Genesis 3, as we look at this text of scripture, I want it to come to life for us today in exactly God’s intentions in placing this section of the Bible for us in scripture. The first three chapters of Genesis, some of you probably know this about me. I referenced this section a lot when I preach, but first chapters of Genesis are I think, my favorite chapters of the Bible. I say that every time I preach about any texts of scripture, but I’m serious about the first three chapters of Genesis. And the reason I say that is because the foundation of Christianity, the belief, every belief that we stand on can be rooted in the first three chapters of Genesis. Every major doctrine of Christianity. You can start to see the strokes painted for the truth of who God is and what he desires for us to know about him in these first three chapters. They are paramount.
And one of the things I want us to recognize as we look at this section of scripture, let me just use this illustration. If you think about these notes on a page, these musical notes and your understanding of music. When you look at these notes, for some of you that may not know how to read notes or play an instrument, you look at this and you can kind of appreciate words on a page. But just words on a page, there’s not a lot of life in that for some of us, right? We look at this we’re like, I know what it is. I can appreciate that. And historically, as I explained this section of music to you. This is a section of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. That he wrote and composed when he was completely deaf. This was the last thing that Beethoven wrote and performed. You could start to even grow in that historical appreciation of these musical notes, right?
But when you learn how to take what’s on that page and make the application, the beauty of what this page is, it just brings it to life, right? You know the joy of music. This is why are we sing as a church. Music just ministers to the soul. It’s a beautiful thing to experience, not just look out on a page, but music is there to experience it. To understand its truth and just to kind of live it out as it’s made known. And I would say the same thing is true for the Bible.
That the Bible, when it’s written to us, we look at it sometimes without an understanding, it just looks like thoughts on a page, right? But God’s intentions for those words are to breathe life into our lives. And not just to know it, but to really live it. The experience of what it is. And in the first three chapters of Genesis, a lot of what shared about the life of Adam and Eve is more than just a story. It is a story, but it’s something that we walk in every day. And so some of us may look at the story of Genesis, if we’re to say a summary of this book, we’d look at the first three chapters and you might even know you might even grown up in a church and you know the historical teaching of Genesis chapter three, right? It’s about two naked people walking around talking to snakes and doing stupid stuff.
Now what does that have to do with you? And the more you read the story and you get the understanding of what God is communicating to us through this story, it starts to bring this off the page and it sings into our soul, this truth of what God wants to communicate into our lives.
We looked at this last week in the first two chapters of Genesis, is God starts to lay out this significance of creation. That some people come to Genesis and they want to know how God created. And they’ll take the first two chapters of Genesis and they’ll argue their whatever their theology is and how God creates. But the first two chapters of Genesis aren’t there to tell us how God creates, but rather why God creates. And the crown of his creation is humanity, making us different than anything else he designs. In Genesis 2:7, this beautiful verse describing you, that says to you that you are the beauty of his creation. And it says, then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Man became a living.
God made you beautifully. God made you to connect relationally. And to summarize last week, we said this about our creation, that when God made us, he said to rule and to bless. God made us to rule and to bless. God made us for relationship and God made us to rest in his presence. In fact, we got to the seventh day, and “God said, and he rested. And something interesting about those seven days. You look at the first six days of God’s creation, it says, God speaks and it was morning and the evening of the first day. And God speaks and there was morning and evening of the second day. And every day he calls it good. But when he gets to the seventh day, God never says, it’s morning and evening. All it says is God rests. We taught that the intentions of God in saying that, is God is distinguishing for us the first six days is creative work. God is creating, God is creating, God is creating. And then the seventh day God rests, because God never intends beyond his rest for anything else to happen. That God makes us for relationship in him, to delight in his presence all the days of our lives.
He never says on the seventh day, it’s morning and evening at the end of the seventh day. God made you to rest and enjoy your relationship with him for all of eternity. To rule with him, to be a blessing to this world and have relationship, not just with the Lord, but with one another. In fact, as you look at the rest of Genesis 2, what you see is that the rest of the story unfolds, is we’re resting in God’s presence. Then God creates woman. And man and woman had this beautiful union before the Lord. And so God in our relationship with God, it’s then reflected in relationship with each other. Beautiful, harmonious, perfect in relationship in the presence of God.
And then what happened? Genesis 3 is that explanation. And remember Genesis was written to a group of slaves. They’ve just come out of the Exodus with Moses. And I think as Moses is writing this passage to the slaves, he’s helping him find identity. Who are we? You can imagine the trauma, maybe of a life like that. You’ve always been told you’re worthless. Pharaoh looked down to you, the people of Egypt looked down to you. Who are you? Why does God give a rip about you?
And he begins to explain the beauty of who we are in light of who God is. Our identity. As you look at the first two chapters of Genesis, you have to ask the question, if this is the way God made things, this is not the way things are. What happened? Why do we have adversity in life?
Now I want you to, I’m not going to explain where evil comes from. I don’t have time to dive into that today, but I will let you know knowing that I wasn’t going to talk about where evil comes from this morning, I wrote it on the blog on our church website. So if you go to our website or you go to the app and you click on blog, you can read about it, if you are interested in where evil comes from. But I’m going to talk from this perspective of what evil has done in our lives and what God’s solution is to it.
So the big question is, what in the world happened? If we were perfect, everything was perfect, how did we get to where we are today? And you start to see how sin is introduced into life in the first few chapters of Genesis. How sin was introduced or AKA, we could say how Adam and Eve stepped in it. Whatever you want to picture the “it” as they stepped in it, right?
And so how did this happen? Well, the first 5 verses of Genesis, it tells us it was the snakes fault. Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed has God said, you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden, we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree, which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat from it or touch it or you will die.” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die. For God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be open and you will be like God knowing good and evil.” That silly snake.
You start to read these first few sections of scripture. I just want you to know, by the way, I’m going to say something and if you don’t agree with me, we can still be friends after this. But I don’t believe in talking snakes and I don’t believe in talking snakes in the garden. Let me give you a practical reasons why I don’t think what’s really being said here is a snake talked. I know my wife, if she represents any perspective of women at all. When it comes to snakes, that ain’t happening right? When it comes to talking snakes, that has never happening.
In the back of our house, I probably shouldn’t tell you this if anyone visits, but I have a snake that lives in the back of my yard. And I know where it lives. I refuse to tell my wife where that’s at. But the reason I know it’s the same snake is it’s got a particular scar on its body. And every time I see it, we hang out in the backyard. It’s a regular visitor. And the reason I liked the snake is because I hate mice worse. And so the snake does it’s job, I have no mice and me and the snake get along great. But I can tell you, rest assured, if that snake ever talked, it would not be in my backyard. And you read this story of Adam and Eve, like Adam and Eve walking through the garden. Eve’s like, “Adam’s too busy to talk to me right now. Oh, this snake wants to chat.” No lady’s going to talk to this snake, right? If there’s a talking snake, no one’s stopping to talk to the snake.
But what I think this passage of scripture is communicating to us is the nature of the identity of Satan. Satan is like a snake. Hebrew literature is pretty interesting in how it chooses to describe characteristics of individuals or even God. If you read the Greek, Greek is very descriptive of identity. It would say God is omnipotent and eternal, if it wanted to describe who God is. We get a grasp on the details of those words and the identity of who God is. In Hebrew you would say something like, God is from everlasting to everlasting. Why don’t you just call him eternal? They are more poetic and they would attribute identity to him by saying something like, “God is like a rock. Or God is like a bear. Or God is like an eagle.”
And this imagery paints a picture in your mind. Rather than all these adjectives, they just choose these words that paint this imagery in your mind. The same is true I think for Satan. Rather than go into this long explanation of who he is, it chooses a word to express his identity. He is a snake. If you want to consider another passage that describes Satan in the garden of Eden, Ezekiel 28:13-19, describe Satan in the garden of Eden. When you look at that description, a snake is never mentioned. In fact, when it describes Satan’s appearance in the garden of Eden, it describes him as this angelic being full of this array of jewelry. He just shines and radiates. That is far different than a snake. There should be no jewels on snakes. But when it describes Satan Ezekiel 28 it describes this image of beauty. And when you get to the New Testament, Luke 10:19, Jesus says to his disciples that you have the authority over Satan to trample serpents and scorpions.
I don’t think Jesus is really saying to his disciples, “Look, just go step on all kinds of snakes when you see them.” I think what Jesus is saying to them rather is the snake and the scorpions tend to personify what evil is, and you have the authority over it. And when he’s describing a snake in the garden of Eden, I think he’s describing the personification of the nature of Satan. In fact, when you read in the New Testament, this word in Hebrew, by the way, is “nachash.” It relates to an enchanter, one who is double tongue, who speaks deceivingly to people.
Satan is described that way in the New Testament. He’s described as a deceiver, John 8:44. 2 Corinthians 11:3, he’s described as this angel of light, which is what’s expressed about him in Ezekiel 28. He’s an angel of light, in 2 Corinthians 11:14. In Revelation 21, rather than being expressed as a snake, he’s called a dragon. So apparently somehow he grew some wings. But you get the idea of his nature and what he’s up to and the description that’s given to us in the garden of Eden. His intentions are not good.
Now, Adam and Eve were completely responsible for the decisions that they make. But Satan is trying to deceive them. And I want us to pay attention to the way that Satan moves through his deception in Adam and Eve. In verse one, here’s what he says, “Indeed has, God said, you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” Like there’s a stepped process in how Adam and Eve are being deceived by Satan here. And the first thing Satan does is he gets them to question the truth of what God says. “The God really say that?” Questioning his truth.
Can I just encourage us as I think about the way that the enemy works? Be careful with truth. One of the things that this past week I watched a few different debates in our valley and one of the things I kept recognizing as people were talking is there was this animosity built up in individuals lives because at some point someone had lied to them. And they don’t want to be deceived again. And their hearts were hardened and even angry over having been lied to.
It’s difficult when you’re lied to, to want to trust in anything else again. And that makes your position of truth important. To not just say things about God flippantly, but to really come to know him. And to share that truth that changes lives.
The first thing that Satan wants Adam and Eve to do is question truth. Verse two and three, Eve’s response is a little interesting. People spend a little more time on this than I think we should, but Eve responds and said, “From the fruit of the tree of the garden of Eden, we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, you shall not eat from it or touch it or you will die.” Here’s what’s interesting about Eve’s statement that people like to identify, is God never said, you shouldn’t touch it. God just said, don’t eat it.
And you see this sort of fabrication of adding on to what God says. And people speculate over why the author wanted to include this thought of elaborating on the truth, or expanding on it beyond what God really said. What God said was just don’t eat it. So let the truth just be the truth. You don’t need to add to it. Let the truth of who God is resonate with people as you share it. And in verse four then Satan starts to question. “The serpent said to the woman, ‘Surely you will not die.'” In this one statement he’s actually opposing God in two ways. First is, he wants her to question the identity of God, the character of God. He’s saying not only do you should you question the truth of what God says, “did God really say that?” But then he’s saying, now let’s just question God’s character all together, the identity of who He is. God’s lying to you, right?
And not only that, in the same thought that he’s sharing, he’s also saying, don’t worry about judgment. Don’t worry about the results. God’s not really being forthcoming with you. And then in verse five he gives this final thought, “For God knows that on the day you will eat from it your eyes will be open and you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.” And what he’s saying is, look, you know better than God. The knowledge of the tree of good and evil is about this. It’s about saying to God rather than God declaring what’s right and wrong, you’re going to have the knowledge to declare right from wrong. Meaning God’s no longer going to be God. You’re going to be God and you’re going to dictate to this world what is right and what is wrong.
You know better than God. Question his truth. Did God really say …? Question his character. Don’t worry about judgment and you know what? You know what’s better for you than God does. Forget that he created you for his purpose. Live life for your purpose. We say this as a church, I like to remind us when it comes to following after the Lord, we like to know everything but this faith that we walk in as a journey. And you get to learn and grow in it every day. And there is a foundation that when you begin this journey to rest yourself in. And that’s to simply answered two questions. What’s the foundation of truth? And who is Jesus? When we get the security of understanding the source for which truth should come and the identity of who Jesus really is, that’s where you rest yourself.
And Satan wants Adam and Eve to question this. And he says, you know, the moment you eat this, you’re going to become this elevated being. You’re going to become like God, which is a very interesting statement for Satan to make because Isaiah 14 tells us that that’s the very thing that caused Satan to be thrown out of heaven. Isaiah 14:12, “How you are fallen from heaven, oh day star, son of dawn. How you are cut down to the ground. You who laid the nations low, you set in your heart will ascend to heaven above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high. I will sit 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.”
Bible tells us, there’s only one God. Isaiah 43:10 Isaiah 44:6-8, there’s only one God. That’s all that’s ever been. That’s all there ever will be. And the same lie that got Satan kicked out of heaven is the same lie he shares with Adam and Eve in the garden. And I would say it’s the same lie we buy into every day in our lives. We make ourselves before the Lord.
And Adam and Eve, you know the story, right? They sinned and how they respond in sin is important. It says in verse six, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight into the eyes and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate. And she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were open and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” This my future Halloween outfit, right? “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, the cool of the day, and man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees in the garden.
When Adam and Eve’s sin, you think about this. They must have the attention span of kids all jacked up on Halloween candy. God creates them, God says, don’t do this and here we are not even a chapter later, and they’re already doing exactly what God says not to do.
And then you see the result of the sin. Adam and Eve declare themselves God, they partake of the fruit. What’s really interesting about this section in verse six is Eve eats of this fruit first and then it says she gives to Adam who’s beside of her. If you look at the story as it’s told in Genesis 2, God never told Eve not to eat of the fruit. God actually told Adam not to eat the fruit and Adam was responsible to share that with Eve. And when Adam went to Eve, maybe somehow, apparently Adam said to Eve, look, don’t eat of the fruit, but in fact not just don’t eat of the fruit. Don’t touch it, don’t get near it. Don’t do anything about it. Don’t even look at it.
But when it came time to partake of this fruit or the temptation of this fruit, Adam rather stand up with his wife to fight against the serpent here, he just lets her go down. He’s so close to her that it literally tells us in the story after she takes the bite, she turns to him. She’s like, “Look, I didn’t die. Do you want a piece?” Adam just lets her go down. He’s like sitting there watching her eat this. He’s like, I can’t, I can’t do this. Ahhhh, let’s see what happens. If she eats, doesn’t die he’s like, okay. God said if you eat, you’ll die and, and okay, you didn’t die. So give it to me. I want to try this sucker out. Right? So they declare themselves and the knowledge of good evil, they know better than God. They partake of the fruit. And then what happens? Well, death.
It tells us in verse seven how that they begin to recognize that they knew that they were naked. This thought is not just simply that they realized they didn’t have clothes on, but rather what it’s saying is to this point in the garden, they’re clothed in the glory and presence of God. Theologians will describe the garden actually as the first temple, and I want you see this in verse eight in just a minute. But they were clothed in God’s presence. And now all of a sudden, that presence is gone. And God himself is life. And when we’re disconnected from him who is life, that is death.
And so now for Adam and Eve, the clock is just ticking until they find themselves in a grave. But both of them knew that they were naked. And then look what it says. “And then they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin cloths.” That is just such a weird statement. Who cares? Until you realize what the author is singing in this passage of scripture. The Hebrew word for fig leaves here, it’s a soldier’s garment. It’s a warrior preparing for battle. Adam and Eve realized they screwed up. And their response to that, is to literally create the first man-made religion. “Oh no, we messed up. God, we’re going to war and we’re going to fight and we’re going to fix it.” And so they run and they sew these fig leaves together. They put on these soldiers garments and they start the battle. Cover it up.
Every religion since then, that’s what it’s about, right? Do these rules to cover your sin and then God will love you. But can I tell you, why fight to win a battle, when Jesus has already fought and been victorious for you? Do you see this correlation, soldier’s garments? That’s what it’s saying to us, right? He’s about to share with us the story of the gospel. And he’s saying, look, here’s the first foolish thing that they did in their sins. And we do this all the time. God, just let me go fight this battle to prove to you that I’m lovable. Why fight it? Jesus has already fought it for you and he won.
There’s nothing you’re ever going to do to make God love you more. And there’s nothing you’ve done that’s going to make God love you less. Jesus has already fought the battle and won. How foolish is it to cloud our lives with religious performance? Jesus, wants you in that mess. Jesus wants you. Why keep fighting a battle he’s already fought?
Not only does the passage say this, but in verse eight he goes on a little further and it starts to explain something. There’s something interesting in the Hebrew I want you to see, but it said, “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day and man and wife hid themselves from his presence.” So he’s elaborating further in this verse eight on the idea of temple. Verse seven, remember they’re clothed in the glory of God? Just like the Shekinah glory in the old Testament, the presence of God? And the temple in the old Testament, that the presence of God dwelled. And you could be clothed in that glory of God. When the children Israel ran from Pharaoh, it tells us that the glory cloud of God separated the army of Egypt from Israel to protect them. That glory cloud.
When they wandered through the wilderness, that glory cloud directed them. That glory cloud with Adam and Eve here in the garden of Eden and now they know it’s been gone. Now they’re naked. All of a sudden, verse eight they hear the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, the cool of the day. Now, this is an interesting way to translate this in the Hebrew. This statement in Hebrew, it’s accurately translated, but I think there’s a better way to translate it. Let me just share this with you. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden. This idea of walking literally just translates as His presence. So His presence is coming near them in the garden and it says in the cool of the day.
Now this word cool is really also interesting in Hebrew. This word cool, the only time it’s translated as cool in Hebrew is in this verse. Nearly every other time it’s translated, it’s translated as “wind” or “spirit” talking about the Holy Spirit. And so when you give that kind of understanding to this passage of scripture, I realized when translators translate, they just have to kind of pick a word that fits. And when you’re talking about a garden, cool makes sense, the cool of the day. But there’s a much more vivid expression taking place here.
And what he’s saying here is, look, they realized that God’s presence wasn’t clouding them anymore, and all of a sudden now God’s presence is coming back into the garden and they recognize his presence from the rushing of this wind. Remind you have any New Testament passage? Acts 2, perhaps? The Holy Spirit when it comes into the church like a mighty rushing wind. And so here you see in Genesis 3:8, the presence of God here in what’s described as by theologians as the first temple coming into the lives of these individuals. And what’s their response? They run. They hide from God.
How true is this of us today? We mess up. What’s in your human nature? To run right for God? Or to run away? God, I’m not worthy. God, I got to go back and prove myself and God can’t come before you right now. Look, I want to be at church, but I got to get my life together first. And soon as I get everything else in order, then I’ll be okay to come to God. From the beginning of the garden, this has been the actions of man. Create religion, run from God and make myself perfect, then come before the Lord.
And what God is demonstrating in here, in the midst of Adam and Eve’s sin, is that doesn’t work. There’s only one cure for the wickedness of the heart, the destruction of sin. And it’s not more of you. You don’t need a a better version of you. You need a new you. And being dead and Adam and Eve partaking this fruit, we don’t have the ability to bring that life within us. It requires something else.
And so in Genesis 3:9, it starts to explain us, how God responds in the midst of Adam and Eve’s sin. It says this, “Then the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?'” Now, verse nine I want you to know from God’s perspective is rhetorical. God doesn’t wonder where you are. God knows exactly where you are. That’s why it’s kind of preposterous to think before God you can cover yourself or you can run and hide from it and it will just eventually go away. Rather, the reason God’s asking this question, it’s not because he needs to find Adam and Eve, it’s because he wants Adam and Eve to recognize where they are in relationship to him.
You think just one chapter before, this beautiful relationship they had before God and all of a sudden this chaos happens and now they’re running like mad men and women through this garden with barely anything on thinking about these talking snakes everywhere. Why did we listen to him? God is like, “What are you doing? Where are you? Where are you?”
Verse 10, “He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” What God is drawing out of Adam and Eve is where their brokenness is. In verse 12 and 13, though they respond one more way to sin that I think is important to recognize. “Man said, ‘The woman who you gave to be with me. She gave me from the tree and I ate.'” Rather than own it up, he’s like, “It’s her fault! Whatever you’re thinking about doing God, take it out on her.”
And then verse 13, “Then the Lord God said to the woman, what is it that you have done? And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me.'” They’re blaming. Back and forth. And then God brings some healing words. Religion doesn’t work. Running doesn’t work. Blaming doesn’t work. So what works? If I’m created for what Genesis 1 and 2 describes, what works for my soul to connect in that way? If you read verses 14 and 19 I’m going to have time to go through all of that, but verses 14 and 19, God then turns to Adam and Eve and he starts to talk about the curse on the earth now. And here’s what’s interesting. When he starts talking about the curse on the earth, the first one he talks to is the woman. And he talks about the pain of childbirth and relationship to her husband. And then he turns to Adam and says, and then cursed is the the ground which you toil by the sweat of your brow and the blood that you drip. You’re going to recognize your need for God.
Now what he’s saying is this, that in relationship, he says to the woman, there’s going to be adversity. He turns to the man, he says, look, in the workforce, there’s going to be adversity. When you put your hand to the plow, there’s going to be adversity. Now this verse isn’t saying women take care of the home. Men are the only people that work. That’s not what this verse is saying, but I think he is correlating this to the identity of what it means to be made in the image of God between men and women. Ladies, you want to work, work. This is not what this verse says. Now guys, you can’t have birth. But this passage in scripture is looking to the identity of us being created uniquely in the image of God. And God is speaking into that. And the reason he’s doing that is to say this to you. You’re going to go through times in life that looked difficult, and that difficult should remind you of your need for Jesus.
This world is no longer your home. But God is going to create a solution for your soul. And in verse 15 in the middle of all of that, he expresses what that is. He says, “Now I will put enmity,” he’s saying this to the serpent, “between you and the woman. Between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel.” And this is the first presentation of the coming of Jesus. Notice it never talks about the seed of the man. But it says from the seed of a woman, emphasizing a virgin birth.
From the seed of the woman, this one would come. And he will crush the head of the serpent. This is the show authority and kingship. This King dominates and will crush, but he suffers a heel wound. And we know this happens to Jesus on the cross when he’s nailed to the cross. But this for us becomes our freedom. That Satan represents darkness and sin. And his kingdom is being crushed so that the real King will rule over our hearts again.
And then God gives us this statement. And again, this is one of those passages when you understand it in the Hebrew text it sings to our soul again, but he says this, verse 20, “Now, the man called his his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
First death in scripture. And who does it? It’s God. God takes the life of an animal. A sacrifice and he clothes Adam and Eve. In the garments of skin. Interesting thought about this word, garments. It’s the same word used in Hebrew for a priestly garment. When a priest would go into the temple, into the presence of God, they would be clothed in this garment. God’s presence again. God promises Genesis 3:15, one would come to rescue you. And as an illustration that rescue, he makes a sacrifice. And he clothes Adam and Eve in the presence of God, which they had lost because of their sin. God makes all things new.
We try to fix our solutions by our strength. We cover religiously. We try to hide. We try to blame. But you can’t fool God. It’s impossible. God made us beautifully and I think that’s still true. Everyone in this room, everyone in the world, God made you beautifully. And at the same time, you’re beautifully broken. You’re broken. How is that healed? By the one who makes things new. You can’t find the solution until you correctly identify the problem. It’s not about just making things better. It’s about making things completely new.
Paul wanted us to understand this thought in scripture, so much so that when you get to Romans 5, for the first five chapters of Romans, Paul’s going on and on about our sinfulness, because we have a hard time understanding the depravity of our lives. Sin brings death. And he wants us to understand that full picture and so in Romans 5, he goes from the New Testament, he dips all the way back into the Old Testament to the time of Adam and Eve and look what he says. He says, “Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered into the world and death through sin and so death spread to all men because all had sinned.” You want to know why things aren’t the way they were intended to be when God created them? It’s because sin has permeated this world and to the point that has infected all of us and so all have sinned. Verse 17 goes on further. He says this, “For if by the transgression of the one, death rang through the one much those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
“But God.” I love that in Romans 5:8, it’s that famous verse, “But God demonstrates his love towards us. And while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s given us the illustration.
In the thought of this series that we’re going through together, one of the things we’ve titled this as “Kingdom Come.” In the beginning, God created everything perfect in his kingdom and for us to enjoy his presence and rest in him forever. But man sins, and he tells us in Genesis 2:7, God forms us out of the dust of the ground, God breathes in us the breath of life. Man becomes a living being, but then man sins. And the beauty of what that kingdom was intended to be for us to experience, we’ve been separated from because there’s death,
But in Jesus, there’s life. To tie this together, I want us to see this beauty of God’s kingdom from Genesis throughout all of scripture. But in John 20 I think there’s this beautiful illustration that ties it all together. Jesus does this interesting thing. This is after Jesus’s resurrection. It says, “When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut, where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'”
You think about the beauty of Jesus’ first statement to his disciples. What would Jesus utter when he sees them for the first time? His statement is one of kingdom representation. Peace. Rest. Peace be with you. “And when he had said this, he showed them both his hands and his side and the disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them, again, ‘Peace be with you.'” How much does your soul need that? To stop fighting and let Jesus be enough and the rest in him and be loved by him.
He knows you mess up. He knows you aren’t perfect and he wants to make things new in your life. “Jesus said to them peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I send you.” And then he does this weird thing, verse 22. “And when he has had this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy spirit.” Now that is weird. You’re thinking that this must be one of those first century things that we don’t relate to today. Like greeting one another with a holy kiss. We’re not interested. But I want you to know for the disciples, this was weird too. Jesus comes in and he’s like “[blowing sounds] everybody.” That is a weird thing to do. But why is Jesus doing that? It’s connecting the story together.
God breathed into man, man becomes a living being, created in the image of God. Man’s sin comes in, separates God and man, and then Jesus triumphs over the grave and what’s Jesus do? Peace be with you. I’m making all things now.
Genesis 3 shows us the destruction of sin. But at the same time it shows us what to do with that sin. It’s not religion. It’s not running, or hiding. It’s not blaming. It’s to take wherever your heart is right now and coming before Jesus and saying, “God, you’re enough. You are enough. Make me new. I screwed up yesterday. I going to screw up tomorrow, but God in you, there is joy forever more. Let that peace rule in my heart and let you be enough.”