Toxic sin and the detoxification from sin.
Wesley’s progression of thought on the events of “the Fall:” 1.) Unbelief begot pride 2.) Pride begot self-will 3.) Self-will begot foolish desires.
When Adam sinned, “the life of God was extinguished in his soul.” The human moral image is lost, rendering humankind no longer “capable of God” (able to know love and obey God as we were designed to do). Thus we become dead to God. Our refusal to return God’s love is at the heart of Wesley’s description of the fall of humanity into sin.
I. The Temptation:
A. Satan questions the Word of God (“Did God really say…?”) [v 1]
1. Notice that Satan MISQUOTES God.
2. This misquote is an EXAGERATION.
3. This exaggeration REFRAMES God’s intention from freedom to restriction.
4. Casting God as someone who wishes to restrict, Satan claims God is UNREASONABLE.
*****The power of doubt is the destruction of belief. ***** [me]
B. Satan contradicts the Word of God.
1. LIE: No you will not die. [v 4] (Challenge to God’s authority to do what is said.)
2. LIE: God is keeping something good from you. [v 5] (Challenge to God’s character as wanting the best for us.)
C. Mistakes in dealing with temptation.
1. Eve talked to Satan. (Notice Adam did not… becomes a passive player in the story.)
2. Eve misquotes the Word of God. (Notice Adam did not correct her.)
3. They believed Satan. (Unbelief is not believing God… believing Satan.)
II. The desires:
A. [v 6] The eyes: Eve saw the tree and fruit was beautiful.)
1. The eyes are a problem because what you see is not always what it is…
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” [2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV, ESV, etc.]
2. This got Eve’s imagination and feelings going…
3. Doubt of God’s Word leads to a disregard.
*****The power of disregarding belief is the destruction of trust. *****
(The lack of trust creates false sense independence. This false independence is PRIDE.)
B. [v 6] The flesh: Eve thought the fruit would taste delicious.
1. Once the eyes touched the imagination then the passions of the body were set in motion.
2. Interesting that sin started with eating… God’s response was also in eating (The Lord’s Supper).
C. [v 6] The desire: Eve’s self-will kicked into gear.
1. We see this foolish desire moved her to action.
“Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.” [Proverbs 4:23 CEV]
· “Thoughts”… typically translated “heart” meaning what is the kernel, the center, the substance of the person.
· Not the physical heart… it is the ethical, moral, emotional, intellect place were decisions are made.
2. Our desires measure the heart: Want to know what’s in the heart? Check the DESIRES.
***** The power of desire is the destruction of reality. ***** (me)
III. The Consequences:
A. Self-determination to find happiness in our hands.
1. Notice there is a direct correlation between becoming unholy and unhappy.
2. Degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul in sin.
3. General discontent… (e.g. complaining)
B. Separation from God (“spiritual death”) and from each other.
1. [v 7] Shame from being naked.
2. [v 7] Attempted to cover themselves… unsuccessfully.
3. [v 8] They hid from God.
4. [v 10] They became afraid of God.
C. Straight- out refused responsibility by blaming someone else.
1. [v 12] Adam blames the woman (who was a gift of God… blaming God).
2. [v 13] Eve blames the woman (“tricked me”)
D. Sin’s curse is pronounced.
1. To Satan: crawl and eat dust [v 14], contempt and total failure [v 15]
2. To Eve: painful pregnancy [v 16], ruled by men [v 16]
3. To Adam: struggle to survive [v 17], physical death [v 19]
***** The power of a reality broken by sin is the destroying pain of every kind. ***** (me)
IV. Salvation is offered.
A. Satan would be crushed by the “seed of the woman.” [v 15]
2. Jesus, born of a virgin… crucified (heal) but resurrected and returning (head).
B. God clothed them in leather [v 21].
1. The first death they had seen.
2. This became the foundation for the “blood sacrifice” to atone [meaning “cover”] for sin.)
3. BECAUCE the consequence of sin is death (spiritual and physical) then the redemption of sin would also be death (the blood of Jesus).
“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” [Hebrews 9:22b ESV]
C. God drove them out of Eden [v 24].
1. The irreversible loss of Eden puts in us the feeling this world is broken and unnatural. (It’s why we ask “why?” when something bad happens.)
2. The desire is to find or make Eden on earth… which is not possible since only God could create Eden.
3. So we live with this uneasy discord between the unlimited potential of what we were created to be and the reality of the grip and slavery to sin. (Death is a mercy in dealing with that life-long frustration.)
4. This should motivate us to seek salvation from sin (consequences and power) in Jesus (who happens to be “the Word.”).
5. It’s here we discover that our potential is fulfilled in being loved by God and loving God back (no matter how imperfect our love may be).
***** The power of God’s love, demonstrated on the cross, is the destroying of sin’s control of our daily lives, our eternal destiny, our current potential. ***** (me)