Falling from Grace (Genesis 3:1-24)
Sin is almost a foreign word in our culture. We have call sins by pleasant-sounding euphemism. Homosexuality has become an alternative lifestyle. Infanticide has become a woman’s right to choose. Adultery has become an affair. Lying as become telling a fib.
This morning, we need to examine sin and see what it really is and what sin really does.
Sin Displaces, vv 1-6
The serpent tempted Eve. He asked Eve, “Has God really said that you couldn’t eat of any tree?” Eve said that they could eat of any tree except the one in the middle of the garden, nor could they touch it lest they die. The serpent said that wasn’t so. Adam and Eve wouldn’t die—God had lied to them. God knew that when they ate of the fruit they’d be like God—knowing good and evil.
Eve desired the fruit. She saw that the tree was good for good. She saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eyes. She saw that the fruit was desirable to make one wise.
Eve wanted to be like God. She took of the fruit and ate is so that she could be like God. In eating that fruit, Eve displaced God. She took God off his rightful throne and put herself in his place.
Sin still displaces God. When we sin, we think we know better than God. When we sin, we don’t want God telling us what to do. When we sin, we are trying to be like God.
Sin Degrades, vv 7-10
Adam and Eve covered their nakedness. They knew their bodies were different. Their innocence was gone.
Adam and Eve hid themselves from God. Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden, and they hid themselves. When God asked where they were, Adam said they hid themselves because they were naked.
Sin degraded Adam and Eve and made them ashamed.
Sin degrades us and causes us guilt. When Judas betrayed Jesus, he became ashamed (Matt 27:3-5).
Sin Denounces, vv 11-13
Adam and Eve denounced others for their sin. Adam blamed the woman. The woman blamed the serpent.
Aaron made excuses when he made the golden calf (Ex 32:22-24).
We, too, often denounce others for sin. “I couldn’t hurt his feelings, so I lied.” “I know I shouldn’t have committed adultery, but she was attractive and seduced me.”
Sin Demands, vv 14-19
Sin demands that we pay the consequences.
The serpent was cursed for his role. He is cursed above all other beasts. He would go on his belly and eat dust—this was a sign of defeat. The woman’s seed would strike his head.
The woman was cursed for her role. She would bear children in pain. Her relationship with her husband was changed. Her desire would be for him—she would desire his place. Her husband would rule over her.
The man was cursed for his role. The ground is cursed. The man shall return to the dust.
Our sins today have consequences, too. Death entered the world because of sin (Rom 5:12). The wicked shall be punished with “everlasting destruction” (2 Thess 1:8-9).
Sin Destroys, vv 22-24
God cast the man and woman from the garden. God was afraid that man and woman would eat from the tree of life and live forever. In the garden, man and God seem to have had a special relationship. Adam recognized the sound of God when he was walking in the garden. That relationship was now over.
Sin destroys our relationship with God. Deuteronomy 31:17. 2 Chronicles 24:20. Micah 3:4.
Sin is not innocent—it is serious.
We need to forsake sin. We are to “hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15). Do you need to forsake evil this morning?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.