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The Thread of Life – Part 2 (The Fall)
April 18, 2021

The Thread of Life – Part 2 (The Fall)

April 18, 2021

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The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

The Thread of Life

(Part 2 – The Fall)

 

Welcome Jesus Church & Online

Last week we started a new series walking thru the Bible

  • Series is called: The thread of life – 31 stories that lead to Jesus
    • Started in Gen. 1&2 last week
    • Went thru creation story… the beginning/foundation of the rest
  • And its so important to understand how this story beginnings
    • To understand the questions being asked
    • To understand where the story teller is bringing the listener
  • But many of us open the Bible to answer our own questions
    • Because we believe they are the most important
    • Never find the answers to the questions God is posing in text
      • Questions of who we are… who God is… why are we here
      • Is there an intelligent/involved/loving creator at work

So our goal (especially w/ Genesis) is to step into this ancient literature

  • To look at the world was it was – Quick example from last week
    • Says world was Formless & Empty / Darkness covered the deep
      • Formless & Empty: Tovu Vavohu – Pic a desert wasteland
      • Darkness covered the deep – Pic deep waters
    • And the writer is located in the middle east
      • To the east is the Sahara Desert
      • To the west is the Mediterranean Sea
  • So the point is creation was an uninhabitable place (not science)
    • BUT the Spirit of God hovers… speaks order into the chaos
    • This is the context that brings life to the story

TAG: Today we jump into Gen. 3 – The Fall… [PRAY]

 

Almost every night… Michelle & I love to go on walks

Usually just around our neighborhood – We love our neighborhood

  • Around this time you get some beautiful sunsets
    • Baby Bunnies & Quail running around
    • Everyone walking is happy b/c weather at 6pm is unbeatable
      • And it just feels like everything is right… peace… harmony
  • But then I get home… see a news headline
    • Mom kills 3 toddlers in home and flees
    • Another mass shooting takes place in a mall
    • A city in chaos over the tragic death of a 20 year old African American man
      • And whatever u think of the story… death is always tragic
  • So you can have these times of such beauty and peace
    • And then get wrecked by the ongoing dysfunction of the world
    • And we feel this tension

We live in the west with this idealism that everything is progress

  • So science/tech/government will bring us to the UTOPIA
    • So we are taught to expect that from a young age
      • But then we wake up and read the news
      • Or we walk out the door
      • Or we deal with our own mind/body

So there’s this tension that we constantly are aware of

  • On 1 hand… sense that like we said last week “World is very good”
    • Out on your walk… or whatever ur thing is
    • And you just have the sense that everything is GOOD
  • But on other hand there’s a sense…something gone horrible wrong
    • And the question… why is the world so darn messed up?!!
    • With all of our advances/enlightenment/science
    • How are we still dealing with this???
  • And why AM I so messed up – problem is also in here
    • It’s not just out there… its in here
    • It’s my struggles… weakness… insecurities

The story we read today explains (really well) how we got into this mess

  • I think its the most profound story every written on problem of evil
    • Level of insight into human condition is… STUNNING
    • Continues leading me on a path that points 2 Jesus as my hope

Gen 3:1-5

Now the serpent was more crafty (intelligent & devious) than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.

  • Notice that the story doesn’t tell us where the snake comes from
    • There is tons of backstory we just don’t get
  • Example: Like 1st Star Wars movie… imagine its 1977 (I was -3)
    • This is the first time you’ve every heard of this story
    • You don’t know who Luke Skywalker is… Darth Vader
    • Here is the first quote as the movie begins… [PIC]

It is a period of civil war. The rebel space ships striking from a hidden base have won their first victory against the evil galactic empire. During the battle the rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the empires secret weapon, the death star…

  • Now if this is 1st time you’ve ever experienced the Star wars story
    • You have all sorts of questions…
      • Who is the galactic empire… why are they evil
      • Why is there a civil ware… Who are the rebels
      • What is a death star
    • There is all sorts of stuff u don’t know – just step into a story
      • And you get sucked into Jedi’s/Sith/Millennium falcon
      • It’s just so good!

Point is that the opening chapters of Genesis are a lot like that

  • A lot of people think the garden is the beginning of the beginning
    • But it’s not… there’s backstory we just don’t know about
    • Who’s the snake… where did he come from… why’s it in garden
      • Personally I’d love to know… but it doesn’t say
      • Again – It’s not about the questions we want answered
      • It’s about the answers God wants us to find
  • I grew up thinking the Garden of Eden was perfect
    • But the Bible never says it was perfect (says it was good)
    • But its not perfect… there’s a snake right in the middle of it

Gary Brashear

Eden is created in a warzone and there is this cosmic battle raging right behind the scenes

  • Point: There’s a mystery around evil even Bible doesn’t try 2 solve
    • So when we think/talk/preach on evil…
    • Need to do so with an open mind & tons of humility
    • Keep reading…

So this snake says to the woman “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die. You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Now look at this responses… this is the temptation

  • 1st – He questions GOD’S WORD (Did God really say that)
    • Are you sure… is that relevant to our world …
    • Is that really what’s right… what do u think
  • 2nd – He questions GOD’S LOVE (he is holding things back from you)
    • B/C if you do that… you’ll be just like God
    • Don’t trust his motives – He is petty/insecure/jealous
    • Don’t trust the love he is giving you
  • 3rd – He questions the nature of GOOD AND EVIL itself
    • He claims that what God tells them… this will bring death
    • That’s not true at all… that will bring LIFE!!!
    • He questions the very nature of GOOD AND EVIL itself
      • God says: I’m good – tree bad – trust me
      • Snake says: God’s bad – tree good – trust me

So the temptation is to decide for themselves what is good/evil

  • To play the role of God and set themselves up as judge & jury
    • And instead of trusting God –> Trust snake… herself (opinion)
    • Rather than God
  • And we face the exact same temptation every single day
    • Whether it’s the definition of marriage/identity
    • The attack on absolute truth/my body my choice
  • Society putting more/more pressure on church to recast Good/Evil
    • Where now if you stand on what God calls good/evil
      • Not if you are cruel… mean… jerk on FB (hopeful ur not)
      • But if you even think that: ur oppressive… outdated… bigot
      • And you now have the moral low ground
    • But if u align with culture: Its all about love/what I think.. feel
      • You then have the moral high ground in the worlds eyes
      • So everything is sorta upside down

And the temptation for us is the exactly the same

  • Does the Bible really say… did God really teach that
    • What about the Greek – There are other interpretations
    • Ya there were like 5000 years w/o any other interpretations
    • And now there is one in last decade… don’t think it counts
  • But that’s all you have to say for some people
    • And they’ll flock to it because its what they want to hear
    • “Oh God would never want you to deny yourself”
      • Really… have you read what Jesus says???
      • To follow him you HAVE TO deny yourself
  • And questioning very nature of Good/Evil – I know what God says
    • But I just in my understanding believe that I’m right
    • This isn’t sin… this is good… because I’ve decided it is
      • It’s the voice – wherever it comes from… exact same voice

TAG: And we face this temptation Ever. Single. Day.

Gen. 3:6-10

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 (so wow there is a ton to this fruit) she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he at it, and then the eyes of both of them were opened, they realized that they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Gen 3:11-13

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me (wow… I’m sure he heard about that comment later) she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent (this is the very first sitcom every right here) deceived me, and I ate.”

This story in theology is called: THE FALL OF HUMANITY FROM GRACE

  • This is where we get the idea of original sin
    • And it raises the question… what actually is sin

Theologian Cornelus Plantinga

Sin is the culpable disturbance of shalom.

  • It’s when we take God’s garden-like world – all that is good/true
    • And out of our own free will… we mess it up
    • B/C w as humans have a propensity to mess things up
  • And that is exactly what we see in the story – Sin has consequences

Gen. 3:14-19

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, (here is the fallout) “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (seed/descendent) and hers; he will crust your head and you will strike his heal. To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

In theology this story is called the curse (The snake… then the ground)

  • But contrary to popular belief… Adam & Eve are not cursed by God
    • Neither are you and I cursed by God
    • Satan is and our relationship to the ground is
    • But that said – There is fallout from humanity’s sin
  • And in broad strokes the fall out is the following…
    • For Eve – Its her relationship to marriage & family
      • So child bearing is painful – was pure joy… now mixed bag
      • Not just kdis… her desire is 4 her husband (look at Hebrew)
        • She will always want something from she can’t get
        • Longing for satisfaction in him… but won’t find it
    • For Adam – Where is he looking for satisfaction… work
      • His relationship with ground is marked by painful toil
      • There are thorns/thistles (frustration/work)
        • Exact same thing… was pure joy – now mixed bag
        • But no matter how much you love your job/successful
        • Still there are days you feel it just isn’t enough

Key to the story: Something gone wrong w/ humanity

And regardless of how old/wise/confident you are…

  • Still this desire to do what you know is destructive
    • And (worse) also desire to not do what is good
    • So shouldn’t be surprise us that after the garden – it gets worse

Don’t have time to go thru all of it… but brief overview…

  • Genesis Chapter 4
    • Adam & Eve have 2 sons (Cain & Able) –
      • Cain kills Able… important to know to understand evil
      • First thing we see sin brings to the world: Violence
      • And in Genesis that’s a theme – Violence spreads
    • Ch. 4 – Lamek takes to wives (beginning of polygamy)
      • Ends story with a poem… but its all about revenge killing
  • Genesis Chapter 6
    • Sons of God (not sure what that is.. wicked or demonic)
      • But these sons of God sleep with the line of Seth
      • Seth is the “Good” line of humanity
      • And it shows… sin is this disease that spread to all humans
    • And it keeps getting worse… so God brings the flood
      • And things seem to start over… wipe the slate clean
      • Sounds like a plan…
    • And God even starts them in this garden like state
      • Tells them again to be fruitful and multiple
      • Adds on to eating plants… grounds for my ribeye steak
        • Maybe things are looking up
  • Genesis Chapter 9 (But it doesn’t work)
    • In this garden Noah plants a vineyard… gets drunk
    • Things get really weird… he curses his son
    • So 1st story out of the ark: Right back to human condition

And it becomes obvious… problem isn’t out THERE – it’s in HERE

  • Profound b/c even today we wanna believe problem is out there
    • Just need right job/program/gov’t/president/income/wife
    • Whatever it is… that’s all great
      • But the problem isn’t out there – It’s in here
  • Chapter 11 (All builds up to tower of Babel)
    • Sounds great… humanity building culture… garden to city
    • But one again humanity is warped
    • Humans stop spreading (God’s call to fill the earth)
      • Fallen worlds way to say: Thanks God – we got it from here
  • And at the end of Gen. 11 all you can think is…
    • How is it even possible – How can God work with this
    • And we will talk about that next week… and week after
    • Long answer… READ THE BIBLE
      • Short version… Jesus

I wanna look at this part of story for a bit (Gen 3-11)

(Few thoughts)

1 – Story shows us sin is us not trusting God & his version of ur best life

  • Whatever original sin was… pride/desire to be God/something else
    • Look at the temptation – Its for them to decide for themselves
      • What is Good / Who to trust
      • What is Evil / Who not to trust
    • So sin at a core level is NOT TURSTING God
      • Not trusting his version of what is best for your life
    • Sin wants us to trust the snake/voice in head/emotions/opinion
      • And sin leads to death… not to life

Sin is not bad because it’s forbidden

It is forbidden because it’s bad

  • Many see sin as just breaking an arbitrary rule (speeding)
    • When I had my permit… up in Washington driving to Spokane
      • Go through this boring baren flatlands after the mountains
      • I’m going 90 – Radar from a plane – Get a warning
      • Lectures me on how dangerous it is to go 90
    • But why was I going 90? I saw it as more a suggestion
      • Not something that could kill me and my family
      • It’s just a rule there because they have to have something
  • I think many of us see the Bible that way – arbitrary rules
    • Because they just have to be there… but nothing beyond that
      • So I sleep with my girlfriend
      • So I lose my tempter… lie a bit… take something not mine
    • But in reality sin is more like when I tell my son Joey
      • Wanna to ride bike… I want you to be careful
        • There’s a hill that curves at the top around the corner
        • Make sure not to ride in he middle of the street there
        • 2 minutes later he’s riding bike up hill middle of road
      • When he does that… he sins against me – he’s super smart
        • It’s direct disobedience – Joey, come one… I just said
        • There’s a frustration in relationship
      • But it’s also a sin against the best version of life
        • That is a dangerous corner… you not obeying
        • Could cause serious harm or death to you
  • When we sin… we sin against God & best version of life
    • Because the commands of God aren’t just the right way to live
      • They are the best way to live
      • If you don’t get that… you’ll never be free of sin in your life
    • We want to make sin about self control…
      • Really its about faith – WHO DO U TRUST (snake or father)

2 – Sin has devastating and far reaching consequences

  • Gen 3-11 we see what happens when we decide 2 reject God
    • And a lot of the time… sin is its own punishment
      • God rarely has to do anything
      • If anything its God giving us over to our sinful desires
    • Bible says: Wages of sin is death (not if u sin God’s gonna kill u)
      • Sin does that all on its own
      • It kills life… relationship… marriage… family… joy… peace
      • Consequences of sin are devastating – we’ve all seen that

3 – Jesus is our only hope to overcome sin and its consequences

  • We see this so clearly in the story… and our world today
    • We see it in government – If we could just have it our way
      • We would have our own little garden of Eden (NOPE)
      • Its not more gov’t & programs or less gov’t & capitalism
      • B/C neither fixes the problem of sin in the human heart
  • Jesus is the only one who can deal with the root of sin
    • And that’s exactly what we see in the story

Gen 3:15 (prophecy from God)

I will put enmity between you and the woman (between the snake and humanity) between your offspring and hers.

  • And then there is this fascinating prophecy
    • And remember in this world that Genesis is written in
    • The SNAKE was a common analogy for evil
    • So we know this talks about the Devil (Revelation tells us that)
      • But its also representative for all evil in the world

He will crush your head (Stamp out evil once and for all) and you will strike his heal (victory comes at a high price – He will experience the poison and pain)

  • This is an absolutely beautiful moment here
    • Right after the fall… first thing that God does
    • Curses the snake and give the promise of Jesus
  • That Jesus will come to defeat evil… absorb its poison from u & me
    • And experience the pain of evil – But destroy its effect of death
    • Spiritual death which is what God warns that sin will do
  • In theology this is called the Proto-Evangelio (Gospel)
    • It’s the first glimps ever in all the Bible of Jesus
    • And how he would one day come to put all the world to right

And look at what God does

Gen. 1:21

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

  • This is deep – In ancient times if u sinned against master of house
    • To take away your position and clothing was to disinherit you
    • If you are given clothing it was to say
      • No matter what u did… you’re still my son/daughter
      • Jesus reiterates this with prodigal (robe – ring – sandals)
  • End – Notice in the story… we read about hiding and seeking
    • Who is hiding from who – Adam & Eve are hiding from God
    • Who is seeking who – God is seeking Adam & Eve
  • So often we have it backward
    • When we sin we think God is hiding/walking away from us
    • And there is a real breach of relationship when we sin
    • But that’s upside down… God isn’t the one hiding – we are
      • And God is always seeking after you

So the beauty in the destruction is…

  • Sin is awful and has painful consequences
  • But God will never stop chasing you – Even in your disfunction & sin
    • He will call you
    • … find you… and remind you – you are his child

 

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