Not everyone believes what I just read! There are those who believe that man in inherently good and only needs opportunity to display that goodness. That man has within him a divine spark which might burst into flame at any moment. That man is basically god-like and merely craves occasion to demonstrate that god-likeness. That man through self help and good efforts in following a set of rules for conduct may be transformed into the image of God.
However, the Scripture teach something quite different about man. The Bible tells us that man is completely, totally, and absolutely fallen. That there is nothing good in him. That the only hope he has is in the grace of God. That the only hope of heaven is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work on Calvary.
Man, by voluntary transgression, fell from his sinless and happy state; consequently, all mankind are now sinners. Note: Romans 5:12 To be born is to be born a sinner. Ps. 58:3, "The wicked are estranged from the womb: the go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." We are sinners because we are born sinners, and we are sinners because we commit sins. When man becomes old enough to know right from wrong, he does wrong!
Genesis chapter three is vital for our understanding of the rest of Scripture. It isn't a myth, nor is it a parable. It is an account of an historical event that actually occurred in the history of the human race! It relates to us the fall of man.
I. The Temptation. Ge. 3:1-6
A. Who brought the temptation into the world?
1. Satan: the father of lies, the tempter of the saints, and the accuser of the brethren.
2. Satan used the serpent to come into the garden, the beautiful place that God had created for Him to have fellowship with man, and brought the temptation.
3. Paul warns of Satan's tactics in 2 Co. 11:3 & 14-15.
B. He came to Eve, not to Adam.
1. Satan beguiled or totally deceived Eve and she sinned.
2. However, Adam deliberately sinned.
3. Some might say that this reveals that women are more susceptible to being deceived than men.
4. It might also be said that men are more open to premeditated, deliberate sin than women are!
II. The Target: the Character of God.
A. First, he questioned the Word of God.
1. "Yea, hath God said..."
2. In other words he was asking Eve, "Did God really say that?"
3. If Satan can cause us to doubt the Word of God the step to sin is only a short one.
B. Second, he made her critical of the goodness of God.
1. He caused Eve to focus on the one restriction the God had made.
2. If God really loved them surely He wouldn't keep something from them would He?
3. Who knows how many thousands of trees were there in the garden, but Satan was successful in bringing Eve's focus on just one.
C. Third, Satan calls God a liar.
1. "Ye shall not surely die."
2. Instead, "your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods."
3. Remember, Satan is the father of lies.
4. Eve was deceived into thinking that once her eyes were opened, that she would be like God.
5. Sin always promises more than it delivers, and always costs more than we are willing to pay.
III. The Results v7-24
A. Their eyes were opened.
1. They knew that they were naked.
2. They sewed fig leaves together to make aprons to cover themselves.
3. Their eyes were opened to good without the power to do good.
4. Their eyes were opened to evil without the power to shun evil.
B. They tried to hide from God.
1. Sin makes a person "spiritually insane".
2. They tried to cover up the results of their sin.
3. They tried to hide from an omniscient God.
C. Their conscience was awakened.
1. They knew that they had done wrong.
2. Satan's lie contained a little bit of truth...they began to know good from evil.
3. Up to this time their existence in the Garden of Eden had been beautiful, but now they knew evil.
D. Judgment was passed.
1. Upon the woman:
a. There was to be sorrow in conception and childbirth.
b. The rule was given to her husband.
2. Upon the man:
a. The ground was cursed (we live in America and God has blessed this country, but if we lived in an area such as Ethiopia we could better understand what it means to live on cursed ground).
b. Man was to labor all his life and live by the sweat of his face.
c. The sentence of physical death was passed upon all of mankind.
d. Man lost his exalted position of dominion over all of creation.
3. Upon the serpent:
a. "Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."
b. The seed of the woman would bruise his head.
IV. God's Intervention of Grace.
A. First, in the promise to the woman. cf Ge. 3:15
1. This is the first prophecy of the coming Messiah.
2. This prophecy will be fulfilled after Jesus has returned in power and crushed the final rebellion of Satan.
3. This gave hope to fallen man.
B. Next, God made them clothes. v21
1. Their pitiful attempt to make coverings for themselves was inadequate.
2. God killed the first animals to provide them a covering.
3. The first blood that was shed was to cover or atone for the sin of man.
4. This was a picture of Christ's shed blood that would take away the sin of the world.
C. Then God made a way of approach to Himself.
1. The next chapter details the account of two sons and their respective offerings.
2. Abel brought the only acceptable offering for sin: the blood of the lamb.
3. God, in His grace and mercy, made a way to restore the fellowship that had been broken because of sin.
Conclusion: A look at the headlines and newspapers will confirm the truth that the nature of man is wicked and evil. The Scriptures declare this to be so, but the grace of God is seen in the fact that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passes away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Co. 5:17)