Humanity: What Is It? Genesis 3
Preached @ Anchor Community Church, August 23rd, 2014
“A gulf has opened up in our culture between the visibility of evil and the intellectual resources available for coping with it”
It is interesting that we have a culture that teaches us that we are randomly evolved from the animal kingdom, and there are no moral/ethical absolutes, yet it’s a culture that’s creating more and more laws to stop people from hating one another, killing one another, assaulting one another and stealing from one another. Seems a bit hypocritical, or at least a bit contradictory. After all we decry the “Murder” of Leo the lion, yet we don’t prosecute his brother for savagely killing and eating a deer (Leo was ‘murdered by a rich hunter who paid thousands to hunt a lion in the African continent). The views of many other gospel stories fail to remain consistent.
We have been looking at the reality that there is a God and that triune God created all of Humanity in “His Image, both male and female He created them.” And it is because of that that we believe that humanity is similar, yet unique to the animal kingdom. God called everything that He created “Good”. And He created everything on this earth for life to flourish. He created humanity with a purpose to glorify Him with the vocations that God gave them to do, and made humanity co-rulers with Him to keep and serve and cultivate the land that He gave them. So what’s the problem? If we’re created in His image, with a clear purpose and everything we need to succeed; what’s up? What happened to Paradise?
According to our text, everything that God gave the first humans were not enough; we wanted more! And because of that, we (Through Adam) disobeyed the only command God gave us to do; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
Today we are looking at the fact that: Humanity is totally depraved! What’s wrong with humanity? We are! It is our heart Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart of man is desperately wicked, who can understand it?” Famed writer GK Chesterton responding to an article in the newspaper entitled “What’s wrong with the world?” and wrote back with these short words, “I am, yours truly GK Chesterton.” Christianity is the only worldview that teaches this idea that we are “Born this way” In Psalm 51:5 David says, “In sin my mother conceived me.” We are a broken people in need of a savior!
From the Head…
The Fruits of the Fall
Proof of Human sin is all around us. As humanity has “Advanced” more deaths have occurred due to war/oppression. Despots like Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Milosevic, have killed millions. Genocides like Rwanda and the Sudan have killed close to a million people. Abortion of innocent victims has taken the lives of over 50 Million Americans since 1973. There are currently 10 wars being fought in our world today and 8 “Conflicts.” It’s not just this type of problems the world has. We have destroyed relationships; murder, theft, hatred, bitterness, slander and many other perversions from the way things were created to be. The world looks at most of these issues as a disease to be cured one day. The fact is sin is not a disease!. It is rebellion against God. When David sinned he said, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4a) Romans 8:7a says, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God.” Not only is it rebellion against God’s law, but it is also a placing of our affections on things and people above God, causing a desire for something more than we are created for.
The Details of the Fall
Satan used a created being, a serpent who the bible says was “Craftier than any beast of the field.” Not sure what constituted the serpents craftiness, but suffice it to say Satan used the serpent to deceive Eve. It’s also interesting to note that evil/Sin was present in the garden via Satan and His fall from grace.
Satan deceived Humanity with rhetoric, misunderstanding and doubt.
“Did God say?” Really? You sure? A little doubt can go a long way, and Satan knows that. What was Eve’s answer? “…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, lest you die.’” Notice her deviation from God’s word. God never told Adam and Eve not to touch the tree. This is what pious people do; they add pious commands to God’s commands and appear more righteous than others who don’t abstain). The problem is adding to God’s laws do not make you any more righteous. Colossians 3:23 says, “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Satan goes from casting doubt to contradicting God; “You will surely not die.” Don’t worry, have fun, nothing will happen to you, it’s a ruse to oppress you and keep you subjected to the church.
Satan tempted Humanity through their natural “Lusts”
All of the ‘Good’ things God created for life to flourish would now be used against us. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” God doesn’t want you to know everything! The temptation here is the temptation to be our own gods. And Satan uses the very things God has given us as good to do it. Things like sex, food, love, intimacy, etc. can now all be distorted and used against us, and against many others. Instead of good, they now can bring oppression, depression, illness and death.
Satan’s tactic is much like John describes in I John 2:15
Lust of the flesh à “The woman saw that it was good for food”
Lust of the eyes à “That it was a delight to the eyes”
Boastful pride of life à “…it would make you wise”
The ultimate sin of Humanity is our desire to be our own god. One theologian said, “Man’s sin lies in his pretension to be God” (Niebuhr). Both those made in God’s image willfully took matters into their own hands. “Thus the origin of sin according to Genesis 3:6 ought not to be sought so much in an overt action, but in an inward, God denying aspiration, of which the act of disobedience was the ultimate expression.” What is sin?
Many Terms/Ideas For Sin
- Miss the Mark
- Rebellion/Active Disobedience
- Straying Away/Apathy
- Sins of Commission and Omission
Our sins are active and non-active. There are some things we should be doing we don’t, and things we shouldn’t do, but we do. Our sin is a missing the mark, or a perversion of what God intended for humanity and for life to flourish. Sin is destructive, yet it’s celebrated by most humans until it destroys something, and the our culture searches fro methods, laws and systems to change things, and it becomes a hypocritical mess.
The Consequences of the Fall
Humanity is fallen in Adam
The first consequence of the fall is realizing that now, all of humanity is fallen and doomed. Both Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 remind us that because of Adam’s sin, we are all sinful. Therefore, We aren’t sinful because we sin; we sin, because we are sinful! Sin is more than selfishness. Sin is more than your actions. Sin is an attitude of privilege that sees God as our equal, and gives us rights to question God’s authority and laws.
Thus, humanity creates their own laws, and even the church preaches the human gospel of “Good Works,” which in God’s economy is something we need to repent of. The gospel of good works that many preach, only confuse the matter, because then the church creates an “us versus them” mentality, where safety and righteousness is found in the church, and not out in the cold, cruel world. This only works until you go into that same world, and realize the world is often more righteous and caring than the church. Then you have a culture war to determine what strategy, system and laws work best for humanity to flourish, instead of looking to Christ as the only hope humanity has. That fall has caused many consequences!
Genesis 3:7, “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made for themselves loincloths”
Problems with God
Genesis 3:8, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in 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 garden”
Genesis 3:12, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:17, “…cursed is the ground because of you!”
Work/Roles Related Stresses
Genesis 3:16 “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Genesis 3:18-19a “And to Adam He said…thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field, By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.
Genesis 3:19c, “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return”
Ongoing Sin (Genesis 4ff)
…to the Heart
The fact is we are broken people. The world only has systems that don’t work for long. The bible gives us clear answers to Humanity’s problem; and it’s us! Our choice at this time is to ignore this, or call it wrong to call someone a sinner, or realize that it is the most honest thing we can do, and then change our minds (Repent) and believe that what God says is not only true, but the only way toward the joy and wholeness we are looking for. Next week we will look at the Bible’s only answer. Suffice it to say it’s Jesus!