Spiritual Warfare — Part 2

The Fall of Man

Sermon delivered on February 19th, 2017
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Genesis 3:1-15



A certain professor used to begin his first class every year by writing two numbers on the whiteboard: 4 and 2, side-by-side. Then, he would ask the students, "What's the solution?" Students would answer, "6." Others would say "2." Then again others would shout out, "8." To every answer the professor would shake his head and say no. Finally, when all the students have given their  answers, the professor would explain they all made one fundamental error.  The reason they cannot find the solution is because they failed to ask the key question, 'What's the problem?' Unless you know what the problem is, you will never find the solution. 


This is exactly what is going on in our world today. We are living in a world that is trying to find a solution to a problem that it has not properly identified. Our world is broken spiritually and morally. We have politicians, religious leaders, psychologists, sociologists, activists, and educators trying to solve the problems of our society without knowing the real problem. 


The world is trying to find answer and solution to the problem of evil in the world. Man attempts to explain the presence of evil in this world. Many cultures have an account of the origin of sin. But only the Bible has the accurate answer to this question about sin and death. It is in God's Word, that we learn the reality of sin and death and how these entered the human race. 


Where did it all begin? It all began in Genesis 3. We need to understand that what took place in Genesis 3 is not a myth or a fairy tale. It is factual, historical and scriptural. When we read Genesis 3 we are dealing with historic truth. The Apostle Paul regarded it as such and so did our Lord Jesus Christ. 


If you take out Genesis 3 from the Bible, and seek to solve the moral problem, you are like the students giving answer without knowing and understanding what the problem is. You are like a doctor prescribing medicine to his patient without knowing his real illness.  


So today and the coming weeks I want us to looked at where it all began. We are going to look at the Biblical account of the fall of man and the destructive effect of the fall and divine remedy to the fall.


Last time we looked at how the devil attacked God's crown of creation - man. He came seeking to destroy the beautiful creation of God. The Devil has not changed since the Garden of Eden. His devices have not changed. He comes to us throwing his fiery darts of temptation. He attacks in disguise, posing as an angel of light. He attacks casting doubts on the Word of God and casting doubts of the character of God. He attacks using the good gifts of God and God-given desires and corrupts them and use them against us.


But we concluded that message with a positive note - we concluded with the note that Satan is a defeated foe. The Devil came to attack, deceive and destroy the crown of God's creation, man, by throwing his fiery darts of temptation. But we see here in Genesis 3, the prophecy of the defeat of Satan.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


The Devil came to steal, and to kill, and to destroy but the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to give life and to destroy the works of the devil. It is at the cross where Satan was defeated. It is at the cross where Christ redeemed men from the power of Satan. Satan held men captive because of sin; but on the cross the Lord Jesus paid for our sins. 


When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, it seemed as though the powers of darkness were victorious over Him. But on the third day He arose from the grave with a mighty triumph over Satan and the powers of darkness.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;


Now, let us look at how Adam and Eve responded to the Devil's devices which led to their fall. Let us look at the steps to man's fall and learn from their experience.


I - The Biblical Account of the Fall

How Eve responded to the deception of the serpent.

1. Eve listened to the deceptive Devil

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

The Devil beguiled Eve first of all to listening to his voice instead of God's voice. Eve knew at least two things: she already knew God's command and God's character. She knew that the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden was clearly forbidden. She already knew and experienced the goodness, love and blessings of God. But now she is listening to a voice that is beginning to cast doubts upon all of that. She is now listening to a voice that is questioning the Word of God and the character of God. The moment she knew that these words were contrary to what she knows about God she should have refused to listen but she did listen and that listening was the first down path.


Brothers and sisters, we already know the word of God. We already experienced the goodness and love and blessings of God in our lives. So when we hear another voice saying things that are contrary to what we already know about the Word of God and about the character of God, what we need to do is to refuse to listen.


Please turn to ...

Luke 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 

Here Satan luring our Lord away from the cross. He is suggesting that the Lord does not need to go to the cross to gain the crown. All He needs to do is bow to him and He will have all things under Him. But our Lord responded ...

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Get thee behind me, Satan. Get away from me! 


The same words our Lord used when the Tempter showed up again and tempted Him in ...

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 

Peter had just made the great confession concerning Jesus that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. From that time, Jesus began to teach them more clearly and plainly His sufferings and death and resurrection.


Matthew 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

Obviously, Peter dwelt on the sufferings and death, and not on the resurrection. The death was plain and terrible to him, for he failed to grasp the idea of the resurrection. So, Peter took him, and began to rebuke him and essentially saying, not on my watch.  


Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Without Peter realizing it, he is being used by Satan to lure our Lord from the cross. So our Lord, responded, Get away from me! When Satan whispered something contrary to the known will and plan of God, we need to learn to say, Get thee behind me, Satan! Get lost! Leave me alone for I am not going to listen to you. You are a liar and a slanderer. Oh, may we learn to refuse to listen to the Whisperer!


2. Eve looked at the forbidden tree

The second step to Eve's fall is that she was beguiled by looking at that which was forbidden.

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 

We must understand that there is nothing inherently evil with the tree that is in the midst of the garden. There is nothing inherently evil with the fruit of the tree. In fact, it was good, for every thing that God had made was good as we read in ...

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.


Then we also read in ...

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 

The tree looked delicious and beautiful. It produced fruit good for food and it was attractive in appearance. The tree may be good for food, the tree may be pleasant to the eye, but if God forbids it, it is not good for them. For nothing that God forbids can be good for us. Good things which may be good in themselves but a lusting after them is condemned in Scripture just as much as lusting after bad things. 


Actually, most of sins we commit are lusting and coveting for things that are not sinful in itself. 

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

There is nothing inherently evil with money, but lusting after it is sinful and and leads to all kinds of sins. This can be applied to houses, lands, cars, clothing, career, relationships, sports, etc.   


And the question for those of us who are Christians is not, is it good or is it pleasant but is it forbidden by God.


3. Eve lusted after the forbidden fruit 

Now, let us consider the third step to Eve's fall. There is always a danger when we look with longing at good things and pleasant things which are also forbidden things. 

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 

Notice the progression - she looked and she lusted and she took. Her eyes affected her mind, her mind affected her body. Eve looked with a long lingering looked at the forbidden fruit leading her to lust after it and eventually took and ate the forbidden fruit. 


You and I cannot help but see what the world offers today. But it is what we do with that, that matters. You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from nesting in your hair. You cannot help noticing attractive people and attractive things but you do not have to cater to lust. You and I can refuse to be influenced by it. 


Psalm 101:1 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. 2: I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.


Be warned of lingering looked. The Scripture is filled with warning concerning a lingering look. A good example is found in the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 

Here we are warned not to even looked at fermented wine, because an innocent look can turn to a lingering look and then longing look which will lead to intemperate use of it. Just as looking upon a woman, so as to lust after her, is forbidden, Matthew 5:28.


Proverbs 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 

Alcohol will bite you like a serpent injecting poison into your veins. It hurts the body in many respects, impairs the vigor of the mind, wastes the estate, stains the character, wounds the conscience, and, without repentance, destroys the soul. 


Proverbs 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34: Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.  35: They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.


Solomon warns us against drunkenness. Those that would be kept from sin, must keep from all the beginnings of it, and fear coming near to it. 


So we see the steps that led to the fall of Eve - she listened to the deceptive voice, she looked at the forbidden tree and she lusted after the forbidden fruit.


Closing Thoughts

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Here Paul tells us that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was deceived into committing sin and he says to the Corinthians, I fear lest you should be beguiled in the same way. There are lessons we can learn so that you and I are not beguiled as Eve was beguiled. The Devil who attacked Eve in the Garden, is a defeated foe but still on the loose. The same Devil who beguiled Eve is the same Devil who is seeking to beguile you and me. We have to remember that Eve was created without sinful nature. She was created pure and holy. She was placed in a perfect world and beautiful Garden where there was an amazing harmony and blessings. Yet, with all these she was still beguiled.


But you and I came into this world that is already broken and fallen and with a sinful nature. We already have this bias within us and that tendency to sin already gives Satan the advantage over us. Remember also that Satan is real and he is a being in this business as seducing the people of God for a long time. And he knows how to put to good use all the experience that he has gained over thousands of years to deceive and to tempt and to cause us to sin.


But then we have to bear in mind that we do have a certain advantages over him, because here in this chapter and throughout all the Scriptures those of us who are the children of God, we have before us the strategies of the great enemy of our souls. We know how he works. We know what he does. We know what he is about. Furthermore, if you are a born again child of God, remember ...

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Remember that the One who is in you and with you and for you is greater than your enemy. The God, who dwells in your hearts, and by whose strength and grace alone you have been enabled to achieve this victory, is more mighty than Satan.


Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

In this conflicts with sin, temptation, and error, we born again Christians should never despair, for our great God and Saviour will insure us the victory.


Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.