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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

April 1, 2015

Genesis Chapter 3:6-21

  1. Verses 4-6. God was honest in His directives to Adam, and warned him about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God instructed Adam not to eat of that tree because eating that fruit would cause him to die! The serpent was very crafty and devious. He got Eve to enter into a conversation with him. Notice how the serpent has the audacity to blatantly contradict God! "You surely shall not die." In other words, she did not have to obey God! This fruit is beautiful! Not only is it beautiful; it will also make you wise, and you will know the difference between good and evil. In effect, it was saying that once you know the difference, you can choose the good, and by your right choices you can become like God. Knowing the difference between good and evil is the key to making right choices and thus becoming like God! That sounded good to Eve! In fact, it sounded better, easier and more effective than having to obey God! The serpent's plan worked! The goal sounded very attractive, but the method bypassed obedience to God's directives; it also bypassed contentment with the power and authority God had placed in both herself and in Adam. The serpent's focus on the beauty of the fruit and its ability to make her wise and become like God erased all other thoughts from her mind. She did not seem to realize that disobedience to God's instructions is putting our ideas above God's wisdom and knowledge. When Christ was tempted in the wilderness He never entered into a conversation with the devil; He always quoted scripture - "It is written". That ended the test! Eve did not end the test by quoting what God had said. So the serpent got Eve to focus on the advantages of his counsel, and she took the forbidden fruit and ate and gave some to Adam, and he also ate of it. Eve was deceived and ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam, and he also ate of the fruit! Adam was not deceived; yet he also ate. So here we have two types of disobedience. One is due to falling prey to deception by being enticed by the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; the other is due to knowingly disobeying God's command. The scriptures declare that sin came into this world through Adam, and death through sin. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men ..." (Romans 5:12). Adam knew he was listening to a voice other than God's. He knew he was disobeying God! He did it in the light of true knowledge. Although the serpent was able to deceive Eve, it was not, and can never destroy God's plan for humanity, namely, to make man in His image! God is spirit, and spirit is invisible to our eyes. So a true image of God has to be a spiritual image, invisible to human eyes. It is in the unseen realm. This image of God has come to us in Christ - not in Adam! Adam was only an earthy image of God. In Christ we are a new creation! This is a spiritual creation; it cannot be seen with human eyes. We may think it is amazing that they would believe the serpent instead of believing God, yet we think it quite natural to do the same. It's so much easier to yield to our desires than to believe what God says is best for us. Our natural desires look so good to us, while obedience looks so difficult and distasteful! Only God's will is perfect, yet we have a lot of trouble embracing God's will as our will! Our will looks much better and more desirable to us than God's will. Why? Because we have not yet realized that the fruit that the serpent is dangling in front of us is poisonous. It is not what we are led to believe. If we do not believe what God says, we are still caught up in the deceitfulness of the serpent, and lawlessness still looks so good to us! This was Adam and Eve's problem! They did not believe that eating of the forbidden fruit would cause them to die. They had faith in their self-will instead of in God's prediction! Do we still have the same problem? Do we still have faith in the things we can do, instead of in the resurrection power of Christ working mightily in us? Do we understand that doctrines, going to church, being involved in the ministry of our choice, doing good deeds, or anything that is rooted in self, does not save us? These things look so good, but if they are rooted in self they come from the wrong tree! The obvious looks right, but it leads us into the path of the unrighteous. We have to be freed from all reliance in self and its works, and know that it is faith in Christ alone that saves us. We cannot trust outward appearances. Jesus used the example of two houses that looked the same, but their foundations were not the same. One house was built on sand, namely, the many ideas and philosophies of religion, and the other was built on the rock, namely the rock that is Christ. When going to church, being involved in ministry, doing good works, etc., is an outflow of obedience and the salvation that is ours in Christ, it has the right foundation. But if it is done to obtain salvation and rewards, it is built on sand (Matthew 7: 22-23).

  2. Verses 7-9. The man and the woman ate of the forbidden fruit together, and they died spiritually. Their perception or sight of God and their perception of themselves changed. They saw themselves differently and they saw God differently. They now saw themselves as wanting and needy of protection and covering. They also saw God as one who would punish and not love. To heal their fatal flaw, they brought religion into being – salvation by one’s own works (their fig leaves), “for they made aprons to hide their nakedness.” Our own coverings can never hide our sin and disobedience from God. He sees it all. They tried to hide and cover themselves from the one who loved them so much. But God called out to the man and asked him where he was. My very first sermon was entitled “Where are you” from this text. God hadn’t gone anywhere, but the man, Adam, had drifted spiritually from his place in God. I think God is still asking some people “Where are YOU?”

  3. Verses 10-11. The man answered God and he told God that he was hiding because he was naked. God asked who told him he was naked and have you eaten from the tree that you were told not to eat from. They had so much to learn about God! God had a purpose in letting Adam fail the test. He failed it because he was a mixture, and the earthy part of him birthed a desire to become like God by his own effort. By listening to a voice other than God's voice, something within him died. Instead of enjoying fellowship with God, he now was afraid of God, and tried to hide from God. He now had the idea that God was out to punish him. In Adam's mind God had become his enemy instead of his friend. Since Adam had listened to the serpent and obeyed a voice other than God's voice, he received the serpent's mindset - the mindset that is against the Spirit of God.

  4. Verses 12-13. The man answered God’s question by stating that the woman God put with him gave me the fruit. Of course that was no good excuse since God has told him not to eat of the tree personally. Adam could have easily refused, but he was just as seduced as she was by the offer of the serpent. When the woman heard that the man threw her under the bus, she then blamed the serpent.

  5. Verse 14-15. God curses the serpent for his deceiving ways. The punishment is basically that the serpent will be lower than all of creation and he will be judged and punished by the offspring of the woman. The serpent/Satan will always attack from below. The serpent has only the dust as his food. Interestingly man is made of dust. So the only food for Satan is man. He exist to consume men in their lust. His curse is that he will pursue man only to be judged by the offspring of man “the Christ.” There will be friction/enmity between the servants of Satan and the servants of Christ. This is a picture of God’s redemptive act in Christ and the friction between the world and the church. Christ will bruise the deceivers head with his foot. This is symbolic of Christ placing the enemy under his subjection. Satan will pursue man only to be cutoff by the “seed” of the woman. See the irony here. The serpent deceived the woman, but her offspring, “her seed,” will be his downfall.

  6. Verse 16-19. The man and the woman are punished for their disobedience. Instead of things being provided for them, all things would come through hard work. Prior to this all they had to do was just enjoy God’s provision. God provided food with ease, and he provided companionship with ease. Now if any more people would come they would come through painful labor, and if any food was to be provided it would come through hard work. The two things that God had done before with ease, reproduction and provision, would now come through pain and labor. Instead of God’s provisions, man would have to work for his supply. Man will have to work until his flesh is destroyed in death. Life now would take its toll on the outer man. If the outer man or flesh is going to waste away due to the hard work of life, how will the inner spiritual man live?

  7. Verses 20-21. Adam named his wife Eve, and God gave them new clothes. This is the point that we often miss. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves, but they could not cover themselves adequately with fig leaves, but God provided them a covering of skin. God has a better covering for our nakedness. Their coverings were insufficient, but God’s covering was sufficient. Man's failure did not come as a surprise to God. God had the plan for man's redemption before He formed Adam from the dust of the ground. His plan was greater than just a restoration of man to his former state; His plan was to take humanity out of its former state and bring it into a higher state - a spiritual state of life in which there is no decay, deterioration or death.

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