The Curse and Sinful Nature Genesis 3-4

Genesis 3

Introduction:  Everyone knows the old saying there are two things you can count on in this life:  death and taxes.

I want add two more to that list:  bad things happen to everybody and we often respond badly to them.

It gets to the heart of what we’re looking at today:  Sinful Nature and the Curse

  • The curse was God’s response to Adam and Eve’s sin, it’s the reason that there are tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and housefires for instance that kill people and hurt them
    • Sometimes we call the world “fallen” because it doesn’t work the way it should
    • That’s just another word for cursed—the world is cursed or fallen
  • Sinful nature refers to our sinful natures, our hearts are totally inclined to sin and evil, but through the grace of God in Christ believers are given a holy nature that desires to do what is good and right, to please God
    • And with the junk that happens with a fallen world you better believe our sinful natures indulge in the world’s fallenness—complaining and groaning against God, or allowing the world to tempt us away from following Jesus
  • Remember last week I said there are three sources of sin:  Satan, ourselves, and the world and they all work together
    • The Bible often uses “fuzzy” boundaries because there’s a lot of interplay between categories and truth in real life

Following the order of the text, we’ll first look at the curse and then our second point will be sinful nature

  1. The Curse
    1. When Adam and Eve sinned, the world was plunged into a whole new situation, this was now a world that God didn’t create
    1. Let’s look at the world God designed—reverse-engineered from the curse
      1. Pain-free child birth, ladies
      1. Relationships would be peaceful and always mutually beneficial
        1. God only mentions husbands and wives here, but that relationship represents all relationships
          1. It’s the only human relationship in the world at the moment
          1. It’s the relationship that brings into the world more people to relate to
          1. And it’s the most intimate relationship two people can have this side of heaven
          1. If we hadn’t sinned our relationships would be perfect
      1. Everything you set your mind to do, it work out the way you planned; Work would always be enjoyable to you, your harvest wouldn’t have any thorns or thistles
        1. “Set your mind to do” you would only set it to good, sinless, goals that don’t overreach your place as creature
          1. This is one that is a mixture of the curse and the sinful nature
          1. Sinful nature—without sin we would only set our minds to do godly things
          1. The curse—without the fall, everything we attempted would work out just right
            1. That cake in baking and pastry class
      1. God made the world for life, but with sin came death
    1. It’s important to see that sin didn’t cause the curse, but that God pronounced the curse
      1. Why is that important? It’s God’s sovereignty at work
      1. Divine fiat, like in creation—his word goes
      1. That means he’s in charge of taking it away, or relieving it, or redeeming out of it
    1. So, we’ve solved the problem of evil; i.e. “if God is good and all-powerful why is there evil in the world”
      1. Big results for just one point in our outline
      1. Important to have this truth tucked away, but when you apply it to a person who is hurting, tenderness, care, and curiosity is required
        1. Tenderness—how you respond need to be soft and gentle
        1. Care—you need to summon your whole self into the conversation
        1. Curiosity—ask questions to understand their situation, seek opportunities to follow up
    1. Two unexpected truths nestled away in this doctrine:
      1. Justice will have to wait
      1. Not everything happens because of personal sin
      1. There’s great application here in how we counsel each other and encourage each other as we are getting hurt in life
        1. For instance, something terrible happens and it looks like there won’t be any justice—or maybe some, but nothing the way it should be in this life. 
          1. Knowing every injustice will be made right is a comfort for those who know it won’t happen here and now; and it’s good to keep us grounded in the truth that this isn’t heaven, we shouldn’t expect heavenly things here
          1. John 5:26-29  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
        1. The other truth is that not everything bad in the world has guilt attached to it. 
          1. John 9:1-2  As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
          1. Jesus explains that we are fallen along with the world—blindness, lameness, deafness, general aches and pains, even dying of old age. 
          1. These are all effects of the fall and there are too many to count, we can’t list them all—the important thing to remember is when you talk to someone who has suffered this DON’T ASSIGN GUILT
          1. Weep with those who are weeping.  Do your best to feel the way they feel with them.
  2. Our Sinful Nature
    1. After Sin, the image of God was damaged or obscured by our sin, but not destroyed
      1. WSC 36 What is Sanctification?  Sanctification is the work of God’ s free grace, (2 Thess. 2:13) whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, (Eph. 4:23–24) and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. (Rom. 6:4,6, Rom. 8:1)
      1. “Whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God” hints at the reality that the image of God was damaged in the fall and sanctification is the work of the Spirit fixing it
      1. Eph. 4:22-24 “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
      1. Sanctification—becoming more like God is renewing the likeness of God that was hurt by the fall and your personal sin as well
    1. To understand just how quickly sin escalates, look at what happens in Genesis 4
      1. Cain kills Abel
      1. Then look at Cain’s worst descendant: Lamech
        1. 5:23-24  Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”
        1. Not only does he kill;  But notice how Lamech’s little poem of murder ends:  if Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy sevenfold.
        1. As you read the Bible, remember what you read before—like after Cain sinned God said, “to him, If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
        1. So Lamech murders a man like Cain did, he shows absolutely no remorse and in his pride proclaimes that his vengeance is even greater than God’s!
        1. We’re supposed to see the sinfulness of mankind getting very dark very fast
      1. Then in Genesis 5:1-3  This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 
        1. Ever since Adam sinned all humanity is born with God’s image and Adam’s sinful likeness side by side
        1. It’s the sinful nature of mankind
    1. Our natures are sinful, we are sinful in every part this means that Satan doesn’t have to work real hard on us
      1. Like Eve a little temptation goes a long way
      1. Or the wilderness Israelites, they were prone to grumbling…the leeks and cucumbers of Egypt must’ve been REAL GOOD!!
      1. Satan tempts us with sins we’re prone to
      1. So this is where we should focus our attention—put to death the sinful natures
        1. Col. 3:5-10  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
  3. The rubber meets the road:  study Col. 3:5-10, identify those sins in your life, look to Christ for strength and put them to death.
    1. Stop it! And don’t try to justify your sins—yes, there’s godly anger but be honest with yourself about it, is yours really godly?
    1. Replace them with good—instead of anger or jealousy, remember God is responsible for what someone else has and what you have, be content in God’s goodness
    1. Obscene talk in this day and age there’s so much obscenity, let our speech be seasoned with godliness, not worldliness
    1. Always speak as if God is listening—Ecc. 5:2 “let your words be few”.  Be careful with what you say
    1. Repent of your sin and know yourself well enough that you know your repentance won’t ever be full— The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
      1. You can’t know all of your sin, so you can’t repent of it.
      1. That’s where scripture like Col. 3:5-10 comes in to shine the light into your sinful, dark, soul, exposing your sin and giving you Jesus’ strength to deal with it.
  4. The bad news is you’re a sinner that means that in some part of you, you like to sin.  Satan wants you to sin.  The world is full of sin and opposed to God.  Acting like a Christian—you know believing what you know to be true and doing it—that’s a long tough road.  The good news is Jesus conquers everything and his grace is made perfect in your weakness.  Turn to him, trust him, rely on him.  Amen.