Sermon #6 Genesis Sermons
Title: The Fall Of Man - A Picture Of Grace
Text: Genesis 3:1-24
Subject: The grace of God revealed in the Fall
Date: Tuesday Evening - June 11, 1991
My subject tonight is The Fall of Man - A Picture Of Grace. If we would understand anything about the grace of God and the workings of grace for and in elect sinners, we must understand something about the fall. Genesis 3 is one of the most important chapters in all the Word of God. What I said to you a few weeks ago about the Book of Genesis is particularly true of this chapter - “It is the seed plot of the whole Bible.”
Here the foundation is laid upon which all gospel truth is built. If you trace all the rivers of truth back to their source, you will find their source in Genesis 3. Here the great drama of redemption begins, which is being acted out upon the stage of human history. In this one chapter of inspiration...
· The present fallen, ruined condition of our race is explained.
· The subtle devices of the devil are disclosed.
· The utter inability of man is recorded.
· The effects of sin are displayed.
· God’s attitude toward fallen man is setforth.
· Man’s pride and self-righteousness are demonstrated.
· God’s gracious provisions for fallen sinners are proclaimed.
· And the necessity of a mediator is revealed.
There is no understanding of the rest of the Bible until Genesis 3 is understood. If we go wrong here, we will err in our interpretation of all the rest of the Word of God. If, by the Spirit of God, we can grasp the message of Genesis 3, we will not greatly err in the rest of the Book.
This much is evident - If Genesis 3 is true, (and it is!), then both the scientists and the sociologist of our day are wrong. The evolutionary scientists tell us that man is slowly, but surely evolving into a perfect being, that though he began very low he has climbed very high. God tells us that he made man perfect, but he has ruined himself. God tells us that he made man very high, but he has fallen very, very low.
The sociologists, psychologists, educators, and philosophers have been telling us for a hundred years, that man’s problem is his environment. God tells us that our problem is our heart. Religious leaders tells us that man has great potential. His problems are outward.
Man is a fallen, depraved creature, under the wrath and curse of the holy Lord God, in need of redemption, regeneration, and grace. That is the message of Genesis 3.
Here are four things set before us in Genesis 3...
1. The fall of man.
2. The subtlety and power of satan.
3. The consequences of the fall.
4. The gracious character of God.
I. Genesis 3 describes THE FALL OF MAN (vv. 1-6).
Man is not an independent, self-governing creature. He did not make himself. He owes his being to God. Man was made to serve God, glorifying his Creator by his obedience to him. As a symbol of God’s sovereignty and of man’s responsibility, a tree was planted in the midst of the garden which man was not permitted to use for himself (Gen. 2:16-17).
The only restriction placed upon man’s liberty was the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” This tree symbolized the relationship in which man stood to God. Adam was created as an intelligent, responsible creature, subject to the rule of God, the Creator. But soon he became a self-seeking, self-willed, self-centered, self-serving rebel. How did this happen? I cannot give you a detailed exposition of these verses. That is not my purpose. But there are three things that need to be understood.
A. Satan tempted, beguiled, and deceived our mother Eve.
Satan knew how God created Adam and how that he made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. He knew that Eve was the weaker vessel. And he knew Adam’s love for Eve. Therefore, he set his sites on Eve. He knew that if he could get Eve, Adam would fall. With great subtlety, the old serpent beguiled the woman. The steps that led to her ruin were these.
First, she heeded the voice of the tempter - Instead of saying, “Get thee behind me, satan,” Eve quietly listened as the Wicked One assaulted the Word of God. The door was opened when she began to discuss and debate what God had revealed with one who denied it.
Second, Eve then began to make additions to the Word of God - Tampering with God’s Word is always fatal. It is just as evil to add our words to God’s as it is to diminish his. Eve said, “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it” (Prov. 30:5-6).
Third, the woman proceeded to alter God’s Word - God said, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Eve said, “lest ye die” or, “we might die.”
Fourth, she altogether disregarded God’s Word. She began by questioning the Word. And she soon disregarded it altogether.
This is the way sin entered into the world - “The will of God was resisted. The Word of God was rejected. The way of God was deserted” (A.W.PinK).
In verses 4-5, satan cast doubt upon the Word of God, the justice of God and the goodness of God. In verse 6, Eve saw, she coveted, and she took.
· She saw - Satan probably took a bite of the fruit.
· She desired the wisdom, and freedom, and superiority that satan promised.
· She took, she took that which belonged to God alone.
B. Then Eve gave the fruit to Adam (v. 6).
As I told you before, Eve was deceived. But Adam was not (1 Tim. 2:13-14). Adam willfully, deliberately rebelled against the express command of God. Because of his love for Eve, he defied God!
C. When Adam sinned against God, we all became sinners and died spiritually. We were all separated from God (Rom. 5:12).
Adam was a representative man, a covenant head. He represented all the human race. And we all fell through the sin and fall of our father Adam. I am thankful!
Illustration: Luther -”O blessed fall!”
· Had there been no fall, there would have always been the possibility of one.
· Had there been no fall, we could never have known the wonders and beauties of redeeming love and saving grace (1 Pet. 1:12).
· Had there been no fall, we could never have been brought into union with God in Christ, the God-man.
· Since we fell by a representative, there is hope that we might rise again by a Representative (Heb. 2:16).
NOTE: The fall of Adam was not an accident (Psa. 76:10). Either God could have prevented it, or he couldn’t . If he couldn’t then he is not God. This whole Book is a myth. If he could, but wouldn’t, then it came to pass according to his will, though he did nothing to causes it.
NOTE: The record of the fall, given in Genesis 3, is the only plausible explanation for the condition of the human race. Original sin is revealed here. And it is verified everywhere. How else can you explain...
· The universality of sin?
· The universality of sickness and sorrow?
· The universality of death?
These things are universal because we all have our being from one man, Adam. We all sinned in him. We all died in him. And we all received our nature from him.
II. Genesis 3 shows us THE GREAT POWER AND SUBTLETY OF OUR ADVERSARY, THE DEVIL.
Here satan appears for the first time in the Bible. We learn of his prior existence, his original glory, and his terrible fall in Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19, and Revelation 12;7-11. I cannot begin to use language that is strong enough to describe the crafty deceit, subtlety, and power of this creature, the devil, satan, the serpent, the dragon of hell (Jude 9).
· He is too wise for us to out wit him, without divine wisdom.
· He is too powerful for us to overcome him, apart from Christ.
· He is too subtle for us to recognize him, apart from the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
But in this chapter the Lord reveals three things to us about satan. Be wise and understand them.
A. The sphere of satan’s activity is in the spiritual, religious realm.
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not satan, but the natural depravity of the human heart that leads men and women into adultery, fornication, blasphemy, drunkenness, witchcraft, etc. (Mk. 7:21-23; Gal. 5:19-21).
Satan’s chief aim is to get between you and God. He seeks to keep man from his Maker. His goal is to keep you from trusting Christ. And the way he does that is by inspiring confidence in yourself. He seeks to usurp the place of God, to make God’s creatures his own subjects. His work consists of substituting his own lies for the truth of God. Beware! You will find satan at work not in brothels, bars, and dark alleys, but in churches, pulpits, seminaries, and religious activities (Eph. 4:10-12; 2 Cor. 11. Satan has preachers. Satan tries to get men to perform righteousness. Satan will give you faith, peace, and assurance.
B. The method of satan’s approach to our souls is the perversion of Holy Scripture and appeals to the flesh.
1. He throws doubt upon God’s Word (v. 1).
2. He substitutes his own word for God’s (v. 4).
3. He casts a slur upon the attributes of God (v. 5).
4. He appeals to our flesh (v. 5).
· He appeals to our bodily senses - The eye.
· He appeals to our fleshly emotions - The desires.
· He appeals to our intellect - “To make one wise.”
· He appeals to pride - “Ye shall be as gods.”
C. But our adversary, the devil, shall be destroyed by the power of God (Gen. 3:15).
· At Calvary (John 12:31).
· In regeneration (Eph. 2:1-4).
· In judgment (Rom. 16:20).
III. Genesis 3 also reveals to us THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE FALL.
As soon as Adam sinned against God, he began to suffer the consequences of his transgression.
A. “The eyes of them both were opened” (v. 7).
Their eyes were not enlightened, but opened. They acquired no advanced knowledge, nothing pleasant, or profitable. Their eyes were opened to distressing, evil things.
· Satan has deceived us.
· We have lost communion with God!
B. “They knew that they were naked” (v. 7).
They felt things they had never known or felt before. They lost their innocence.
· Guilt engulfed them.
· Shame embarrassed them.
· Fear terrified them.
· Hatred arose within them (v. 12).
C. “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons” (v. 7).
They began to try to quieten their consciences, cover their nakedness, and get rid of their shame.
D. “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of God” (v. 8).
· When they heard God’s voice, they ran.
· When they were exposed they excused themselves (vv. 12-13).
E. They were cursed of God.
1. The woman was cursed (v. 16).
2. The man was cursed (v. 17-19).
3. They were driven from the presence of God (vv. 22-24).
· They died spiritually (Col. 2:12; Eph. 2:1-4).
· They began to die physically.
· They were sentenced to die eternally.
IV. And Genesis 3 reveals to us THE GRACIOUS CHARACTER OF OUR GOD.
I can only give you the highlights now. But take note as we go along. And, as you study this passage at home, you will find great cause for praise and gratitude to God.
A. Here is the first call of grace (v. 9).
This is not the voice of a policeman, seeking a criminal. It is the voice of a Father’s love, seeking a son who was lost.
1. It is a call of divine justice that cannot overlook sin.
2. It is a call of divine sorrow that grieves over the sinner.
3. It is a call of divine love that cannot be quenched.
4. It is a call of divine grace that cannot be resisted ( 1 John 4:19).
B. Here is the first gospel sermon (v. 15).
1. The preacher is God himself.
2. The audience is a guilty, helpless pair of sinners.
3. The subject is redemption by Christ.
· It speaks of conflict, enmity, and war (Rev. 12).
· It speaks of election - “Thy seed and her seed.”
· It speaks of the incarnation (Gal. 4:4-6).
· It speaks of the death of Christ.
· It speaks of deliverance by the cross.
C. Here is the first portrayal of redemption by Christ v. 21).
1. The guilty pair under the sentence of death stood before God.
2. A sacrifice of blood was made - (An innocent Lamb).
3. A stripping away of personal righteousness was endured.
4. A covering was made and given without human aid - Adam and Eve were passive (Eph. 2:8-9; Lk. 15:22; Isa. 61:10).
D. Here is the first description of man’s lost condition (v. 24).
1. Separated from God.
2. Barred from God by the sword of Justice.
3. Incapable of returning to God.
4. But God found a way (John 14:6; Zech. 13:7-9).
Application: Hebrews 10:19-22.