May 21, 2007
1st Baptist Church,
Des Moines, NM
Good morning! I’m Bryan Kimsey, co-pastor of 1st Baptist Church in Des Moines. This is my first contribution to this program on KLMX radio, here in Clayton New Mexico. It’s a special event for me because years ago, as an unsaved person I, myself, used to listen to this very program while driving around on the ranch. There’s no question in my mind that God used this program to soften my heart in preparation for my salvation. It’s a real pleasure to be here, speaking as part of the Tri-State Ministerial Alliance and I pray that God will use my lesson today to soften or open the heart of someone listening to this program. May God be glorified by this message and may the truth of Jesus Christ shine into hearts of darkness. Amen!
I’d like to start this week by looking at Genesis, Chapter 3. This is an amazing chapter of the Bible. The entire Bible is amazing, but Genesis 3 is a chapter to which I come back, time and time again, for answers and insights to questions raised later in the Bible. Here in Chapter 3 of Genesis, we have the fall of man into sin, God’s curse upon the parties involved, and a glimpse of God’s plan for redemption of man. Let’s start by reading the chapter, and then we’ll come back and examine specifics:
Genesis 3:1-24 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (2) And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; (3) but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " (4) Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. (5) For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (6) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (8) And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (9) Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" (10) So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." (11) And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" (12) Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." (13) And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (14) So the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. (15) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
(16) To the woman He said:
"I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."
(17) Then to Adam He said,
"Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. (18) Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. (19) In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
(20) And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. (21) Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. (22) Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"— (23) therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. (24) So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Well, there’s the text of Genesis Chapter 3; now let’s go back and look at some specifics. Unfortunately, due to time, I’m not going to be able to hit all the points I’d like to cover, but I’ll try to get some of them, at least. Starting in verse 1, we see the serpent tempting Eve and twisting God’s commands around so that they seem unpleasant and making it look like we have something to gain by being disobedient. The serpent still tempts us this way.
In verse 7, after Adam and Eve have eaten from the forbidden tree, we see that “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked”. Previously, they were in a state of innocence, but now all that is gone. They are aware of good and evil and- big surprise!- it’s not quite like the serpent told them. What’s they first thing they do after they are aware of their nakedness? They try to cover it up. Isn’t this so typical of sin? We tell a little lie, or we commit adultery, or we covet our neighbor’s new truck and what do we do? We try to cover it up. We tell another lie to cover the first, make up an alibi to account for our time, or we get a new truck that’s better than our neighbors. We cover our sin.
But, as we saw in verses 9-10, God knows all about our sin! “Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree?” God already knows that they’ve eaten from the tree, but He is giving Adam the opportunity to confess and come clean. But watch what Adam does… verse 12 tells us, “Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." Not only is Adam dodging a confession here, but he’s passing the blame. At first, it might appear that he’s trying to blame the woman, but read his statement carefully…He says, "The woman whom You gave to be with me” He’s blaming God for giving him the woman! Don’t we still do this today? We think, “Well, God, you put that temptation in my path and it was just too much for me to resist. What do you expect me to do? It’s your fault!” God then asks the woman, and she shifts the blame to the serpent. Instead of humbly bowing her head and simply saying “Forgive me, for I ate”, she says "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." This is a true statement, but it’s also an excuse.
We have the disobedience, and now we will examine the consequences. Don’t forget that God already laid out the consequences of disobedience back in 2:17 when He said “...for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die. “ God is holy, and perfectly just- that is He doles out punishment in accordance to the crime- therefore, something must be done about this disobedience. And that “something” is what we call “the curse”. We see it in Genesis 3:14-20. Note that first the serpent, then the woman, then Adam receive their punishment. I don’t have time to go into detail on the curse, but what I want to focus on at this point in our study are two foreshadows of relief from that curse.
First, note God’s statement to the serpent: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Most theologians see the statement “you shall bruise His heel” as Christ suffering death and they see the statement “He shall bruise your head” as Christ’s victory over death and thus His victory over sin, since it was, after all, sin which resulted in death. We have echoes of this in the New Testament in Romans 16:20 “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” and in:
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, even though God justly punishes the parties in this disobedient episode, He also provides relief from that curse in the promise of Jesus Christ.
Another foreshadow of Christ comes in Genesis 3:21 which says “for Adam and his wife, the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Because they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and lost their innocence through their disobedience, they became aware of their nakedness. Previously, they had tried to hide the results sin by making coverings of leaves. That is, they tried to cover the results of their sin by their own efforts. But, God provides a better covering when He, Himself, makes tunics of skin for them. Note that tunics are not only a better covering but also, being tunics of skin, the required the death of the one providing the covering. This is another foreshadowing of Christ who, thousands of years later, provides a perfect covering. As with the first tunics, God provides Christ and this covering requires His death. In the first case, the covering only hides the sin, but in the case of Christ, it takes away our sin forever and ever.
Here in Genesis, then, we have the gospel in a nutshell. God has laid out rules for man to follow- these are not hard rules, not difficult to follow, and they’re for our benefit. Yet, man has, from the beginning, broken God’s rules. As a result, God must punish man. And yet, man cannot take the full punishment due him. His punishment must match the crime and he has sinned against an infinite, eternal Creator, yet man is a finite, created being. So, even though man tries by his own works to hide the results of his sin, his efforts are feeble and futile. Fortunately, God, in addition to just and holy is also loving and merciful, and has provided a sufficient payment for our sins. That payment is Jesus Christ who is, in the words of the author of Hebrews, “the exact image of God”. When we take the covering of Christ upon us, the effect of our disobedience is covered, forever and ever. Without that covering we die. It’s that simple and it’s all there in the Bible, over and over again, from Genesis to Revelation. If you have not accepted the sacrifice of Christ for your sin, I urge you to do so today. Cast your leaf aside and take the covering God has provided for YOU.
Let’s pray: Our Father, may you open hearts and eyes to your glory through the blood of your only begotten son, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Forward to KLMX sermon, May 22 2007, The Greatest Commandment