The Curse of Sin and God’s Greater Grace
Title: We are going to see all through the bible what Paul exegetes from the text of the Old Testament in Romans 5:20-21 (ESV) Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Because of sin and the curse of sin “It is always winter and never Christmas.”– The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, at the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, when he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, and when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.” – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Audience:Israel post-Egypt, in the wilderness, seeking the kingdom of the promised land AND the church, in the world, seeking the promised land of the kingdom rule of Jesus Christ over all things.
What do we see, and what does it mean, and what do we do with it?
Satan is the source of human conflict in the world.
The literary structure of our passage speaks to this truth.
Genesis 3:8-24 is laid out with a certain entity at the center of the conflict.
Man – Woman – Satan – Satan – Woman – Man
This is why Paul will say, Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
The curse is going to set us against one another and one another against creation with the source of that conflict being Satan and his hordes of evil powers.
- Satan’s role and agitation does not excuse our sinful actions in not obeying God’s word.
- When there is human conflict, it’s Satan’s delight, his work and a failure to obey God’s word leads to deeper and deeper difficulty.
- Where there is cover up and darkness and refusal to deal with the core issue, there is Satan.
Sin’s consequences are devastating andhas effect on the rest of humanity and created order. V. 8, 10, 14-19
Sin’s Consequences for Theology:Adam and Eve no longer know the Lord rightly. V. 8, 10
Moses is communicating something vital to them then and us now. That is the source of their idolatrous tendency.
That is that obedience to the demonic idolatry that surrounds will end in death as it ended in death and the curse for Adam and Eve.
Deuteronomy 4:35 (ESV) To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.
Deuteronomy 32:17-18 (ESV) They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded. 18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
After Eden, the Devil just doesn’t show up and converse with people often anymore. His cover is blown, and so he uses “gods”, which is what God identifies as idolatry, to be a snare to God’s people.
Idols, little “g” “gods”, being demonic, appeal to their senses as we saw in Genesis 3:1-7 (1 John 2:15-17).
Idols are useful!
God is not useful. He is God. He demands to be worshiped not used. He is the Potter, and we are the clay.
But they, and we want usefulness for our purposes. So, they and we, will often take our idols and call them Jesus.
(They would use Asherah who could give fertility and called her YHWH. They took Baal who could give them crops and called him YHWH. We take “me” and call him/her Jesus. We take family and call it Jesus. We take our advancement and call it Jesus.)
Sin’s Consequences for the Serpent:The serpent, whether willing or unwilling, in its part in Satan’s ploy is sent to an existence of death.
The eating of dust and crawling in dust in a Hebrew way of saying death would be its portion.
Because of sin the guilty and innocent suffer alike.
Sin’s Consequences for the Woman:The fall brought the woman pain in childbearing and domination by the man. V. 16
Sin’s Consequences for the Man:The fall brought painful work for the man right up to death. V. 17-19
“They sinned by eating, and so would suffer to eat; (Eve) led her husband to sin, and so would be mastered by him; they brought pain into the world by their disobedience, and so would have painful toil in their respective lives; and the serpent ruined the human race, and so he would be destroyed. These declarations list the inevitable consequences of disobedience.”
Galatians 6:7 (ESV) Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
- Don’t be fooled, sin affects everyone not just the person doing the sin.
- Sin’s payout is always the curse of death.
- Avoid sin. Have the courage to be right, do right, act right and speak right by the Word of God being a lamp for your feet and a light for your path.
Sin requires confession. V. 8-13
Sinners confronted by God must confess. They can’t justify themselves or pass the buck. V. 9-13
Adam’s confession. V. 9-12
Eve’s confession. V. 13
Confession does not earn forgiveness. That was earned at the cross. Confession is where God appropriates tangible grace to the saint to show them their sin and the richness of his mercy to us.
Psalms 32:1-5 (ESV) 1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
1 John 1:9-10 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
- Don’t hide sin, shine the light of God’s word on it, and shine the light of agreeing with God about it, and shine the light of telling someone about it.
Where sin abounds, God graciously intervenes. V. 20-24
Adam displays the fruit of faith by looking forward to life and acts accordingly. V. 20
Adam named his wife “Eve”, meaning “life-giver”.
This is interpreted by Moses as “the mother of all the living”, and it anticipates that God will be gracious in giving life.
Adam just received sentence for sin. How can he have such a faithful outlook? God!
Although they are under the curse, Adam knows that God is good and will be good and just.
Man can’t now even grow crops correctly without strenuous labor. How can he believe? God!
Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
By grace through faith God substitutes the sinner’s guilt and shame with the innocence of one killed in their place for their sin. V. 21
God’s gift through faith is a substitute sacrifice.
God is good to prevent fallen existence forever by not allowing access to the life-giving tree. In so doing he brings about death to defeat death. V. 22-24
Jesus fulfills this forward-looking passage by death on a tree to defeat death for all who would look to him and believe and have life through his death.
- Preach the good news to yourself and those around you and massage it down into the fabric of everything in created order. Work out the gospel in all things. It’s the adventure of a lifetime.
- Life by faith. Jesus (Eph. 1:7-10; Col. 1:15-20) has overcome and has brought death under his reign. Don’t fear death, rather live with reckless abandon for the kingdom of God in building the kingdom with Jesus.
At the resurrection, Jesus laid the foundation of the new heavens and the new earth with this gospel. We are now building on that foundation with Jesus by faith.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (ESV) For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Allen P. Ross, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), 148.