The Tempter and the Tempted Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: March 11, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 3:1–3:13

Tags: Darkness, Temptation, Sin, Garden, Adam, Eve, Serpent, Tempted

52

  • Genesis 3:1-13
  • The Tempter and The Tempted

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

-Genesis 3:1

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

-Genesis 3:2-5

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

-Genesis 3:6-7

8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

-Genesis 3:8-13

 

  • Main Point
  • These verses describe the fall of humanity
  • The woman fell into sin via temptation of the serpent
  • Her husband also eats of the fruit and in doing so opens their eyes to their shame of nakedness
  • When God comes into the garden He finds them, and is aware of the situation even before their explanation
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation
    • Temptation has plagued us since its first arrival
    • Despite it being a real serpent, there is something malevolent behind the scenes
    • Notice how the tempter blatantly twists the Word of God
    • The tempter tells half-truths, things we can say, “Yes, but no”
    • Jesus dealt with this very same tempter in the wilderness
    • The Tempter did the exact same thing, purposefully trying to get Jesus off His guard
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (2)
    • The Scriptures give us two different accounts of such temptation
    • It gives us two responses as well
    • When it comes to Adam and Eve we see their folly
    • Eve already had doubts about the Word of God
    • She was also adding to it
    • When she said, “we shall not touch it” the tempter had already won the battle
    • The Tempters goal was not to tell her complete truth, he didn’t correct her and say, “you shall not die if you touch it!”
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (3)
    • We know that touching the fruit would not lead to death
    • We know it is breaking the commandment which was not to eat which would lead to death
    • The Tempter knew that if she did touch it, and didn’t die, then she wouldn’t have fear of eating it either
    • The Tempter is clever
    • He knew what to say
    • The same is true of us, whether inner temptations or those from the powers of darkness
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (4)
    • Not only is Eve vulnerable for her lack of knowledge concerning the Word of God, but also in her desires
    • The Tempter said she would be like God
    • The fruit she saw looks appealing physically, for nourishment, and for making one wise (like God)
    • This is the way of sin in broken commandments
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (5)
    • Sin does this to us well
    • It tells how nice it looks
    • The mask of life that is painted on the face of death!
    • The truth is we too fall into temptations, we fail in keeping God’s commandments, we too eat the fruit
    • What can we do?
    • What can give us strength?
    • The answer is found in Jesus
    • Jesus faced the Tempter, echoing what occurred at the beginning
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (6)
    • The difference is Jesus did not fall into temptation
    • Just as the Tempter tempted Jesus with that which was pleasing to the eye, that which was good for nourishment, and power, Jesus was able to defeat the Tempter
    • But how?
    • The answer is that though the Devil misquoted the Word, Jesus responded with the truth
    • Knowing the truth, knowing the Word of God, will help us defeat temptations
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (7)
    • When we study the Word of God it gives us insight into our lives
    • We must not be like the Tempter misquoting the Word for our benefit
    • Nor should we be like the Tempter twisting the Word
    • We need to seek to know the Word as it is meant to be understood
    • We can’t abuse the Word of God to fit our own understanding
    • Instead, we need to conform our beliefs, our knowledge, to the Word of God
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (8)
    • It is not enough to know the Scriptures to overcome…we must know them rightly
    • It is not enough to read the Bible, but to seek understanding from it
    • There are many who fail to seek understanding and seek only what benefits them
    • How many times have you heard the phrase, “Just not lest ye be judged!”
    • Have you ever encountered someone sinning and lovingly came to them warning them of sin
    • Only to be told, “Judge not lest ye be judged!”
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (9)
    • The problem is saying it in that context is doing exactly what the Tempter did in the garden
    • The phrase, “judge not lest ye be judged” comes from Matthew 7
    • In context it means do not judge others hypocritically
    • Do not say, “Don’t do that!” and then go do the exact same thing
    • It does not mean seeing someone in sin and encouraging them out of it
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (10)
    • How do we know this?
    • Because right after Jesus warns of the small and narrow gate
    • Warns of false prophets
    • Warns of wolves in sheep's clothing
    • Warns of how we are to live by building our house on the rock or the sand
    • Jesus gives us the correct way to judge ourselves and each other by our lifestyles, as he says you will know them by their fruits
    • We are supposed to notice wolves and we notice them by whether or not they keep Jesus’ commandment
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (11)
    • Do you seek how easy it is for the oldest trick in the book to come back and haunt us?
    • We can all be led astray by these things
    • It happens all the time, and we must be wary of doing it ourselves
    • Is it possible those same verses which were meant to give you life, are possibly leading to death because of your twisting?
    • That is the second thing about temptation
    • It always takes what is good and twists it into evil…it looks pleasing
    • We must be aware, always seeking faithfulness in light of the clear and present danger
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (12)
    • The Scriptures are clear, temptation is not only an outward problem, but also an inward problem
    • The way to overcome both is with the truth
    • Do not only seek out the Word of God, but also seek to understand the Word of God
    • Be encouraged to stand in faithfulness to God, give in to the full truth, not half-truths
    • In these ways, in following the example of Jesus, we will be able to overcome the temptations which come upon us
    • We can overcome as Jesus has overcome
    • It will be HIS strength in us which enables us to do so
    • He is great, we are small, He is strong, we are weak
  • Application Points
  • On Temptation (13)
    • The fall was a dreadful thing
    • From it all of us have felt the direct effects of losing paradise lost and a longing to find it again
    • Yet the only way to do so is to cling to Jesus, for He leads us back through the garden gate
    • He brings us back to the paradise which we long for
    • He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
    • It is only through Him we can return to the Father
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
    • Origins
    • Fall
    • Redemption
    • Glorification