The Tragic Result Of Sin

Bible Book: Genesis  3
Subject: Creation; Sin; Adam And Eve; The Garden Of Eden
Series: Genesis
[Editor's Note: This is sermon 4 of 8 on Genesis from Dr. Willmore.]

We have seen man made by God and now we are going to see man marred by sin. Dr. John Phillips gives a clear and pertinent insight into the reason for the fall. "Sin did not begin on earth; it began in heaven. The mystery of iniquity did not originate in the heart of a human being. It had its source in the breast of an angelic being of the highest order. It entered the Garden of Eden full grown, introduced there by Satan disguised as a serpent. Three chapters in from the beginning of the Bible the serpent appears for the first time; three chapters in from the end of the Bible he is seen for the last time. The results of his work are seen on every page between."

The account of the fall of man in Genesis, chapter three, is the saddest story known to man. The first two chapters give the account of the nature, character and actions of a good God. Everything up to chapter three is good. Everything in chapter three is tragic.

I. Sin Came into the Garden

Notice first of all how sin came into the garden (vv. 1-6). Satan brought sin into the garden. Suddenly, there he is in all of his cunningness tempting Eve to do something he had already done, rebel against God! As I have previously stated, sin did not originate in Eden, it began in heaven in the heart of Lucifer, son of the morning. (See Isaiah 14:12-15.) Now, Satan, as a fallen angelic creature, endeavors to pass his misery upon the rest of God's creation.

II. The Serpent Challenges God's Word

The very first thing the serpent does is to challenge the reliability of the word of God. "Has God indeed said...?" (v. 1) This is of critical importance. If we are to stand in the day of temptation, we must not only believe the word of God - we must also know the word of God.

When Eve responded to the serpent, she misquoted God's word by adding to it and saying something that God had not actually said. She said, "God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" (v. 3)God had given His word, now the serpent comes with another word, now the question facing Eve is "Whom do I believe?".

Warren Wiersbe points out that another "word" enters the scene, the word of Satan, the deceiver. He is a serpent that deceives (2 Corinthians 11:1-3), a liar, and a murderer (John 8:44). He questioned God's word and God's goodness (v. 1), denied God's warning (v. 4), and then substituted a lie for God's truth (v.5) "You will be like God" is his master lie (Isaiah 14:12-14; Romans 1:21-25), and people still believe it.

The Lord Jesus demonstrates the place and power of scripture when He is tempted by Satan in Matthew, chapter four. In response to each temptation, Jesus quoted scripture, "It is written..." (Matthew 4: 4, 7, 10).

III. Man Accepts Satan's Word

Sin entered the Garden as a result of the temptation of Satan, but also through the disobedience of Eve (v. 6). Satan made his lie appealing to her ear, and the fruit appealing to her eyes and Eve gave in. In that moment the only thing that mattered was self-satisfaction. She disobeyed the word of God.

Warren Wiersbe makes an interesting observation. He says that Eve was deceived when she ate, but Adam was not; he sinned with his eyes wide open (I Timothy 2:14). He would rather forfeit his dominion than to be separated from his wife.

Not only do we see how sin came in, now we see what sin did. (vv. 7-24)

IV. The Devastating Effects of Sin

The effects of sin are devastating. A close reading of chapter three reveals that everyone and everybody and everything in the account of the fall was affected.

A. Sin's Effect on Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve were affected, (vv. 7-10). Notice what sin did to Adam and Eve: (1) it produced guilt (vv.7-8); (2) it produced broken fellowship with God (v. 8); (3) it produced fear (v.10). G. Campbell Morgan's comments on verse ten remind us that as soon as the law of God was broken fear in the human soul was manifested. Faith and fear are mutually exclusive. So long as faith governs, fear is impossible.

B. Sin's Effect on the Serpent

The serpent was affected (v. 14). We may assume that prior to the Garden the serpent was not bound to crawl as it does today. John Phillips addresses the effect of the fall upon the serpent. "For the serpent, the creature that had lent its body to the evil one to be the instrument through which temptation could come, there was degradation to the dust. The silent writhing motion of the serpent to this day forms a hieroglyphic of undulations and coils, written in the dust of the earth, written in the lines of repulsion and menace, written to remind us of the curse. Men look at the serpent with loathing, horror and fear."

C. Sin's Effect on the Earth

The earth was affected (vv. 12-19). Adam and Eve were driven out of the paradise garden and forever forbidden to return (v. 24). The earth upon which they lived from that day forward was in great contrast to the Garden of God. They now lived in a world that reflected the effects of their disobedience to God. A world of thorns and thistles and whose ground required hard work before fruit was yielded. Today we live in a world that is marred and scarred by this sin.

D. Sin's Effect on All Mankind

All mankind is affected. (Romans 5:12-14) Adam and Eve not only forfeited their fellowship with God and paradise, they passed the consequences of their sin on to all of mankind.