ITB: The Human Condition
Resource: Lead Pastor Justin Dosch
Topic: Why is there evil in the world and is there anything we can do about it?
It’s a question that is seemingly as old as time itself; why is there evil in the world? Not only that, but where did it come from? And maybe even more importantly, Is there anything that can be done about it? Well the short answer is yes, we can get rid of cats and kale. Cats and kale are definitely from the devil :). Kidding! But seriously, I miss the 90’s, when nobody knew that bread was bad for you and kale didn’t exist!
The truth is that while evolutionists may believe they have answers for many of life’s questions, they offer no explanation or solutions for the problem of evil in the world. In fact, if evolution is true, Osama Bin Laden can no more be condemned than a Nobel prize winner can be praised. If we are all just a collection of cells without spirits then there really is no such thing as right or wrong.
And that leads us to this, while evolutionists have no answer, Genesis chapter three answers ALL of these questions, and most importantly, it offers the SOLUTION to these questions. You see while evolution would say we are evolving, the Genesis account shows us that we are actually devolving. Humanity is only becoming MORE depraved. And the root of the problem is SIN.
Case in point. Did you know that a recent Gallup poll showed that in 2023 100% of people are sinners? OK joking about the Gallup poll part, but the statistic is true nonetheless. You, your best friend, your spouse,, you’re sweet little grandma and even your kids; ALL sinners. And the most tragic thing of all is that so many people don’t have a clue what it’s doing to them.
So today, let’s look at God’s Word and gain some fresh perspective on this. How did we get here and what can be done about it?
FIRST, THE SETTING FOR THE ORIGIN OF SIN
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17
In the beginning God created an amazing paradise, and in that paradise was a garden that was pleasing to the senses in every way. In that garden were two trees; the tree of LIFE and the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil. Man knows nothing of evil at this point. It is bliss. They are FREE to eat of ANY tree but one. In other words, God has given them just one command to live by. Simple, right? Enter Satan.
SECOND, SATAN’S STRATEGY
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Everything between man, God and creation was in perfect harmony. But Satan has a strategy to destroy that. What was that strategy? LIES. John 8:44 says he is the father of lies. He is the master of deception and temptation. Just look at his first question. Did God really say? That question is deceptively designed to start Eve down a path to doubt and distrust. This is the essence of sin; doubting God is good and that his Word is true.
Don’t miss the subtle twist; what God actually said was, you are FREE to eat from ANY tree but one. God’s focus is on the positive, showing the freedom God gives to eat from 99% of the trees. But Satan re-words it and says, “did God really say you must NOT eat from ANY tree in the garden,” and turns the focus to the negative, and ever so subtly starts Eve down the path of believing God isn’t good. He convinces Eve that God wants to restrict her freedom and limit her pleasure. He essentially says that HE is for their freedom not God. And Eve’s response shows she is already being manipulated into believing the lie. She responds to the serpent with; “God says you must not eat it, and adds you must not even TOUCH it. It’s subtle, but what Eve is doing here shows that she is starting to believe God is not as good as she believed. She is making him more restrictive than he actually is. At this point Satan knows he has her and goes for the kill.
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In an instant he moves from a subtle twist of the truth to a blatant lie; “you won’t die!” He proclaims, “God doesn’t want you to eat it because then you’ll be like Him.” In other words, God is a liar who wants to keep you down. What’s insane is that he uses the same lie today with equal effectiveness; you can be free of God’s rule, do what you want, be God of your life! Come on; try the drug, have the sex, hoard the stuff, do whatever feels good! The bottom line; he’s causing Eve to doubt God’s love for her. She is convinced God is not for her and she gives in to her desire.
SEDUCED INTO SIN
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
There was GOOD fruit everywhere, but THIS fruit now consumed her. Why? For the same reason that so many of us are seduced by things. 1) She couldn’t have it. How many times has this happened to us? 2) It promised to give her what she thought she deserved; to be like God. 3) She thought it would bring her greater pleasure than obedience to God and what she already had. That is the great lie; sin will bring greater pleasure than obedience to God. If I give into my desire it will feel SO good. But the truth is the opposite. It only leads to guilt and shame.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Satan promised to open their eyes and that’s exactly what he did. But their eyes were opened to guilt and shame. Sin destroyed their innocence and led them to HIDE from God because they knew something was seriously wrong. This is what sinners always do. They hide from God because in the presence of a holy God our sin is too great to bear. But this is where the story takes a dramatic and amazing turn.
GOD POURS OUT HIS AMAZING GRACE ON HUMANITY
Here is a fundamental truth; God has no obligation to redeem man. This is hard for man to understand because we don’t fully understand the holiness of God. Above all else, God IS Holy. He is infinitely good and perfect in every way. And out of his Holiness flows all of his attributes; He is Holy in justice, love, mercy, power, sovereignty, wisdom, patience, anger, grace, compassion etc. The ONLY obligation he has is to what is JUST and RIGHT. Which makes what happens next so incredible.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:1-13
We know that Adam and Eve hid because what they had done was wrong and they were afraid. They EXPECTED God’s judgment. They expected Him to seek them out. And that is exactly what God did. But it was HOW he sought them out that is amazing. It was not done in anger, but with merciful intent. “God was walking” denotes a calmness to God. A desire to be in fellowship with them. Sadly fellowship had been broken and so God sought to get Adam to confess his sin, which Adam reluctantly does. Like we often do, Adam and Eve play the blame game.
Adam blames Eve and in a backhanded way, God. He says “God this woman you created made me do it.” Guys, a word of advice, the next time you do something wrong and are tempted to pass the buck, whatever you do don’t blame God for making your wife! I know Abel was the first person murdered in history but I can’t believe it wasn’t Adam after that comment! The truth is, Adam is more to blame than anyone. He was given the commandment and the role of leader and he blew it. Eve then puts the blame on Satan and the buck is passed again.
And yet, DON’T MISS THIS, in spite of all that transpired, God’s amazing grace was so apparent;
1. Even though man would be cursed, God does not destroy the human race
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Genesis 3:16
Did you catch that? Yes, childbirth would be painful from that point forward, but the human race would live on. They would not immediately die. They were blessed nonetheless.
2. God promises to one day destroy Satan for good through Jesus Christ.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15
This is the first prophecy of the coming messiah that will one day rid the world of Satan and save man from his sin. He tells humanity that there will be enmity between Satan and man. That Satan will “strike” the heel of the messiah on the cross at calvary. But that Jesus will “crush” his head once and for all when he overcomes death on the cross. How amazing that from the very beginning God’s plan for redemption was already in place!
3. In his great mercy he covered Adam and Eve permanently
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
In an amazingly symbolic act, God replaced the pathetic fig leaves that Adam and Eve tried to clothe themselves with in their shame, with permanent coverings from the sacrifice of an animal. One day Jesus Christ would do the same for all humanity. Clothing us completely in our guilt and shame through his sacrificial death on the cross.
THE QUESTION AS ALWAYS IS, WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS?
Understand that Sin is real and that it is a wrecking ball on our lives. If it’s not dealt with it will destroy us. Like Adam and Eve, sin tempts us to hide from God and rightfully so. Because he is HOLY he must take action against sin. There must be justice for sin. But there IS a solution; Christ’s death on the cross means we don’t have to hide in shame. Jesus’ sacrifice means that sin and death are defeated and we will one day be restored to our original garden-like state.
So here’s what I challenge you to do today
Step 1: Recognize the Holiness of God. This is PARAMOUNT. We have a sin problem and we don’t measure up to the standard of our Holy God. Without this we will never do step 2.
Step 2: Repent and mourn your sin. We must humbly admit we fall short. Most of us are masters at justifying it. But again, repentance is essential to step 3.
Step 3: Receive and embrace the gospel as our only means of salvation, we can’t beat it on our own. Only Christ can truly redeem us and make us right with God again. And finally;
Step 4: Run from sin to the cross. Over and over again when you sin, run back to where your joy and hope lies. Run back to the truth of the gospel. When you fall short, and you will, just keep running back to the cross and let his grace heal you, and motivate you to change.
Want to know more about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus? We would love to talk with you! No matter where you are at in your journey, you are welcomed here. Check out our visit us page to see what to expect during our Sunday Celebrations. If you simply have more questions, whether about this message or Jesus, OR if you feel you are ready to take the leap and receive salvation through faith, then reach out to us via the contact form or at email@example.com.
Battle for the Beginning - John Macarthur
The Rational Bible (Genesis) - Dennis Prager