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December 18, 2020 3:00 am
The we think about the story of Christmas and its meaning. We don't often turn to the opening pages of the Old Testament, but today on Truth for Life.
Alastair beg takes us to the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve's rebellion to point us to the hope of Christmas we begin a new series today in Genesis chapter 3 all of his uninsured have Herod off celebrating Christmas in July, but we may never have given any thought to discovering Christmas in Genesis and what I want to do is just that Luke into the book of Genesis in order that we might see Christmas. Strictly speaking, in order that we might see Jesus and since Jesus is the center of Christmas, then that is our desire and my text this morning, which is the 15th verse of this chapter is a text which provides as with the first glimmer of the gospel in the movie ended and the soundtrack of the sound of music they saying at one point.
Let's start at the very beginning of very good place to start and when we think in terms of the gospel. The story of all that God has done in and through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find ourselves beginning right here, a hint of a coming Redeemer, the one who is the seed of the woman, now in doing this and by necessity our study this morning will have to be selective rather than exhaustive and some of you will be disappointed by parts that are left aside, I do that for you so that you can do work on your own. But as we come to it. It's helpful to remind ourselves of what we said. And that is that it is good to think of the Bible actually is a two act play if you only come in for the second half of the play and you've no idea who the characters are because you were not present for the beginning if you leave at half time and you've no idea how it ends. And so it's very very important that when we do a study like this and this. Actually when we come to it as were out of the blue. When we look at chapters at the beginning of the book as we now do. We should keep in mind what we are told towards the back of the book and that is why earlier in the service might read for us from first John in chapter 3, and in that section the words. The reason the son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. Now, you may not have that as a verse on your Christmas card but you might legitimately do so because this is a straightforward and vital emphasis of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is this aspect of it that is addressed here in this 15th verse of Genesis chapter 3. So, let us consider three things.
First of all, the context in which we discover the record of the entry of sin into the world because that is what we discover the record of the entry of sin into the world the context. Secondly, the consequences of the entry of sin into the world and then finally the cure for the entry of sin into the world so three seeds. First of all, in the context what we dealing with when we read these opening chapters of Genesis were dealing with a historical event. I historical event that determines the eternal destiny of mankind, as quite a statement doesn't say why never really considered it in that way invite you may even have said I when I was in school. He told me that it was just a big mythology and that these opening chapters were just a concept that they had no basis in time and in history will no in actual fact, this is a historical event. God has created the world before there was time before there was anything there was God. God made the world he made it for his glory and he made it to help us to know him to love him and to trust him. So if you find yourself saying I why do we even have a worldwide we have a universe what is all that we have before us, will the answer that the Bible gives is that God made it to manifest his own glory in order that we then might know him might learn to love him and to trust him. So when you read the opening sections, you realize that he lit up the darkness that he filled up the emptiness and that he put within the context of the origins of things.
All that was beautiful and delightful and attractive and enjoyable and he made Adam and Eve as his. If you like special editions. The way in which they were fashioned was different from all that would follow.
In terms of creation. You can read about in chapter 2, first of all, in making Adam out of the dust of the earth. And then of forming Eve using a red from Adam himself. They were created by him.
They communed with them and they were perfect for each other absolutely perfect for one another in the way in which you are tempted to tell your spouse that he is just perfect for you and then you and you confess your sins, for telling lies and acknowledging that things are not just as perfect as you had hoped.
Now, God given everything to enjoy everything richly to enjoy and into the midst of all of that.
He gave them one simple test one little text. It was a test of their trust in him and all of their obedience to him and the question was, essentially, this would be believe God's word would they trust God's plan. Note in saying that, let me give you a phrase that I culled from my reading this week that this is a story which catches us up into its cell and and the reason that the writer gives it to us is because this is essentially what happens. Even just in rehearsing for example the test that is given to Adam and Eve.
We realize that that is the test that is given to us that it is a foundational question that confronts each one of us this morning along the very same lines, will I believe God's word and I prepared to trust God's plan or will I believe whatever I want to believe and do whatever I choose the choice as rational beings is granted to them in this Saturday and we immediately find that this then gives them an opportunity to show God that they would obey him for one reason and for one reason only because it seemed like a really good idea, but because he is God he is God.
We are accountable to God. He has designs and plans and we must do as he says now it is not context that the serpent in all of that goodness the serpent appears the serpent is real but not ordinary again at the front of the book. Remember that March that is sketchy to us here is clarified as you go further back in the book, so by the time you get to the end of the books we govern. Genesis all the way to revelation, and we need this same character again. Now a great Dragon that quotes ancient serpent.
This is Revelation 12 that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. Okay, that's what were dealing with here when we're confronted with evil in the world were not dealing with an abstract principle, the Bible does not allow is that option. The idea that somehow or another.
There are bad things we don't really know why there are bad things, whatever it might be. But the Bible says no were actually dealing with a malignant personal intelligence that is if you like represented in this creature is essentially in this creature that is behind this creature and the strategy of the creature. The deliberate objective of the evil one is to hinder and if possible to destroy the work of God's kingdom by every means possible so that God has fashioned his world and all of its beauty. He has made it and it is absolutely perfect. It is good, he pronounces it all good and then slithering into this card comes this or know the origin of evil is not our concern. This morning, mercifully because the actual origin of evil is lost is buried. If you like in the mystery of God himself. What we know we can know what we don't know we can leave alone but we learn now from the dialogue that follows.
And again I have to be selective.
Notice that the serpent comes to the woman, and begins a dialogue. I have a question for you. Did God actually say you shall not eat of any of the trees in the garden will of course know he didn't say that but he did say he will certainly die and the woman then responds in verse two, we made of the trees in the garden. But God said, you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it wisely didn't say that. So now she's actually made the prohibition last stronger than the actual prohibition.
God said you must eat of it and she now for whatever reason I takes it up a notch.
The serpent then replies to her that well I can tell you categorically that you will not surely die. Note let's just pause here for a moment and and say what what are we actually dealing with in this dialogue.
What is the what is the serpent seeking to do is seeking to tempt a woman to distrust God disabled. God doesn't really know what he's doing to doubt the word that God has spoken and to question the goodness of God is think about that. In contemporary terms. If you hear a voice in your head.
Is it well, I don't mean an alarming way.
But as I am. My colleagues may speak concerning these things depending on where you are on the great continuum of the journey from unbelief to belief you may find that immediately bells are going ahead, say like I can possibly be right and the temptation that comes is for you to distrust God who made you who gave you the mind to reason with doubt his word and at the same time to question his goodness.
You may find yourself saying, well, why would it be necessary to obey such an arbitrary and unreasonable prohibition is the influence on the part of the serpent is this God is actually depriving you of what would make life really fabulous. If you are going to be really happy and fulfilled that happiness and that fulfillment is not going to be found within the boundaries that are now established by God who has made you for himself and the appeal.
You will notice is to the woman site. It is an appeal to her intellect. God knows when you either. Your eyes will be open first. Six and so the woman saw that the tree was good for food. In other words, her eyes were bigger than her years God had spoken she hair that, but now her eyes see that they made an appeal to her senses. If you like. It was aesthetically good and it was designed to make Y's solid appeal to her intellect. It appealed to her emotions.
It appealed to her design and desire for things to be the way she would like them to be in short order the lie of the serpent was far more appealing than the word of God, associate.
She ate and Adam 82. She gave some to her husband human authors who was with her. In verse six he was right there so she eats as a result of the temptation and Adam reads written eats, because he was his wife lead she was tempted to do it and he just chose to disobey God's clear command and he was held in doing so by the lie that there would be no consequences, no consequences. The lie of the devil is always the same.
I can make it possible for you to push beyond the boundaries of God's beautiful plan and I'll make sure that you never have to do with anything and so Eve listens to the serpent, Adam listen, Steve and nobody listens to God know we have to leave that there and go secondly into the consequences of the entry of sin into the world. The serpent's promise about their eyes being opened was only half right because their eyes were open but not to the delights of being like God what she had said to them would be the case in verse five, not to the delights of being like God but her eyes are now open to an awareness of their guilt, and of their shame to see what is happened all of a sudden they see themselves in an entirely different light. Their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked.
What is that mean of course they knew they were naked didn't just become naked they were naked before. What is the significance of it is that sin changes everything. They were now exposed their nakedness was simply a symbol if you like of their predicament before God. It was an awareness of their consciousness of guilt they had sinned in rejecting and disobeying the will of God by doing what he had told them explicitly not to do so or they do they do what you and I do you know what a child does. He runs and hides.
I start, I should've done it was going to be somewhere in the basement. I can hide at least until I finish eating it and once I get rid of the evidence that I can reappear and all will be well but is never well because we you're bad you know I shouldn't of done that that was wrong highlight in my bed tonight before God before whom my tiny heart is open and from whom no secrets are ever hidden. That's the issue of accuracy. Because now with the entry of sin into the equation. All of that perfection. All of that goodness is now impinged upon by the categorical rejection of God's clear instruction by their decision thereon choice to do it their own way into hiding. The goal sewing fig leaves together making loincloths for themselves is no surprise that this is been a focus of fun throughout all the years, fig leaves, and so on. Because it is such a picture of prophetic nurses and it is so unbelievable.
You think you can cover it up with a fig leaf for goodness sake, as if that is the issue. That's not the issue you're nakedness is a symbol of your guilt is not a you don't have your clothes on the fact of the matter is it's a cover-up there hiding behind trees and they decided that with the communion broken and with them alienated. They really have got no place to go. What is happened here again, go to the back of the Bible Romans chapter 1, they exchanged the truth of God for a lie. That's what I've done is exactly what it God's truth exchanged for a lie of the devil and they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God.
In other words, all of the transcendent beauty and holiness and loveliness that is represented in God's creative handiwork in the garden and in their life's has now been besmirched. It is now been soiled.
It is now been depleted.
The tragedy of man is not simply that we break the law of God, but that we are now spoiled from all that God created us in the first instance to be CS Lewis is an and in our attempts to fix that. You know were like children making mud pies in a puddle at the side of the street when the creator has prepared for a beautiful vacation at the ocean and we try and fix our perilous condition by our own endeavors. They chose to borrow two things that God had made than to borrow to God himself beauty and intimacy are replaced with brokenness and isolation and they are about to be banished before their banished God comes to seek them out by wonderful is not in verse eight and they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden of the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the guard my leg you had communion with God. What is changed by cages walk out and talk to God talk to God and he may talk to us and if he talks to resume talk to us about stuff like this one reason people come to church this not to church where the gospel is preached because God will speak to you about stuff stuff you don't want talk about but he doesn't do it out of an act of judgment. He does it out of grace and mercy, he exposes it in order that he might cover. He reveals it in order they might forget understanding that God speaks to us out of grace and mercy. It's a great perspective from today's message on Christmas in Genesis on Truth for Life with Alistair Begg. While this message is fresh on our hearts and minds. Alister is here to briefly share why this storyline from Scripture is so crucial to us the Truth for Life.
Well here we are looking all the way back to the beginning of the book of Genesis in order that we might more fully understand Christmas and the plan of God for salvation through Jesus is the remarkable storyline of the Bible that God gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life courses listens to Truth for Life.
You know that this is our message.
We all day every day on the program become accustomed to seeing you really only have one string to our bowl.
That's in order to teach the Bible so that the word of God will do the work of God.
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Thank you in anticipation. Thank you, Alister and your giving enables us to do all that we do to ensure that the teaching of God's word continues on into 2021 can donate online firstname.lastname@example.org/donate or you can call 888-588-7884. Keep in mind when you give. We want to invite you to request a book titled exploring the Bible together.
This is a 52 week family devotional that will provide you and your children with foundational faith building material throughout the year requester copy of exploring the Bible together when you give by tapping on the image you see on the mobile app or by visiting Truth for Life.org you can also call us to make a donation, call 888-588-7884 Bob Lapine tonight. Join Alistair Begg as he hosts an online concert titled a Parkside Christmas begins at 8 PM Eastern time. Go to Truth for Life.org/live or you will find it on our YouTube or Facebook and find out more go to Truth for Life.org/content and if you're looking for a way to supplement your local church is teaching this weekend. Remember Alistair Beggs preaching a Parkside church is streamed live most weekends check this weekend's schedule. Go to truthful. I.org/live shirtless again Monday, as will continue studying the promised hope of the Messiah in a new series titled Christmas in the beginning Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is