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What’s the Big Problem?

(Gen. 3:1-8, 15-19,22-24)


Of course, rebellion against the government of God was first introduced to our world
through Satan, who had himself practiced similar disobedience at some time previous and
was cast down to the earth (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28; 1 John 3:8).

Satan made God’s command appear more restrictive than it was (is) “Any tree”

Initially he merely questioned God’s Word, with the intent to create confusion and doubt,
but later, having done so, he went on to boldly call God a liar (3:4).

But as Jesus said of Satan in John 8:44, “… he is a liar and the father of liars.”


Eve had an imperfect understanding of God’s direction

She received God’s instruction second hand from Adam

She added “or touch it” (or perhaps that’s what Adam had told her)

She also left off the certainty of punishment (Gen. 3:17)

Satan uses misrepresentations to confuse and mislead

The best defense to this is to gain a thorough understanding of God’s Word

through reading and meditating upon it (Ps. 119:11), along with prayer.
(See Dan. 9:20-22)

Ps.119.27-32- I want to quote from the NIV this morning: “Let me

understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on
your wonders. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according
to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me
through your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your
laws. I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to
shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”

Eve was deceived (1 Tim. 2:14)

Eve chose to believe Satan instead of God (see also Isa. 30:1)

Satan convinced Eve that God was holding out on her (us)

But our God-given freedoms far outweigh His restrictions, and what restrictions
he gives us are for our protection.
As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but
it is forbidden because it is hurtful.”

What is “pleasant to the eyes” is not always good

“Sin is sweet in the beginning, but bitter in the end.” - The Talmud

Adam and Eve were morally innocent, like newborn children, having no experience
with evil.

Through the command regard the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God
presented Adam with a choice. He could, with his free will, decide to remain
morally innocent and under God's protection or he could choose to reject God's
absolute standards and oversight. In doing so, he may have believed that he was
choosing a status of independent self-government based upon his own relative
personal values of right and wrong. But in reality he would be choosing enslavement to
sin and death.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof leads to… death.”
(Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25)

Slavery to sin under the law

For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Pe. 2:19)

You are a slave to whomever you yield yourself to obey (Rom. 6:16)

Jesus told the Jews: that every one who commits sin is a slave to sin and will not
abide forever (John 8:31-36)

Paul describes us in our pre-conversion state as "slaves to various passions and

pleasures" (Titus 3:3).

Many people are slaves to the opinions of others. But Paul said, "I do not allow
others to judge me and I do not even judge myself."

But those who have given themselves over to Jesus must resist sin’s mastery
(Rom. 6:10-22)

When Adam made the decision to eat from the tree he essentially decided to
experience for himself the benefits and consequences of good and evil.

Adam was not deceived

Adam’s sin was imputed unto all men, and the penalty of death that accompanies it
(Rom. 5:12)

Temptation does not come from God (James 1:13)

Temptation comes from without and from within (James 1:13-16), but what causes our
fall into sin is our internal nature, born of the desires of our flesh (Matt. 15:19, Ro. 7: 14-
23, Gal. 5:16-20, James 1:13-15)

God put Cain on notice that “sin is crouching at the door.” (Gen. 4:7)

The Holy Spirit always warns us of pending sin (though our ability to hear or
willingness to listen may be diminished over time as we allow our hearts
to grow cold and hard

God is faithful to provide us help in resisting temptation (1 Cor. 10:13)

What can we do to help us resist temptation to sin?

When tempted, we should pray for help and God will help us (1 Cor. 10:12-13)

A little girl was asked how she dealt with temptation. She replied, "When Satan
comes knocking at the door of my heart, I send Jesus to answer the door. When
Satan sees Jesus, he says, 'Oops, I am sorry. I must have the wrong house.'"

Avoid/leave situations that present temptations (Gen. 39:12, 1 Cor. 6:18)


Sin (Heb. chataah, Gk. hamartia)= flaw, fault, falling short/missing the mark of God’s
intended plan by failing to observe his direction (Rom. 3:23)

Sin is defiling

In Zechariah 3:3, Joshua, one of the high priests, says that sin is like a "filthy
garment" that is being worn by a person.

Our Holy and Righteous Father will not tolerate sin in His presence.

Sin is rebellion

One of the Hebrew words for sin, "payshah", literally means “rebellion”.

Transgression (Heb. pesha) = willful disobedience, rejection of authority,

trespass, rebellion

But the Bible also says that transgression may be forgiven (Heb. nasa), carried
away (totally gone, as if it never happened)

Whatever the act of disobedience is, it is rebellion against the lawgiver: it

is a renunciation of His authority.
Sin is ungratefulness

An ungrateful heart focuses on what we don’t have as opposed to what we

have been given.

Sin rejects truth

Daniel 8:12 states: “Because of rebellion… truth was thrown to the ground.”

Jeremiah 7:28 declared “This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God
or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.”

Paul wrote that there were those who had “a form of godliness but denying its
power always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. (2 Tim.3:6-7)

Sin results in shame

The Holy Spirit convicted Adam of his sin. He had a guilty conscience.

Adam and Eve felt shame. Shame is a function of guilt. Guilt is a function
of sin.

Sin separates us from God, like a cut flower, which over time, withers and dies.

Sin has both temporal and eternal consequences.

Physical death for all men came through Adam’s sin (Ro. 5:12-14, 6:23)

Physical Death is the destiny of every person (Ecc. 3:2, 7:2)

As Dr. J. Rainer comments in his book first Do No Harm, "In the end, though
medicine has substantially increased man's life span, the mortality rate has
never changed. It remains one per person."

God is a holy and just God who judges sin (Ex. 34:7)

There is no hiding place from God (Num. 32:23; Zeph. 1:12)

Galatians 6:7-8 adds, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps
what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that
nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the
Spirit will reap eternal life."

The Lord brings our sin to light daily, the question is, how do we react to what he
has revealed? (Zeph. 3:5)

The revelation of our sin necessitates a response, from God (Zeph. 3:11), and
from us!
Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight
of His power, and the contempt of His love” - John Bunyan quotes (English Minister and

Iniquity (Heb. avon) = twisted/perverted/distorted behavior deserving of punishment

Iniquity may be pardoned (Micah 6:8)

Blessed if not held accountable for (Ps. 32:2)

Guile = (Heb. ramiyah) treachery, deceit

This should not be found in a Christian (1 Pe. 2:1, Rev. 14:5)

Anything that you do that isn't done as a direct act of faith in God is sin

"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Rom. 14:23)

When we sin, whom do we sin against?

All sin is ultimately against God (Ps. 51:4)

David doubly wronged Uriah, yet the scriptures say he sinned against the Lord (2
Sam. 12:13, Psalm 51:4)

How so? His actions gave “great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to
blaspheme” (2 Sam. 12:14, KJV) In other words, he gave a bad witness. David
was supposed to be a “man after God’s own heart” (Compare: Prov.6:32)

Sin often has an adverse impact on others (1 Sam. 12:10-14, 2 Sam. 24:1-15, 1 Chron.

David’s sin also brought great harm to his household (1 Sam. 12:10-14)

Likewise, a later sin, numbering Israel, resulted in the deaths of 70,000 of his people (2
Sam. 24:1-15, 1 Chron. 21:1-14)

He also brought harm to himself (Ps. 38:3)

God calls sinners to repentance

Because of Adam’s original sin, all of us our imperfect and in need of redemption. (Isa.
64:6, Rom. 3:9-12; 5:12; Ps. 51:5; 1 John 1:8)

The Bible clearly teaches that the human race is infected with a serious sin problem and
that man’s basic nature is sinful (Rom. 3:10-23; Luke 11:13). Only the grace and power
of Jesus Christ can deliver man out of this sinful condition (Eph. 2:1-9).

God wants us to admit our sinfulness and repent (turn back to Him) in order to receive
forgiveness and a new life. (Ps. 32:5)
We are required to confess our sin (Prov. 28:13, Rom 10:10, 1 John 1:8-10)

Ps. 32:6 implies that there may be an unknown time limit to confess

Perhaps when the conscience has become seared and the heart
hardened (Ps. 81:11-12, Rom. 2:21-32)

Failing to do this may have adverse consequences upon our

physical/mental health (Job 33:19; Ps. 38:3)

Sin may be covered (Heb. kacah), hidden, concealed (making the person appear
pure/perfect/on target/in compliance)

God’s justice includes mercy for those that demonstrate humility & faith (Zeph. 3:12)

When God asks where they are, obviously He knows. Adam is being called to reveal both
himself and his sin, hopefully in a repentant fashion. This was not the time for
punishment; it was a time of grace in the midst of sin, and it is similar to the ways in
which each and every one of us are called to account for our actions when we sin.

Not only doesn't Adam acknowledge his own guilt, he blames God for his actions,
because it was God who gave him the woman who subsequently enticed him to eat of the
forbidden fruit.

Penitential Psalms (Ps. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143)

Penitence = regret, remorse, sorrow, contrition

God welcomes a penitent heart (Ps. 51:16-17)

Elements of these Psalms are regret over sin, confession of sin, request for
forgiveness and thanksgiving for mercy

The next step after penitence is repentance

The answer to sin/death is God’s grace/imputed righteousness unto life through Jesus
(Rom. 5:21; 6:23)

Jesus is the one and only, complete and perfect sacrifice for our sin (John 1:29)