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Genesis 3 and the nature of temptation, part 4

September 15, 2014

Grace to you all! I’m Channing Kilgore and serve as an associate pastor at South Whitwell Baptist Church. Today we look at part four of a four part series from the original temptation of sin in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1 statesNow 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’ve seen in the previous three articles how this question suggests for man to look for alternative revelation, doubt God’s word, and see God’s word as too restrictive.

And now a fourth question arises from within the Devil’s original question: “Shouldn’t creation rather than the Creator be your main focus?” Satan’s ploy was to get Adam and Eve more focused on the fruit God created and what it supposedly could offer them rather than the gracious provision they already had in their Creator. This implication gets to the origin and heart of what the Bible calls idolatry. We desire to love creation more than the Creator, even if it’s ourselves! (See Romans 1:25)

There are only two realities: the Creator and creation. Everything falls into one of those two categories. God originally made everything good. But sin has invaded all of creation. So now the temptation for man is to love any bad thing over God. But it’s even trickier now! Now even good things can be bad things for us when we treasure them over the Lord Jesus (Matthew 6:21). Our idolatrous hearts take good, created things and make created things ultimate things to us. The danger is literally anything can be turned into an idol – a person, a place, thing, or idea. You know, the elementary school definition of a noun! Betcha never thought about a noun being a potential idol!!

The original temptation is still with us everyday: Will you love God’s gifts more than God Himself? Answer these questions to find out what ‘idolatrous fruit’ you love more than God. What do I want so much that I sin to get it? What do I desire so much that I sin if I don’t get it? Often our emotional responses to situations will cue us in to what is our idolatrous treasure. I get upset when someone doesn’t respect my ‘right’ to fast lines at the store. My idol here is personal comfort. We must recognize these temptations for what they are: lies and deception! They lead us to worshipping creation rather than Christ.

Our motivation in life should be love for Christ because He died and rose again for me. (2 Corinthians 5:14,15) Usually we only think Satan has the goal of wanting people to hate. But Satan has no problem if you love, as long as it’s something in creation over the Creator. A new subject next week! Questions/comments?

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