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Confrontation in Eden

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2020 3:00 am

Confrontation in Eden

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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March 2, 2020 3:00 am

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We don't find a bolt of lightning coming out of heaven and incinerating Adam and Eve.

Rather, verse nine says this then the Lord God called to the man and said to him, where are you here is gospel truth here is seeking God as John MacArthur shows you today the gospel is as old as the very first book in the Bible stay here as he launches a brand-new study titled Genesis of the gospel on grace to you, John. Over the next couple of weeks you're going to give us chapter 1 in the story of the gospel, the good news of salvation, and that chapter is not a happy one. It features a cosmic rebellion divine curses separation between God and man, but it brings to mind something I've heard you say a lot you can't understand how good the good news is, unless you first know the bad news yeah, isn't that the point the gospel is the good news is with the word gospel means good news only good news if you understand how bad the realities are and if you want to know how bad things are in the world. If you want to know how bad things are in every single human heart. You have to go back to the first chapter of Genesis and back to the original curses that came on the serpent on Eve and all women and on Adam and all men. Genesis 3 is a devastating chapter Genesis 1, you have the wonderful creation of the entire universe in six days and God wrests from his creative work, and then you come to chapter 2 and you have a more detailed explanation of the creation of man. On the sixth day and all is beautiful and God looks at his creation, and its it's very good. And then you come to chapter 3 chapter 3 is the disaster of the fall coming out of the fall, the horror of the curse. The curse falls on Satan, but also falls on the entire creation, and specifically cursed our women and men. These curses begin the devastating reality of sin and corruption that has marched through all of human history and found a place to occupy every single human heart were all born in sin where all sinners from birth from conception and the bad news is that sin is against God and God will hold us accountable and condemnation is on our heads and the penalty is eternal hell. That's the bad news and all that really is established in the book of Genesis in Genesis chapter 3 so the series also points to the fact that there's trouble in the world and why it points to the fact in very specific ways as to why there is such a struggle in marriage between men and women. It points to the fact of pain and the difficulty in surviving life. The difficulty in in earning a living in feeding your family.

But beyond all of that. It lays the foundation of desperation that makes the good news really good news. God cursed the entire creation. All of it, the entire universe of his creation is cursed. And it will one day be destroyed because it's curse that he will replace it with a new heaven and a new earth, God cursed mankind and through Christ. He has brought the gospel that will redeem mankind forever.

This is a wonderful series. Don't miss a day. Genesis of the gospel. Yes, John's done many studies on the gospel, but none like this 1 m the next two weeks for a look at the origins of God's gracious plan to save sinners like you and me. So let's get to today's message here is John kicking off his study called Genesis of the gospel is important to understand how sin came into the world. It is important to understand the universal problem in order that we can understand the cure. We cannot understand redemptive history and attending unless we understand its beginning. Cannot understand why it is important to have a Savior why it is important that he dies why it is important that he returns again and restores this planet to a somewhat ED Nick character and then ultimately destroys the entire universe in its place re-creates a new heaven and a new earth. We cannot understand all of the sleeping elements. The comprehensive elements of redemptive history unless we understand the problem and how it came about. Cannot understand why man is the way he is, unless we understand Genesis chapter 3 he was created for fellowship with God and to enjoy the world God made any plans from the perfection of that original creation into the fallenness, which is marked him ever since. And it all happened in one event with that one act on one day before they had any children. When it was just the two of them.

We don't know how long after their creation. But on that day. An avalanche of sin was loosed. That would never stop until the final destruction of this universe. Adam and Eve had pulled a stone from the base of the mountain were horrified to discover that the fatal rockslide bury them in all humanity and its environment in the dirt and rubble of sin in the depths of man's sinful depravity immediately becomes clear. All we see in the first seven verses is that they feel guilt and shame doesn't really tell us much about how deep this change is for that, we come to verses 8 to 13 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.

Then the Lord God called to the man then said to him, where are you and he said I heard the sound of the in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I had myself and he said, who told you that you were naked. Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat man said the woman whom you gave to me as she gave me from the tree and I ate and the Lord God said to the woman, what is this you have done in the woman said the serpent deceived me and I we can stop at that point for this is a dramatic change. This is 180 reverse of their attitude toward God.

They were so instantly corrupted by that one sin. Saul is not only to feel the shame of that corruption but to resist any fellowship with God and to resist any honest repentance.

Though they knew their condition and were confronted by God about their sin. The conversation is evasive. It is deceptive and it shifts blame and it tells us the nature of depravity, depravity is a condition in which one is unwilling to honestly repent me that's really what depravity is. Not only is it a condition in which one is unwilling to repent is a condition in which one is unable to repent. Depravity is not just seen in man's inability to stop sinning. It is really seeing deeper in his penchant for avoiding repentance even when he can see the sin experience the sin feel the guilt feel the shame even when confronted by God, he will do anything and everything to deceive and invade and shift the blame away from himself, he will do anything to avoid God if he can, but if he's finally confronted by God, he will not acknowledge his own sin. Depravity is that condition of the sinner in which he cannot stop his sinning and he cannot and will not repent and so he is left to hide from God, that's exactly what we see without any they are now experiencing evil there, feeling the corruption there, feeling ashamed or feeling the guilt.

They're afraid of God because they're afraid he'll execute them because that's what he said he would do rather than repent and seek God's forgiveness. They hide is look at verse eight and just follow the narrative. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day to stop either. They are awake to evil. It's later in the day.

Now it had sufficient time to feel the impulses of wickedness in them. In fact, it's, it's the cool of the day you notice that in verse eight as the day comes to its close. Verse eight says they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Sometimes the word sound is translated voice. I think it is best as the NAS has translated to translate it sound. You cannot hear a voice walking but sound you can hear when someone is walking and the rather casual mention of that would indicate to me that this is something God did frequently. It's not like this was some monumental event that it never happened.

It perhaps was a somewhat normal event something God did off. I say wait a minute. God is a spirit and the spirit has not flesh and bones as Jesus said that's true God is the infinite spirit.

God is the eternal spirit who has no feet who has no corporeality, no physical form and so the presence of God is not to make any sound of the Lord is here with us as any he inhabits the praises of his people and we don't hear any sound but on several occasions in the Old Testament. This is a wonderful wonderful area of study.

On several occasions in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Genesis God appeared in physical form to write God appeared in visible physical form as a man, he could be seen, and he could be conversed with.

So the Lord God probably in shining glory some manifestation of the Shekinah actually took on the form of a man and was walking in the garden. Not this time alone, but perhaps many times well up to this day, whenever they would've heard God walking in the garden, they would've run to him. They would've rejoiced at his sounding voice but now everything is opposite. Now when they hear the sound of him walking in the garden. They run away from him to hide God it come walking this evening. The evening of their fall at the end of a terrible terrible terrible day, and there is no rush on their part to God. No outburst of love, no cry of confession, no cry of repentance. No seeking of restoration. Quite the opposite characterizes the sinner EM, likes what he feels this wickedness has its attractions. Rather than run the God see if there's a remedy.

He tries to hide. This is a totally new behavior. Verse eight and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden here began the flight of the sinner from God is judge man is still trying to do the impossible escape from God in God's own garden so Adam, who was to be the keeper of the garden to protect the garden now seeks protection from the creator by means of the garden guides among the trees of the garden trees given for his joy.

Now hide his sadness. The trees are the source of life to him are now hiding him from death. How ironic is God's garden.

How can fallen man hide from God in God's own garden. Well, for that matter, how can fallen man hide from God and God's own universe wherever man goes he's in God's territory. Whatever he sees points back to God. Whatever ears points back to God. This is God's world and there is no escape from his presence was only one way to successfully flee from God and that is to run to God that he did know that it couldn't minds have been darkened and they were told in the day they ate, they would die and they hear God walking and there's panic because they think maybe God is coming to execute us. We must hide centers of always tried to hide from God, which is the certainly the most pervasive irrationality in the mind of the sinner, but God came seeking the hiding sinner, and here we find the first sight of grace.

The first expression of kindness.

The first indication that there might be a possibility for reconciliation because we don't find God thundering into the garden. We don't find a bolt of lightning coming out of heaven and incinerating Adam and Eve rather verse nine says this then the Lord God called to the man and said to him, where are you this is a rather gentle approach, don't you think this is certainly not what you might have assumed if they are going to disobey God are going to die. You might've assumed some instant act of divine judgment would fall on their heads, but instead you find God initiating a confrontation that begins in a very gentle manner. Hear his gospel truth for the first time or are you in here is the seeking God and God still seeks sinners. This is God coming in with a warrant for Adams arrest, but it's a rather compassionate approach is a gracious approach because God could've rendered sentence on the spot becomes for an accounting. He is the great judge he found Adam because verse nine says he called to the man and said to him, which means he founded a new exactly where he was.

He confronts him face to face and he says, where are you in the matter of saying.

So where are you now, Adam, now that you have sinned, now that you have disobeyed me in what condition do you find yourself this is God coming to the sinner in a gracious way, giving them the opportunity to acknowledge his condition and Adam responds with half-truths, evasion, deception, and blame shifting verse 10 Mrs. Adams replied. He said I heard the sound of the in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself. Oh, this is ridiculous. He use he just covered himself found Aiken was a that is not the issue.

III was just embarrassed that you would see me with only limited clothing see the man can't tell the truth. Now that is the mark of depravity cannot tell the truth about his own condition. He will not acknowledge what he is at single-minded experience of truth which he had known up to this day where he spoke only the truth and loved only the truth is gone it's corrupted and now he invades and he deceives and he shifts the blame he cannot come to an honest owning of his true condition and say anything about I Cindy doesn't say anything about offending God who gave him life and gave him paradise never admits his sin. Neither does even this whole conversation.

So here are the first words of fallen man and he said I heard the sound of you in the garden.

I was afraid because I was naked I hid myself first characteristic of depravity seeks to hide from God. It understands its nakedness. It understands its correctness, but it doesn't want exposure to God. I don't expect unbelievers come flooding into this church, do you. I know churches that are mostly populated by unbelievers is because you can go there not be exposed to God.

You go there so hide from God saying that promise them freedom from God's limiting control Satan to tell them that God was less good than God purported to be, and that by eating, they would be like God and therefore they would free themselves from God's restraining control while they didn't get freedom to get slavery to sin, slavery to shame. Slavery to guilt and fear. Fear replaced joy.

So God digs a little deeper look at verse 11 and he said, who told you you were naked or that is a good question really who told you been naked since I made you who brought this up.

Who told you this would told you and Eve you were naked or whose what's the answer. Nobody was anybody didn't have any neighbors.

Nobody existed and there were many talking animals. Nobody told that's exactly the point where the shame come from Adam.

How did you all of a sudden decide that you were naked, and that this was an appropriate Adam should've said you know nobody told us that, but all of a sudden we felt shame. We felt that we were naked and we felt that there was the worst evil thoughts and expressions that would lead to evil conduct in action and we felt this pervasive kind of evil, and we wanted to try to find a way to cover read and say that this is an opportunity to confess this is an opportunity repent. That's not how depravity acts while Adam wouldn't confess it.

You know something God did it for the accident. For liquids is next in verse 11 God answers the question, have you eaten from the tree of which I command you naughty kink any more specific than that. Right words. I'm gonna go now is try to evade everything God finally says the words. Have you not eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat. Is that what happened at didn't you disobey me is that why you feel shame is that why you try to cover yourself is that why you're now hiding Adam, is that it really a direct result of your sin and your rebellion. Now here is God actually putting the words in Adam's mouth. All Adam has to say is yes God I ate of the fruit and since I ate. I have felt the corruption and the evil and the shame and the nakedness and the fear that you would judge me and that's why I'm hiding who said that that say that this verse 12 and the man said the one whom you gave to be with me. She gave me the tree United eight is not going to confess. Cannot get a straight answer out of the depraved men you cannot get an honest confession or repentance's fallen nature is now corrupt corruption is evasive. It is deceptive.

It is self protective. It is self-justifying and it is blame shifting sinner doesn't take the responsibility even for what he does when you got them in a corner and he has to admit that he did it he still will not take responsibility for what it sources the woman whom you gave to be with me. So initially it is he's blaming the noise as I went to sleep one night single. I woke up married. You could pick any woman you wanted me not anyone older woman was you gave me this woman. She's the problem and actually you are the problem because you picked her is pretty weak stuff because from the very beginning. She was his helper and he was the leader. She was the follower he was the head. Yet he followed her right into sin. She was created by God for a wonderful purpose to be his true helper. She became his destroyer.

She was created to be led by Adam. She became Adams leader with disastrous results. And he blames God's an amazing depravity settles in so fast and turns the lover of God into the hater of God still latest today. Don't ever admit you are a sinner, and if you can't get out of it because it's very obvious that you have the sin, then you can blame God for the circumstances that caused you to do it or the people that influence you to do it, blame it on somebody else maintain your victim status with the sinner does so evasive.

Deceptive blame shifting, but depravity will never own up to its true condition. They are now listen carefully to avoid of any love for God. Adam doesn't love God. Eve doesn't love God. They resent God they see God as a frightening figure who is going to bring about death is they see God as their judge, not their friend.

They see God as the author of their sin because it's God who creates the circumstance in which they fall and so they resent God they hate God. They despise God they want to be out of God's presence. They have no interest in God's glory. Their hearts are now void of righteousness. They are empty of holiness or purity.

They are full of sin. They refused to repent.

The only emotion they have toward God is to resent God and at the same time. Fear God through them and it's true the look of verse 13, Lord God said to the woman, what is this you and the woman said the serpent deceived me, and I ate. I am a victim self-justifying blame shifting again while she can't deny that she ate what she wants God to think she is a victim of circumstances which God must've created because God created everything including servants here are these who one day earlier were lovers of God now indicting God for what's wrong in their lives.

This is depravity. This is how it acts always. I think Adam and Eve felt by consider that way experienced a sense of moral distance between themselves and got he was holy.

They were sinful.

I think the unregenerate feel that but there's no love for God there, so there's no desire to restore the just to run from God and hide and indict God for whatever is wrong in your life say what's the remedy quotes nobody would ever be said.

Unless God is sovereign's shattered bonds that that's what he does when he awakens the dead. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study is looking at the surprising origins of God's redemptive plan. In fact the gospel is as old as the first book in the Bible, hence the name of our study Genesis of the gospel. Now keep in mind you can own this series. It comes in a nine CD album or you can download it at our website to pick up Genesis of the gospel. Contact us today. The nine CD album costs $41 and shipping is free to order, call 855 grace or go to our website you can also download the Genesis of the gospel and in fact all of John's messages from more than 50 years of his public ministry are free of and when you visit our website. Make sure to download our app that's simply titled the study Bible. This free app gives you the full text of Scripture, along with instant access to thousands of free online resources and for a nominal price you can download the notes from the MacArthur study Bible to get the study Bible Visit now for John MacArthur in the entire grace to use staff on Phil Johnson. Thanks for starting your week off with grace to you tomorrow.

John's going to look at Satan's first appearance of the Bible and what you need to know about this powerful and how we connect to God's redemptive plan. It's all part of John's current study Genesis of the gospel.

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