HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Teaching Series: “In the Beginning: Genesis 1-3"
Today’s Topic: “Week 4: Sin Changes Everything!”
Scripture: Genesis 3
Today, the topic of sin is on the agenda. Before we begin, how many ways has sin infected God’s good Creation? What evidence do we have that ‘sin’ is a real thing? Lots! Abuse, exploitation, selfishness, pain, decay, natural disasters, disease, viruses...sin is like a cancer that has been allowed to spread unchecked. It has impacted every aspect of life–physical, emotional, relational, spiritual!
Like the two previous chapters in Genesis, there is much detail contained in the third chapter that can be entirely overlooked if we don’t stop to digest it. Let’s read the chapter together.
Some noteworthy things to consider:
GENESIS 3:1-6 ~ THE CONVERSATION
The Serpent - There are many ideas about the serpent, some of them contradictory. It appears to be one of the created ‘wild animals’ but was craftier than most. When it spoke to Eve, we get no sense that this caused her to be alarmed. Could animals talk or was this a special empowerment for this moment? As a creature of the Garden prior to the fall, could it intentionally lie (if not, it would appear that Satan was involved in the exchange) or did it have the ability to reason but was doubtful of God’s instructions to Adam and Eve? Under the influence of Satan, did the serpent deceive her on purpose or did he have the ability to think things through and had developed a conspiracy theory of his own? What did he actually say?
https://answersingenesis.org/angels-and-demons/satan/the-devil-is-in-the-details-%E2%80%A6-or-is-he/ retrieved on Friday, July 24, 2020.)
Eve (and Adam) - Up to this point, Eve has never been lied to, never even been encouraged to entertain the idea that God might be withholding something desirable from her and Adam. She believed that ‘touching’ the fruit would cause her death, but nothing appeared to happen when she did. This only verified what the serpent had said, “You won’t die. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (3:5). Nothing about the fruit itself deterred her; “when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it”(3:6). She took it and ate it and...nothing happened! So she gave some to Adam “who was with her” (3:6), we can assume also looking on–a silent but equal participant in the conversation.
GENESIS 3:7-13 ~ OPENED EYES
New Knowledge...and then “their eyes were opened” (3:7). A whole new world of knowledge flooded in, but none of it good.
• The felt shame at their nakedness and made coverings (3:7)
• They felt not only the need to hide their bodies, but also themselves from God because of fear (3:10)
• Adam refuses to take responsibility for his actions and attempts to shift the blame; it was the woman’s fault, which makes it God’s fault for putting her in the garden in the first place (3:12)
• The woman blames her poor choice on being deceived by the serpent (3:13)
It is interesting to note that neither attempts to deny the fact that they ate the fruit. Though they hid their nakedness and themselves from God, they simply could not hide their guilt.
God had forbidden them to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because He never intended ‘evil’ to be a part of the human experience. However, having given us freewill, He chose not to withhold the opportunity for us to choose whether or not we would attempt to gain it or remain obedient. He didn’t design us to experience or to participate in the act of causing or feeling shame and fear...along with a plethora of other negative emotions. The first man and woman’s disobedience introduced the cancer of sin to God’s Creation–all of it! God’s earlier proclamation of ‘very good’ no longer was.
GENESIS 3:14-20 ~ CURSES & CONSEQUENCES
God’s Discipline ~ Pain & Futility
What to Expect ~
Rejection of God - No longer would God be the centre of the woman’s desire and loyalty. Despite the pain she would suffer in childbirth, her strongest desire would be for her husband (3:16). However, the woman would no longer be recognized by Adam as his ‘ezer’ either.
& Power Imbalance - Adam would rule the woman, just as he ruled over the other creatures of Creation (3:16). In fact, after God reveals the consequences of having unleashed sin upon the world, Adam’s first act as ‘ruler’ is to name the woman ‘Eve’ (3:20) just as he had named the animals.
Natural Consequence ~ Decay & Death - They may not have suffered immediate death, but from that point on their bodies underwent the aging process of decay. Death meant that their physical bodies would return to ‘dust’ (3:20).
GENESIS 3:21-24 ~ A WHOLE NEW WORLD
God provided them with clothing from animal skins (3:21) - Up to this point there had been no need for clothing. Yes, they desired to cover their nakedness, but it may be that a change in the weather also required proper clothing to replace their hastily assembled fig leaves.
God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (3:23) - Their banishment was actually a kindness. Now that sin had infected the entire Creation, if they had eaten the fruit from the Tree of Life (3:22) they would have had to live forever in sin, just like the fallen angels and would have lost out on the opportunity to start afresh.
God could no longer trust His human creations (3:24) - God set guardian Cherubim at the gate with a flaming sword that flashed back and forth; He knew He could not trust humanity to leave the Tree of Life alone. Our desire to extend our earthly lives has become a pursuit of the human race from the beginning of time and the tree that offered eternal life would have proven irresistible to sin infected humanity.
Over time much has changed, to the point that the reason for God’s declaration on His Creation as “very good” is sometimes not apparent.
Because of sin’s introduction into God’s perfect Creation, we are left with a mess–one of our own making!
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!