Accompanying Bob Deffinbaugh sermon: The Fall of Man
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: What is Sin?, The Breadth and Depth of Sin, The Origin of Evil, The Fall of Man Part 1 and Part 2.
MacArthur defined sin this way: Sin is any personal lack of conformity to the moral character of God, or the law of God.
This manifests itself in several different ways. We sin when we think evil, when we speak evil, when we do evil, and when we do not do good. Commission and omission are both sin.
Obviously, in order to know what the moral character of God is, and to know what the law of God is, we need to know His Word. God alone sets the standard for good and evil.
Sin is defiling, it's rebellion, it is ungrateful and presumptuous, it is wearying because it is all-consuming, it's incurably fatal.
God created every good and perfect thing, but God did not create evil.
I liked MacArthur's explanation....
The source of evil is not God. The source of evil is the creature.
Evil first began when Lucifer wanted to become like God and instead became as much unlike God as it is possible to be. And then, knowing that was the result, tempted Adam and Eve to do the same.
The results of Lucifer's and Adam's choices to sin were different. Lucifer disobeyed God and convinced a third of the angles to do likewise, and it affected only them. Adam disobeyed God and all of mankind fell with him.
How does Satan work? Through deception.
MacArthur: Disguising himself as a speaker of truth, he is a speaker of lies. He is a liar and the father of lies, it says inJohn 8:44. And what he wants to do is to get people to believe that God doesn't tell the truth, to get people to believe they have a right to question God and they have a right to doubt that God has told them the truth. He really solicits people to believe God lies and he tells the truth.
Notice the exact words that God says to Adam...
“You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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.”
I highly recommend you read MacArthur's last sermon on this passage, it was fantastic and really gave me a much better idea of exactly what happened, and what should have happened. I'm going to try to summarize it, but if you have time, it's an excellent sermon.
At first Satan just brings up the conversation of eating from any tree in the garden and questioned Eve about what God actually said. The assumption is that you have a right to some sort of human judgment on what God commands and provides. At this point, Eve should have reiterated exactly what God had instructed them to do and been emphatic that they would honor and trust God. Satan gets Eve to talk about the prohibition God had placed on them, implying that God was restrictive, narrow, even cruel, while Satan is generous and loves freedom.
But Eve adds to God's prohibition and includes "Neither shall you touch it". We don't know for sure if Adam told her that to keep her away from the tree, or if she simply makes it up herself, but either way, it's making God appear more harsh.
She should have defended God's wisdom and goodness. Instead she's being drawn down a slippery slope - thinking that Satan is more devoted to her joy, freedom, fulfillment, and satisfaction than God is. The very same lie we buy into when we sin.
when you sin you believe that you will get greater joy out of your personal fulfillment by violating God's law then you would get if you obeyed it...which means you believe the lie....
So that's how Satan works. First you question God, then you question God's goodness, then you believe that the real satisfaction is in the sin. And then you begin to hedge on the absolute character of Scripture as its authority, and then you begin to hedge on the fact that you're going to have to pay a consequence for your sin. And Eve made all those wrong choices. They're the same wrong choices that you make today when you sin.
what he's saying to her is the reason God doesn't want you to do this is not because He's a good God and He wants to protect you from death. The reason God doesn't want you to do this is because He's a bad God and He's jealous and He doesn't like rivals and He doesn't want competition. See that would be Satan's personal testimony. After all, he tried to be the rival of God, tried to compete with God as we learn in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, he tried to compete with God and got thrown out of heaven for it. So it sticks in his craw that God will not tolerate a rival. And so there's a certain amount of truth in this. But from Satan's viewpoint, it's not because God is all glorious and holy, it's because God's character is flawed.... Doesn't want you to eat that fruit because you know what? That fruit is not only not going to kill you, it is so good, not only will it not kill you, it will make you like God....
I often think, if only Adam and Eve hadn't sinned. If only! But God had purpose even in this. Now that evil had risen to the surface, God would continue His plan to eventually destroy it completely. And it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. There's no sense in looking back before the fall and wishing for what never was when we have the promise of what's guaranteed to come.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Genesis 3:8-13