up to the faith, which was later to be revealed. Therefore, the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. So why the law God use it to continue to remind us of our need for Jesus is the curse of sin. And the law of the old Testament was to continue to say, Hey guys, you need Jesus. Take your fig leaves off. Stop hiding. Stop trying to make yourself look good. You can’t fool God. He sees your heart.

In fact, Adam and Eve from there went on and, and they rather than, than just fig leaves. Now listen what happens in the rest of this passage, God is pursuing them. Remember God is pursuing them in this sin. And in verse 10 he said, I heard the sound of view in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. And he said, who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? The man said, the woman like this is the next response to take resident fig leaves, right? The woman who you gave me, she gave me from the fruit of the tree and I ate. It’s like this, okay, God, you’re not accepting the fig leaves. Well, it’s her fault and it’s your fault. In verse 13 then the Lord God said to the woman, well, it’s snakes fault, right? And then she confesses at the very end, the serpent deceived me and I, Adam and Eve’s. Next reaction is to divert and to blame.

But the story of the garden of Eden, the reason we find it in scripture isn’t so that we begin to embrace the idea of putting on fig leaves or, or the idea of blaming other people. The reason the stories in scripture is because of what we’re about to approach in Genesis three 15 God’s response. God is the one that comes to the Gar. God’s the one that pursues them and they’re hiding. God’s the one that still loves that heart. So you guys, we really examine the depths of sin, magnitude of sin, against the violation of the nature of God, the magnitude of sin in the sense of the one that we’ve offended against and his authority, the results of sin and nature, and the way that affects all of us. We see that and hopefully we look at that with some degree of heaviness because it has affected all of creation. But here’s the great part in all of this, here’s where God’s grace transcends it. A whole here’s where relate, relate to the story. Because there are times in my life where I act just like Adam and Eve. There are times in my life or figuratively, I put on Figley where I’ve done things where I’m like, man, I can’t even love myself right now. I don’t want anyone else around me because I can’t even, I don’t even value me as a person because of what I’ve done.

But in that, in those moments where you’re even tired of yourself, Jesus comes in and Jesus in those moments just wants you to take off those fig leaves in the brokenness of your heart. Find a God who accepts you in his grace.

Find, find a God who allows you to be transparent. Find the God that even in seeing your sin, even in seeing the ugliness of it, even in seeing the effects of it, even when other people reject you, you find a God who still loves you beyond all of that and desires to be near you and all of that and whatever state your heart is in, that is where God wants to meet you. That is the part where the passage of scripture says he comes into our lives and he makes all things new because the only one who could truly bring back the death that has happened to all of us is Christ himself. Who has given his life for you that you may experience life with him forever. Jesus has given his life. So you can let go of the fig leaves and just embrace the love of God for which he has created you for in his image. They’ll let go to just have that moment somewhere where you can just say, I don’t have to blame other things. I don’t have to put on the parents. I can just come before my God who loves me. Even in moments where I don’t even love myself because of what I’ve done. No matter how deep you think your sin has gone, the grace and forgiveness of God transcends it all. And this story for us is written in the garden, uh, uh, about the garden of Eden for, for Israel, for you to just see, take off the leaves.

Let go of the law that condemns you in religion and find the healing of Christ who is coming to this garden to demonstrate his love and give his life for you.

Stop blaming the things around you and have a sacred moment with a God who has transcends all things but yet has made himself eminent. It’s the theme of scripture. I mean, when you read first Corinthians chapter 15 it starts in the beginning with the gospel and at the very end of the chapter, this is what Paul says, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. He pays the debt you cannot pay. So let me tell you the beautiful ending to this story. This story continues to be written in all of our hearts because everyone who experiences eternity with God all have a personal moment of embracing Christ. And maybe this morning may be, maybe this is your moment.

Maybe this is the time where you finally looked at a passage of scripture and you’ve understood how much God loves you, understood how alienated we are from God. And in that moment you can say to yourself before a God whose nature you have violated, say, God, I see in all the consequences of sin that ultimately it’s been against you and God, you still love me and so God, I’m asking, forgive me, God, I’m putting my faith in you and what you’ve done for me on the cross and Lord embraced me beyond that sin and love me beyond those fig leaves that I put on even in moments where don’t love myself, God love me. The way that you say that you love me in the Bible, trust in you for life. If you haven’t had a time like that where you’ve come before God, can I just encourage it is the theme of the Bible to take those moments to lay yourself before Christ, surrendering your heart to him, no matter where it’s at and experiencing new life in Christ. I want to tell you the next week I really want to blow our minds and how this story in Genesis three shapes the entire story of all of scripture. I don’t want to invite you to come be a part of that.

God is Imaged

God is Redeeming