Genesis 3

In 2022 one of the most watched NCAA football games was the University of Alabama against… the Tennessee Volunteers. It was a thrilling come-from-behind win for the home team, Tennessee Volunteers, in which 103,000 fans went berserk as the game-winning field goal was made as time expired, and the field goals were torn down and thrown into the Tennessee River. Quarterback Hendon Hooker threw for 385. The nation’s eventual Biletnikoff Award-winning wide receiver would score five touchdowns and 207 yards. It was an exciting game for the season.   

But what made it such a monumental win, was that the perennial national champions Crimson Tide were finally beaten by the lowly Tennessee Volunteers. Alabama had won 16 games in a row, sixteen years. The average margin of victory was like 30 points. A Tennessee program once known for its consistency and competitiveness went from having two coaches in a 30-year span to having six coaches in 12 years. And in this game they went toe-to-toe with Alabama and finally won. It was a historic win celebrated profoundly in Knoxville.   

Sometimes to understand how great the victories are you have to understand how bad things have been. We are beginning a series on the gospel–the good news of Jesus Christ, and we are going to talk about the good news, but today we are going to talk about how bad things were and what we need God to do.    I remember my roommate freshman year in college asked me “Are you saved?” I didn’t understand the question. Saved from what? Ironically, he couldn’t tell me, but he did insist that he was saved because his dad had done something for him! Lol   

What are we saved from? That’s what we are going to answer today. Today we are talking about the problem the world is in, the problem we are in. To know how to fix something you need to know where and why it broke. To understand the good news you need to know the bad news.    

This passage shows us several things. It describes…

The Fall  

The problem with the world, according to the Christian faith, is that people turned from God. The creation turned from the creator. Sounds like an AI problem to the highest degree. Perhaps that is why all the AI stuff resonates with us.   There has been a fall. Louis the 16. King Louis XVI of France took the throne in 1774, but food shortages and economic troubles prompted mass rebellion in the form of the French Revolution in 1789. The monarchy was then formally abolished in 1792. King Louis and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were imprisoned and eventually executed by guillotine. Experienced a fall. So also the world has fallen.   

God created the world and he created people to be the apex of his creation. People were created in his likeness and they were to look to him in all of life. God blessed people and gave them his word to live by. He put them in the Garden of Delight, Eden means paradise or delight. They had all they needed. Each other, food, water, land and much much more. God was with them. They could eat anything in the Garden of Eden, except of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. God said if you eat of this you will die.   

In Genesis 3 we see the temptation and sin that turned everything upside down. Satan comes to the woman and questions God’s word. Did God really say? He questions the intent of God’s word. Questions the goodness of God’s word. Surely you won’t die? Eve is confused on God’s word; she says he did say you shall not eat, neither shall you touch it. Some imagine Satan there holding the fruit and demonstrating you won’t die.    Disobedience. She eats and gives to Adam. they failed with God’s word. Eve gets the bulk of the blame here, but in Gen 2:16 Adam was the one God spoke to and gave the command. He failed. She failed. Shockwaves went through the universe.   When they ate something changed. Their eyes were opened. To know good and evil is a merism to denote knowing all things. And they were primarily to know God and image him. But they reject following God’s word in order to be like God. They want to be like God in the sense of having his authority and position, not being like one whom you love and treasure. Pride. They want to know and execute moral judgments. They want to be in charge. They want to be their own moral authority.   

They were changed by eating this fruit. Through it they realized their sin. They would never be the same. Human nature is corrupted. From here on all people will inherit a sinful nature. Ill: you see this in kids. I never had to teach my kids to lie. They figured it out on their own. I didn’t have to teach them to steal.    They are guilty. They become law breakers.If you murder you will die. If you steal you will repay five fold. If the law states the penalty then you must pay. Here the penalty was death. They have done wrong and there are consequences. This is where shame comes. They seek to hide from God. They were created to be in relationship to God and now dissonance and distortion enter the relationship. They fear him. They hide. They cover themselves with fig leaves. Rather than come clean in repentance and faith they run from God. Adam blames the woman.   

It is messy. 

The Punishment  

Because they are guilty and have trespassed God’s law there is punishment. It is warranted. In fact, if God did not punish, he would not be just and faithful to his word. Consequences   First, the serpent is punished. Even more it is clear there will be an ongoing spiritual battle. Satan is cursed, not destroyed but cursed. There will be hostility between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Satan doesn’t have demonic babies. This is in regards to those who will come under his influence.    [I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. (Gen 3:15 CSB)   This week A Long Island architect has been charged with murder in the deaths of three of the 11 victims in a long-unsolved string of killings known as the Gilgo Beach murders. Rex Heuermann, 59, a married dad of two and architect at a New York City firm. Educated. Successful. Wealth. What is the problem? How is it that after millions of years of supposed evolution people still struggle with the most base desires. Because there is evil in the world.   


The woman is cursed with pain in childbearing. Pain in the most important roles. There is going to be relational strife in the most intimate of relationships. There will be a striving for position and rule. What you have just seen will be constant. Strife enters into the world.     

The man is also cursed. Each cursed in particular ways that affect all others.   

Pain. Blood sweat and thistle. There is a promise here that is encouraging. They will eat. They will continue. But it will be hard.   

Cosmic entropy

Everything tends to disorder and you have to work hard to overcome it. Marriage. Child bearing. Computer programming. Engineering.  First house.  FDN.   

Why is everything so hard? Punishment. Fallen world. The pain reminds us just how offensive our sins are to a holy God.   


They will die. Death will come. Everyone will eventually die. No exceptions. Two things are certain in life: death and taxes.   

Removed from God’s presence. They are banished like kids sent to time out. We live by faith. The gift of faith. The curse of faith. When going to a dinner party you have to dress appropriately or you are not fit to go in, our sin made us unfit for God’s presence.    This is the mess that needs fixing. This is the catastrophe we need saving from. This is the sixteen years of losing to Alabama. This is the darkness before the sun rises. This is the reason life is so hard. This is why the bad news headlines are endless. Murder, strife, bigotry, lying, cheating, nagging, hardship, pain, death, shame, embarrassment, fear.    This is the backdrop. And now the solution.

The Solution   

“The gardener has not abandoned his garden. The proof of love is the unwillingness to abandon the object of love even when love fails to achieve its desired end” (Bruce Waltke, 92).  

God shows his love in that he doesn’t give up on what he loved. The fact that there is even a next page to this story demonstrates the grace of God. He spares his people. That is grace. Could have died right away, but he delayed. That’s grace!  

He punishes, but he also promises.

The seed of the woman will destroy the work of Satan. Satan will strike his heal. It shows there will be an ongoing conflict between the seed of the woman and the serpent, but it also shows that one day the seed of the woman will strike the head of Satan.   

Many problems are introduced here: sinful reprobate nature, moral autonomy, cosmic entropy in which everything tends to disorder, separation from God, independence, relational separation, shame and fear, and death. All these problems that must be fixed.   

God's Grace

The Christian faith teaches that from this moment on God is in a process of redeeming his people from all that went wrong. This could be the last page of the Bible but it is among the first. Humanity plunged into brokenness and curse. Pain, hardship, evil all plague the world. But God is doing a work to restore all that was lost.    Another way we see the grace of God is to provide covering for them. He makes garments of skin for them, he sacrifices an animal in order that they can be clothed. He covers them through sacrifice.   

This becomes a key theme of the Bible. Covering. Atonement. Kaphar. Day of Atonement. A day in which sacrifices are offered, animals are slaughtered to atone for the sins of the people. To remove their sin. An act of grace in which people's sins are removed. A perfect unblemished animal would be sacrificed. It was a way of saying sin deserves punishment, but God made a way to save his people. People can atone for the wrongs they have done. If they can atone for sins, it means all the problems of sin can be taken away.    [This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10 NIV)  

Gen 3 foreshadows the coming of Christ in which he will die for the sins of the people. They will be covered by his blood. He bears the guilt and punishment that people deserved. And that means if guilt is taken away then there is nothing to be ashamed about! And if guilt and shame are taken away there is nothing to hide from. People can be in the presence of God. If there is no more guilt then there is no more death. That means the curse can be taken away.   

If sin and guilt and punishment are taken away then there is no reason for the world to be cursed. Sin and guilt were the trigger for all the other problems in the world. They were the first domino to fall. So if that is taken away so also will everything else. There can be life without pain, hardship, sorrow, and loss.

All the problems that occur right here are fixed in the end of the Bible. It is amazing to see. This is the greatest story ever written. Stand Amazed!  

So the good news is that you can be saved from all the problems in the world. You can be saved from death. You can be saved from your mistakes, poor decisions, rebellion and rejection of God. You can have hope of life in the world with no curse and pain. You can have hope that in the new heavens and new earth there will be no serpent. This is the greatest ending and it makes it the greatest story ever told. Who cares about football when you have this!   How then can we be saved? It is through faith and repentance. It is realizing that there is nothing else that can save you. Your horoscope, your ouija boards, not Muhammed, or Gandhi or Buddha. Only Jesus could die for your sin and that means the enlightening we need is seeing what he has done for us.    It comes from laying our own desires and preferences down. It comes from casting ourselves upon him and his mercy. Pride we stop insisting on our own way and saying God will understand and excuse my disobedience. We turn to Christ. We submit to him.  

We could never do enough to make up for our wrongs.

It begins with reorienting your heart. Their hearts turned from God, they didn’t value God. So we see our need to obey him. But we also see what he has done for us. Love is allegiance. Love is devotion. We serve him.   

Where are you at? Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Have you left everything for him? Or have you bought into the teaching, did God really say he is the only way. Sure God won't mind if you have some other things. Human nature is the same today as it was thousands of years ago. I'm not going to beg you. I do want to implore you to take these words to heart. How will you save yourself from this?  

These are warning signs of something greater to come.   

Whose seed are you? Are you waiting on God’s promise and looking to his word. Or are you following the ways of the world and living in indifference to God’s promises and curses. Take them to heart.   

One day you will die and have to stand before God for judgment.

Everything you have done you will have to give an account. Now is the time to turn to him. It will be too late when we stand before him. We stop making excuses. Stop bemoaning the fact it is hard. That is to remind you how offensive your sin is to God.    

Look out or something worse may happen. Will find out what death really is.  And the world is being changed when people put aside their pride and serve the Lord. It is changed when people stop believing the lies of the serpent and rest in God’s word. The world is changed as people put aside their shame and fear and experience the forgiveness of God. It is changed when people who are dead come alive to God.