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Sin - God's Authority or Your Desire
Posted by: Church of Christian Liberty | more..
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BLOG ON: SERMON God's Authority or Your Desire
Church of Christian Liberty
Calvin Lindstrom

Genesis 3:1-7

There are many who mock this story. How could Eve have a conversation with a serpent? Would not Eve think it strange to speak with an animal? Of course we know from the NT that Satan was speaking through the serpent, but how do we understand that Eve would have carried on a conversation with a snake? Several possibilities must be considered. Let me share two with you.[1]

1. Perhaps Eve because of the short time she lived before the fall, wasn’t sure what to think about a talking snake. It might have initially struck her as being strange, but perhaps with her limited experience and knowledge of the world, she wasn’t sure what to think.

2. It also possible that Eve recognized that although the snake was speaking to her, she realized that some higher spirit was behind the voice and that the snake was used only to enable conversation between her and Satan. In the NT we have numerous examples of demons speaking through people, so what we find in Genesis is not without parallels in other parts of Scripture.[2]

But others mock this story out of ignorance claiming that God had temper-tantrum merely because Adam and Eve happened to eat a little bit of fruit.[3] But if we pay attention to these verses in Genesis 3 and take them seriously we see what a powerful story has been recorded in these verses. If all of creation has been affected by the actions of Adam and Eve here in the Garden of Eden, then it is certainly important that we try to understand what we are dealing with here.

Verse 1 tells us that the serpent was more cunning, crafty, or shrewd than all the creatures which the LORD God had made. The end of verse 1 is often translated as a question, but it may be better to translate it as a statement that Eve interrupts as she jumps into the conversation in verse 2. Satan’s goal through the serpent was to get Eve and Adam to think of God’s command as being both unreasonable and wrong. And so the serpent begins by speaking a lie, “Even though God has said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden…”[4] Eve here cuts of the serpent and responds by correcting him. But then in verse 3 she adds to what God had said and she also then turns God’s command into more of a suggestion. Note the end of verse 3 where she says, lest you die.

One commentator has written, “What she actually seems to have done was to ‘interpret’ God’s clear prohibition as only the warning of another expert – who might indeed be wrong… It is as if she were saying, ‘He recommended that we not eat only because he was concerned for our well-being.’”[5]

The serpent then responded wanting Eve not to think of God’s command as merely a recommendation but an unreasonable and hollow threat. God’s real motive is selfishness. He is threatened by the possibility of you eating the fruit and becoming like him, knowers of good and evil.[6]

Note that Eve doesn’t respond to this statement. She and Adam bought into the logic and lie of the Satan working through the serpent. Rather than responding to Satan, Eve we see focused on the forbidden fruit. There are three statements in verse 6 which focus on desire and lust. We also see importantly in verse 6 that Adam was with Eve. He was not somewhere else in the Garden doing what God had told to do, but rather he was with his wife watching what was happening rather than protecting Eve.

There are a variety of words used in Scripture for sin. Sin is missing the mark. Sin is doing what God forbids. Sin is not doing what God commands. But a more basic analysis of sin is the issue of authority. Will you listen and obey what God has commanded? Or will you merely think that God is giving some advice, maybe reasonable in some cases, maybe not in others, but in the end I am going to choose what I think is best.

When you look at the story of Adam and Eve following the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, you realize how absurd it is for Adam and Eve to think that they really know anything at this point. What did they really know having been created not long before? Sin is the ultimate absurdity. When you give into your sinful desires you are a fool. Do you really think that you can know better than God who has created you? It is ridiculous but because of our sinful natures inherited from Adam and Eve all men and women make the foolish choice to sin. Sin is self-destructive. Sin brings misery. And yet because of our fallen natures we do it over and over again. Generally speaking we are our biggest problem and our worst enemy.

Right now you are facing all sorts of temptations to sin, in some cases in very significant ways. Are you going to submit to God’s authority or are you going to think you can follow your own ideas and not suffer any consequences?

Romans 8:13-14 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

[1] It is possible that before the fall, animals had a greater ability to communicate. Several years ago, I listened to a story on NPR about two chimpanzees who supposedly understand thousands of words and can communicate with humans. Evolutionists like to use these examples as evidence of course of human evolution and to discount that which separates us different from the animals, but perhaps it was possible that animals did at one time possess even greater abilities to communicate with each other and with men.

[2] Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology, 441.

[3] Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology, 445.

[4] Robert Alter, The Five Books of Moses, 24. Alter here follows the insights of E. A. Speiser who Reymond also notes.

[5] Reymond, 443-444.

[6] Reymond, 444.

Category:  Sin

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