Thursday, June 23, 2011

Genesis 3 Part 1

This past Sunday I preached Genesis 3, so I want to work through a few things not mentioned Sunday morning. The main focus of the sermon was on recognizing that God has really spoken and therefore we must obey.

Here’s the first installment on Genesis 3:

1. This passage is why we conceive of Satan as a serpent. There is nothing to indicate that the snake was truly a willing participant in the situation, but that’s just the way it goes. As to the question of why there’s even a snake in the garden in the first place? Here’s my take: God had created the angels before mankind, possibly in a time best viewed as “pre-creation.” In that time, Satan rebelled and fell. It’s also possible that this went on during the initial six days of Creation or even (and this seems pretty good to me) the fall of Satan came in the time after the first week and before Genesis 3. After all, why do we assume man immediately sinned?

So, the snake has come in because ultimately God was well aware when He created that man would need redeemed from sin, and the snake was necessary to accomplish that. The glory of God is revealed in His redemption of mankind and as such, we needed to need redeemed. Now, there’s more to this theological concept, and I know that. For now, understand that God does not create sin but neither is He surprised by it.

Meanwhile, the serpent is used to persuade Eve to eat the fruit.

2. I cannot express the amount of time I’ve seen wasted in trying to pin blame on Eve or on Adam for the fall. Really. It’s insane---it was her fault, it was his fault.

Let’s look at the text: she listened, took, and ate. He was “with her,” in the garden which is a defined space, so he’s not far away, and he eats too.

They both sinned. I have heard a sermon that tried to make it that Eve sinned and that Adam ate out of love for her, a desire to be with her. I don’t think that holds up. I think the New Testament texts that refer back to this, such as 1 Timothy 2:14, do not absolve Adam of his sin. I think the interpretation here should place this as: Eve sinned because she was deceived. The serpent conned her into thinking she would not die.

Adam sinned knowing what he was doing. He saw her not die after eating and chose to eat. Willing participants, both of them. Moreover, it’s kind of a pointless debate. Thanks to both of them, we are sinners in need of a Savior. Fortunately, thanks to God, we have a Savior in Jesus Christ.

3. Notice the punishments:

The serpent is cursed.

The ground is cursed.

Eve is punished.

Adam is punished.

There is a difference in curse and punishment. There is not really much hope to overcome a curse. It’s a long-lasting problem. A punishment, though, is meant for a different reason. It drives one to contemplate the origin of the punishment and hopefully brings one to repentance from the cause.


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