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Of Man’s Disobedience

By Scott Masson/ February 22, 2015

Series  Genesis 1-11: Creation, Covenant and Culture

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Theology

Scripture  Genesis 2:25-3:7

The world and mankind are fallen because our first parents ceased to listen to the Word of God, rejecting what God said and what He revealed about the world He created.

Scripture:  Genesis 2:25-3:7

Sermon Notes:

  1. Genesis 3 speaks to the human condition, explaining sin and misery in a now imperfect world.
  2. It's not just that we've been brought down by Adam's sin; we are born sinners.  Unbelievers hate the doctrine of original sin because it means they must repent.
  3. The serpent is shrewd, feigning sincerity, deceiving Eve (Rev. 12:9).  Adam was not deceived and is held responsible for the fallen condition of all his descendants (1 Timothy 2:14; Romans 5:12, 1Corinthians 15:22).
  4. On the surface, the fall appears to defy explanation. How could this happen? God created all things good, He loves mankind setting them in covenant relationship, promising fruitfulness and blessing. 
  5. The world and mankind are fallen because our first parents ceased to listen to the Word of God, rejecting what God said and what He revealed about His world.
  6. By eating of the tree, Adam and Eve would die, not from toxic fruit, but they would die spiritually.
  7. This one prohibition symbolizes God’s supreme authority over their lives and it gives them a choice to follow Him willingly. God is concerned with their wellbeing and happiness and He knows they will only have this when they want Him solely and foremost.
  8. Man has been created to worship God; anything else will destroy man.  Choosing not to obey God, man brought misery and death into God’s world.
  9. God had just spoken clearly and definitively, yet the serpent uses subtle misrepresentation to deceive Eve.
  10. To understand reality we need to hold fast to God's language and God's worldview.
  11. Satan suggests God is a cruel oppressor and that Adam and Eve are naïve.  He emphasizes the loss of obedience rather than the blessing of obedience.
  12. The Devil also uses God’s general name here rather than Yahweh, his covenant name. He doesn't want God’s covenant promises to enter the picture.
  13. Eve talks about God in abstraction, and loses sight of His personal covenant character. She adds to God’s word and weakens the penalty for sin (Genesis 2:17 cf. 3:3).
  14. Satan questions God’s integrity and is outraged on Eve’s behalf. He is the first humanitarian.
  15. Eve didn't choose directly to disobey God; she chose to act as though he did not exist at all. She chose for Adam and herself to be as gods, which you can't be unless God is effectively dead. This desire to ascend to divinity is to wish the author of life dead.
  16. Adam ate the fruit willfully, exercising his right to choose as a right to die, thereby wishing the image of God dead which is to wish God dead.
  17. Satan, the covenant killer, hates life and light and truth.  When he lies he speaks out of his own character.
  18. When tempted by Satan, Christ tells him exactly what God says, overcoming temptation (Matt. 4:1-10).
  19. Don't doubt the reality of hell. Stop exalting yourself. Stop being your own master. Believe in God and trust him.
  20. When Jesus was put on cross for original sin, all God’s wrath was put on His shoulders, and God the Father cursed Him because of us.
  21. All those who have the faith of Abraham and believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life are delivered from God's wrath by His obedience.

Application Questions:

  1. What was the effect of the fall on man’s relationships?
  2. Created good, how could Adam and Eve want a bad thing, i.e., to disobey God’s command?
  3. As God’s image bearer what is the significance of man’s choosing to die?  Is euthanasia an attack on God?
  4. What are the key differences between our first parents’ temptation and Jesus’ handling of Satan’s temptation.
  5. How can we guard against subtle misrepresentations of God’s Word and the resulting peril to our lives?