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Genesis 3 and the nature of temptation, part 1

September 15, 2014

Grace to you all! My name is Channing Kilgore and I’m an associate pastor at South Whitwell Baptist Church. Today we start a four part series on the original temptation of sin in the Garden of Eden and find some striking parallels to our lives today.

As we should, let’s start with Scripture: Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

We should take note of the first question in the Bible. Satan asks specifically about the prohibition God put on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But the implications of his question are more far reaching. We all know what it’s like to ask loaded questions. We’ve seen how a well placed question has a surface answer but can also imply several other things. And this is the exact strategy the Serpent employs against our first parents.

Implicit in the question are several things the Tempter seeks to use against us even today. (See 2 Corinthians 2:11)  Satan has no new tricks – just the old ones repackaged. The evil one’s strategy is to lead us away from the bedrock of God’s revelation with the final goal being alienated from the Lord Himself. So what are some of the implied ideas in Satan’s question that we face in our daily temptations?

The most pernicious idea embedded in the Great Deceiver’s question is another question: Has God spoken at all?  No greater question could be asked or answered! Without God speaking, man is left to conjecture and the words of other men. There are no other options! Either God speaks to man or man speaks as God to his fellow man. Adam and Eve looked to a counterfeit ‘revelation’ from Satan, acted on it, and led all of mankind into guilt, shame, sin, ruin, and death. Now men speak authoritatively over each other, rights are suppressed by men (often via government), and we still believe we know better than what God has spoken!

Everyone builds their life on some ultimate ‘says who?’ Everyone accepts something for their final revelational authority. To choose anything other than Scripture is the heart of rebellion. The foundation and height of man’s brokenness is looking for an alternative revelation. But God graciously didn’t leave us to ourselves. He came in flesh to speak to us again! “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) And when we bow before Jesus and ask for mercy through His cross, His words bring us into eternal life! (John 6:68)

Unfortunately, this is not the only bad idea in Satan’s original question. What else does it entail and mean for man? Read next week to find out! Questions/comments?

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