This message was preached by Chris Burton at Word of Grace Church on February 19th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
I find instant replay tends to spoil the joy of watching sports except in two instances. These two instances are exactly opposite. First, when something truly amazing happens. Second is when something horrific happens. Today we will do an instant replay of the fall of humankind- and then see something amazing.
When we read it quickly, it doesn’t seem that horrific.
Genesis 3: 1-10
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees 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. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So 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 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. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.””
In this passage, we see the entrance of a new creature. Right from the beginning he is dangerous. Let’s look at this passage play by play.
1. Verse 1-3: Eve was already in Peril because she did not attend to God’s word. God said that she could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. But she says to the serpent that they could not even touch it. The psalmist says” I’ve hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you”. Knowing God’s word, attending to it carefully, keeps us from sin. When God’s word is twisted, it becomes easier to contradict itself.
2. Verse 5-6 a half truth and a lie: The devil deals in half truths and lies. A half truth is that they will be like God. Yes, they will know good and evil but not like God. Because Eve would have entered into experiential knowledge of evil- which is not the way God knows good and evil.
3. Verse 7-10 Shame embarrassment, covering and distance from God- When Adam and Eve eat of the fruit that God commanded them not to, sin enters humankind. The result is shame and embarrassment. They hid from God and made coverings out of leaves. And ultimately, God drove them away from his presence.
4. The other part of this story: Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”God has already made man in his image- in his likeness. Adam and Eve took what they already had and abandoned it. They did not want likeness, they wanted equality with God.
5. Insurrection of God’s word- It is a rebellion. It was more than just eating a fruit. They used it from their own damage. In Genesis 3:24 they were cast out of God’s presence. It came at an extremely high price.
In this chapter we also have something amazing! God reveals his plan of salvation. While Adam and eve tried to grasp equality with God, Jesus, who is the Son of God, comes to earth and enters a garden- and even though equal with God, did not grasp equality, but laid it down and said, “not my will but yours be done.” At that moment we see how different he is from Adam. In Philippians 2:5-7 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
In Gethsamane Jesus is tempted not to consume something. He says, take this cup from me. For Jesus, the cross was becoming like the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He didn’t want that separation from the Father. But he said, not my will but yours be done. The Cross becomes the tree of life to us and the curtain is torn to enter it.
Romans 8:29- “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” We are now recreated in the image of God. Jesus too enters a garden when he is tempted, but he does something different from Adam and that makes all the difference in the world.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.