The Fall: Genesis 3

At Risen Life Church we are doing a special sermon series called “The Story.”  For ten weeks using four different preachers we are preaching through an overview of the entire Bible.  It is our goal that out congregation would see the consistency of the biblical story as well as be moved by “The Story” to see how their lives fit into and are a part of “The Story.”

It was my privilege to preach the second sermon in this series on the Fall.  The main point of my sermon is that we need to see the fall as the story of rebellion in the kingdom of God rooted in the very heart of every man.  I looked at the Fall as presented in Genesis 3 in four parts:

Meister Bertram von Minden 0091) The Inciting Incident - Genesis 3:1-7: This is where Adam and Eve fall into sin by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It is here that we see the fall is not just a matter of eating from the wrong tree, but rather complete rebellion of the heart and a subjugation of our God given roles as humans in an effort to remove God from His throne and write our own story.  The Bible also reveals through the Fall the pattern in which Satan uses to deceive each one of us.  The Inciting Incident begs us to consider in our own lives where we are living in rebellion against God trying to write your own story.

2) The Interrogation - Genesis 3:8-13:  This is where God goes looking for his fallen children and questions them about their sin trying to elicit a confession.  This passage should not be approached as if God did not know what was going on. There are numerous passages in the Bible that bear witness to God’s understand of everything and even His sovereign control of all things including the Fall.  Here God approaches his fallen children as a questioning Father.  God goes looking for Adam because God sees Adam as the responsible party. He was given Adam the command to work and keep the Garden (Genesis 2:15).  Just like the immediate realization of nakedness, fear has entered the world and Adam and Even are scared enough of the God they use to walk with to hide.  Finally, when pressed as to why he ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil Adam proceeds to point his finger at his wife and blame her and God.  In turn Eve blames the serpent.  In contrast to the responses of Adam and Eve, the Gospel calls us to put down our rebellion, humble ourselves enough to repent of our sins before God, and become part of the reclamation of God’s kingdom on Earth through Christ. 

3) The Curse - Gen 3:14-23: Here the Bible records God’s curse on the serpent, the woman, and the man.  In each case there is a particular curse in the order of offense.  The serpent is made the lowest beast of the field and is set at odds with the woman.  The woman has her pain increased in childbearing as well as having her relations with men frustrated.  Finally, Adam is cursed for having listened to his wife, having to cultivate a frustrated earth for food.  In addition Adam is promised death.  We see in the curse that God is a just and sure judge and we are each left to decide if we want meet His judgment with the sacrifice of Christ or face Him as the only just judge at the end of our life, on our own, apart from Christ.

4) Finally, I take a parting look at The Hope offered in the Story of the Fall; God’s promise of salvation amidst his judgment.  This includes the foreshadowing of Christ in Genesis 3:15, the mercy of death (Genesis 3:19 & Genesis 3:24), and the provision of animal skins for clothing in Genesis 3:21.  Even in the midst of the Fall and God’s just judgment upon the serpent, Eve, and Adam, God is prefiguring his plan of redemption and salvation that will come in Christ.

It is my prayer that this sermon will speak deeply to your heart.


A Few side notes:

1. The recording of this sermon started a little late and cut off part of my introduction.  I started my sermon by quoting the following lines from Hesiod as translated by Evelyn White.  I have included the full quote here along with a little context below.  Anything in brackets are my own modifications for rhetorical clarity.

(ll. 90-105) For ere this the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills and hard toil and heavy sickness which bring the Fates upon men; for in misery men grow old quickly. But the woman [Pandora] took off the great lid of the jar with her hands and scattered all these [the ills, hard toils, and heavy sickness] and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men. Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her…
(Hesiod, Work and Days, Translated by Evelyn White, http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/hesiod/works-days.asp?pg=4 , accessed June 22nd, 2013)

Many of us have heard the story of Pandora’s box where Pandora the woman opens a gift from the gods and all Hell breaks loose, pouring out iniquity upon men.  I like this quote because it is often how we think of the Fall, a frivolous action pinned on an unknowing woman.  But as I say in my sermon, this is far from the biblical picture that hangs the responsibility of the fall upon Adam and each and every one of our own hearts.

2. I have included the PowerPoint presentation we are using for this series HERE as a resource to you.  I have also permanently attached this presentation on my resources page.  The background of the PowerPoint presentation is from www.creationswap.com.  The timeline and wording in the PowerPoint presentation are my own work, copyright 2013.  I only ask that you appropriately cite me as the source of this presentation if you us it.


3. You can listen to the whole sermon series on the Risen Life Church sermons page or my resources page.


*The image above was used in accordance with the licensing agreements of WikiCommons and in no way reflects the views of the artist that produced the image.
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