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Trouble in Paradise | Victory Through Christ

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2024 3:00 am

Trouble in Paradise | Victory Through Christ

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 16, 2024 3:00 am

How does the Devil cause so much mayhem among believers? He has help! He and his minions set their sights on believers trying to make them fall . . . and they’re quite good at what they do. But today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out victory is assured for God’s children when we stand in the victory of Jesus. We’re in the Garden of Eden today watching Adam and Eve struggle against the temptation of our adversary, and we’ll see how that struggle affects us even today.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at The devil's primary objective is to separate you from God. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie warns us about the fiascoes and failures our adversary can bring to our lives. That is, if we listen to his voice. He will tempt you and then condemn you for giving in to his temptation. You know, say things to you like, oh man, don't read the Bible now. That would be hypocritical. Don't you dare go to church. I mean, when we've sinned, we think, well, I can't go to church after what I did this week. He's a liar. How does the devil cause so much mayhem among believers?

Well, he has help. He and his minions set their sights on believers trying to make them fall, and they're quite good at what they do. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out victory is assured for God's children when we stand in the victory of Jesus. We're in the Garden of Eden today watching Adam and Eve struggle against the temptation of our adversary, and we'll see how that struggle affects us even today. So we've looked at the creation of all things. Now we're looking at the story of Adam and Eve's sin against God in the Garden of Eden, and in Genesis 2, Moses zooms in from the cosmos to the Garden of Eden. This new section of Genesis deals with the relationship between God and man.

Here's an interesting little point. The name that God has used of himself up to this point is Elohim, but it shifts in chapter 2 to Yahweh. So we might say the name of God Elohim would be the name describing him as majestic creator, and Yahweh is dealing more, well, as in a personal way with us. So here are Adam and Eve in perfect paradise living the dream, man.

You can't get any better than this. Surrounded by beauty, surrounded by the most amazing wildlife, all the animals are docile and tame and the greatest food to eat, and it's so good. Well, there was trouble in paradise. Enter the devil. Go to Genesis 3 verse 1. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made, and he said to the woman, Has God indeed said you will not eat of every tree of the garden? The woman said to the serpent, Well, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden.

God has said, You shall not eat it nor touch it, lest you die. The serpent said to the woman, Oh, you will not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and desirable to make one wine, she took of the fruit and she ate, and she gave it to her husband with her, and he ate, and the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings, and they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? Adam said, I heard your voice in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself. So here now we see how the devil seeks to attack and undermine us. We see his four waves of attack that he uses over and over again.

What does he do? He questioned the word of God. Hey, did God really say what you thought he said?

Interesting. Now coming back to something I mentioned earlier, Satan uses the name in the first chapter of Genesis for God, Elohim. Did Elohim really say, but remember the Lord introduced himself as Yahweh, a more personal name. Hey, did Elohim really say what you thought he said? The devil's primary objective is to separate you from God through sin.

Always be looking for ways to do that. And once he succeeds, once you take the bait that he offers, then he'll come and condemn you. That's why he's called the accuser of the brethren in King James. But he will tempt you and then condemn you for giving in to his temptation. And he'll say things to you like, oh man don't read the Bible now.

That would be hypocritical. Don't you dare go to church. I mean when we've sinned we think, well I can't go to church after what I did this week. What do you think the church is? Think of the church like a hospital. Think of the church like a place that you go to get better. But the devil will try to keep you from church, keep you from God's people, keep you from opening the Bible, keep you from praying.

Don't listen to him. But that's what the devil does. Did God really say what you thought he said? And he introduces the assumption that God's Word is subject to our judgment.

I don't know. Do we really want to listen to what God said in his Word? And people do this all the time. They'll say things like, well I'm a Christian and I love the Lord but I don't know if I agree with this part of the Bible. Listen the Bible is the source of all truth.

And so we believe this. But the devil attacks the Word of God. Really what he is implying is God is holding you away from something good. Man if God really loved you he'd let you do whatever you want. Why would he restrict you? Why would he say you can't eat of this tree? God's holding you back from this thing because in the day you eat of it you will be like a god yourself. You'll be a goddess knowing good and evil. He's a liar. If God tells you not to do something it's for your own good.

Is it really that bad? God gives his commandments. You shall not lie. You shall not steal. You shall not take the Lord's name in vain.

You shall honor your mother and father. Live in these standards and by these principles because these are walls of protection keeping evil out. And when you understand the commandments and the principles of Scripture in their proper context they're there to protect you. God says the Bible says no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. And Satan also questioned the love of God. If God really loved you he'd let you do whatever you want.

No he loves you too much to let you do whatever you want. And then the devil denied the word of God. You know it's a short step from questioning the word of God to denying the word of God.

So what do we learn? Well don't get into conversations with the devil. The Bible says resist the devil and he will flee from you. And then the devil substitute his own lie. Hey man you become like a god knowing good and evil.

That was a complete lie. Listen command central of your life is your mind. Paul writes about this in second Corinthians 10 when he says the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary we have divine power to demolish strongholds.

We demolish arguments in every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. So when that thought comes you say no I'm not letting that one in. That thought of fear. That thought of lust. That thought of vengeance. That thought of whatever it is that's not coming in here. Oh that thought.

That thought's coming in. That passage. That beautiful thought about the Lord that is going to come in. So we ask ourselves the question where is this thought coming from?

Here's what you need to remember. Every temptation can be resisted and overcome. Every temptation. The Bible says blessed is the man that endures temptation for when he has tried he'll receive the crown of life. And the word blessed can be translated happy.

Happy. You're happy when you overcome temptation. Then first Corinthians 10 13 says there is no temptation taking you but such as is common the man but God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able would what with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. So how do we fight temptation? We fight back with the word of God.

Memorized and quoted. Psalm 119 says how can a young man cleanse his way by taking heat according to your word. Then it goes on to say your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you. It's great to carry a Bible in your briefcase your backpack or your purse or your murse if you're a guy you carry the little handbag murse.

It's a purse just deal with it okay. Great place to carry your Bible but the best place to carry the word of God is in your heart. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We send these daily studies out via radio satellite and online and we don't always know how these messages are touching lives but when we hear the stories of our listeners it really is encouraging. Pastor Greg you never cease to amaze me.

I just watched the first episode of your new animated series Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog and it was wonderful. I struggled to talk to my 16 year old son who has mild autism and ADHD. This animated episode called The Bridge is Out allowed me to have an open dialogue with him. He asked questions and was able to understand things more clearly.

It also tested all the Bible studying we've been doing together. Thank you again for always coming out with unique ways of reaching everyone. God bless you. It's a privilege to be able to provide so many resources through Harvest Ministries. Check them out for yourself at

That's Well we're getting some instruction today from Pastor Greg on standing against our adversary and his influence and for a replay of today's study go to Jesus provided us the example on how to fight temptation. Remember after he was baptized by his cousin John on the Jordan River we read immediately he went into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. The devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and satan said all this is mine and I can give it to whomever I want and Jesus I'll give it to you if you'll worship me. You might think why would he say that to Jesus understand why Christ came. He came to purchase back that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. He was coming to die a horrible torturous death on a Roman cross. Satan's saying I'll give you a shortcut no cross no suffering worship me for a moment I'll give everything to you right now and Jesus said it is written you shall worship the Lord God in him only shall you serve. Then satan said to Jesus why don't you turn this rock into a piece of bread. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days he was hungry.

Jesus said it is written man shall not live by bread alone but from every word that comes from God. Again how does he fight satan with the word of God. He stood on ground that we too can occupy. Jesus could have exercised executive privilege. He could have said satan get out of here. You're be gone and the devil was overpowered and outranked but he didn't do that. Jesus faced him like we should face him using the word of God.

That's how we do it. But Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. It must have looked good at first. We always call it the apple. When Eve ate the apple what's with the apple. There's no apple in the bible. Bible never says it was an apple.

I don't know where that came from. I wouldn't even be tempted by an apple would you. Maybe a nectarine or a peach or something.

I'm not that much into apples. I think it was probably a piece of fruit like you've never seen before. It pulsated with light like a little disco ball.

Disco ball had its own theme song you know. I don't know what it was but it was something that would dazzle you like whoa what is this. And then you know as you bite it looks so good it was pleasant to the eyes it says. It desirable to make one wise but then when you bit in it was poison. You ever get those little candies in a box and you bite into it's like gross what was that. All I like in candy boxes, seized candies or whatever I like the nuts and chews. But then you bite into those goopy gross things right. You bite into oh this looks so good it's gonna be so great. It's poison.

It's awful. It's not the candy but sin. And so in the same way that's what happened. The eyes of them both were open. Verse seven. Their eyes were open to earth and closed to heaven. Then guess who shows up in the garden? The Lord. Verse eight.

Genesis three. The Lord comes walking to the garden. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

Interesting. The word for God is Yahweh. So we're back to Yahweh again. So Yahweh comes walking through the garden. It would appear perhaps the Lord showed up in the garden every day as the sun was setting.

In the cool of the day everything would be bathed in a golden light. And Adam would normally tell the Lord what he had discovered that day. Maybe he had some questions for God. So here comes the Lord as he would come walking in the garden. But now Adam is not running to see the Lord.

He's hiding from the Lord because of his sin. And what a sad thing that is. And now the thrill of sin is gone. And sin doesn't always have a thrill but sometimes it does.

It is short lived at best. And then the repercussions come. Then the guilt kicks in.

And that dead cold feeling that comes from sin is there. And the Lord says, Adam where are you? Did the Lord say that because he literally didn't know where Adam is? Adam. Adam.

I can't find you. The Lord knew exactly where Adam was. The Lord knew everything that was happening.

He was aware of it from the very beginning. God wasn't looking for the location of Adam. He was looking for confession from Adam. Sort of like when I used to play hide and seek with my grandkids when they were really little. They would say, Papa we're going to hide. Find us. Count to 20.

I'd count to 20. Walk out into the front room. They're hiding behind the curtain. But the curtain only goes down so far and I can see their little feet there. And they're laughing. I hear them but act like I don't see them. Where are you? Where are you? Do it again Papa.

So I'd count to 20. Come out. They're in the same place. Kids I have to teach you how to be more deceptive.

I don't know. That's us hiding from God. Oh I'm hiding from God. You think God doesn't see you when you turn off the light? You think God doesn't see you when you close the door? God sees and knows everything. Adam the Lord says, where are you?

Adam of course covers things up. But I wonder if God is asking that question of some of us right now. Where are you? Not literally where are you. He knows where you are. We're in church. But where are you spiritually?

Are you in the place you should be in right now? Or are you separated from God because of sin? I don't think this is a spoiler alert when I tell you that of course Jesus came to die on the cross to reconcile us with God and to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden. And we'll look at that first messianic passage next time in Genesis chapter three verse 15 when God speaks of one who would come to deliver us.

But we'll stop short of that today and just deal with that question. Where are you? Are you where you need to be? Are you right with God? If you died today would you go to heaven? Or have you done something you know has separated you from God? And there might be someone I'm talking to that was walking with the Lord but you've allowed sin to get into your life and to compromise you and you've eaten of that forbidden fruit. Well the good news is God can forgive you.

The Bible says if we will confess our sin he's faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You have to admit your sin. Stop making excuses for it. Stop blaming others for it. And just say I'm guilty.

I'm sorry. Forgive me. And he will because Jesus died on that cross for your sin. He paid the price for every wrong you've done. You don't have to atone for your own sin.

You don't have to do X amount of good works to get God to forgive you. Just come and say God I'm a sinner. I've failed but you're a savior and you love me and I need your forgiveness right now. God longs for relationship with you. Isn't it interesting that the story says the Lord came calling. It should have been Adam saying God where are you? God come to me.

God help me. It said it's the Lord calling. It's the Lord longing for us. The Lord desiring friendship and fellowship with us and he's calling out to you.

You say but Greg I failed. But the Lord loves you and he misses you. Remember the story of the prodigal son when he finally came to his senses and returned home.

What do we read? Jesus told the story to show us what God is like. He says the father saw him from a great distance and ran to him and threw his arms around him and kissed him and said this my son who is dead is alive again and he who was lost is found. That's how God feels about you. Oh what will God do if I come back? I'm such a failure. God will say I've missed you.

I love you. Let me forgive you. Will you come to him right now? If you've never asked Jesus to come into your life you can do it right here right now. If you've fallen away from the Lord or you're separated from God because of some sin you can be forgiven of that sin and reconnect with him right now. Remember the devil wants to separate you from God but God wants you to come close. So we're going to pray and I'm going to give you an opportunity if you need to to get right with God right now.

Let's pray. Father speak to every person here wherever they are. If they don't have a relationship with you let this be the moment they believe. Maybe there's somebody here that would say I need Jesus today. I don't know if I'll go to heaven one day. I don't know if my sin is forgiven. I have this big hole in my heart but I want Christ to come and fill that hole in my heart but I want Christ to come and fill that void. Maybe I'm talking to somebody here who has walked with the Lord but you've allowed sin to get into your life and it's separated you from the Lord.

You need to come back to him and receive his cleansing. Pray this if you would. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross of Calvary and rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life.

I choose to follow you now. Be my savior. Be my savior. Be my Lord. Be my God.

Be my friend. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie praying with those who want to make a change in their relationship with the Lord.

It's an important day for some of our listeners today. And if you've just prayed with Pastor Greg and asked Jesus to be your savior, well Pastor Greg would like to help you get started in this new walk of faith. You know it's so important to build a solid foundation and he'd like to send you a complimentary copy of his New Believer's Bible. It's in the Easy to Understand New Living translation. So just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300 and ask for it. You can call us anytime 24 7 1-800-821-3300.

Or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514. Or go online to and click Know God. Well it's such a privilege to have author J. Warner Wallace with us today. Jim Wallace, former cold case detective. And we're making available his brand new book called The Truth in True Crime.

Pastor Greg? You know it seems like people are so interested in crime. You know there's podcasts dedicated to it, television shows, obviously films and people just love to. Why do you think that is? Why are we drawn to that? Well I think we all recognize, and this is one of the chapters of the book, you know are we innately good and corrupted by the systems in which we live? Or are we uniquely fallen and prone to corrupting the systems in which we live? Okay and I think because we recognize that yeah we sadly I think a lot of times when you watch true crime stories you see people you know or you see some side of yourself that's intriguing. Right. I mean if you're look Dateline, I've been on Dateline probably I think more than any other detective in the country.

In my cases like all the other ones you're probably going to watch on Dateline usually involve a spouse killing his spouse or her spouse. And that when we watch those shows we kind of ask ourselves could that be me? Yeah. Because we innately know that there's something about our nature that needs fixing. That's why I think the gospel, I always say this and I say this in one chapter of the book, the gospel cures every kind of stupid you can think of including marriage stupid and murder stupid and political stupid and cultural stupid whatever the stupid is. And I think because we know that we have this innate sense that yeah we need fixing. We're intrigued with shows that demonstrate how much we need fixing. Wow that's a great statement.

Well you've written about these ideas and much more in your brand new book The Truth in True Crime. And we're offering this new book by J. Warner Wallace to you for your gift of any size. So whatever you can send to support our ministry and help us to continue to teach the word of God and to preach the gospel which is so desperately needed. It seems to me Jim people are drifting even in the church so far from a biblical worldview. You know and it seems to me it's so important for us to dig into scripture and think and act biblically. Yeah no doubt as a matter of fact Susie's my wife's not here with me today but she was here last time we did this and and she wanted me to tell you that she we have been so unbelievably impacted by your gospel continuing commitment to a gospel-centered ministry that when this we we have a book like this the first person I want to have it in and hopefully leverage it to spread the gospel is you because I feel like you get it. But I think we are moving away from the power of the gospel the people who are willing to listen to it. Look I know that my books are not going to change hearts. The gospel is the power of God not my books or any argument for Christianity.

Right. But there are times people like me won't even listen to the gospel like they built this wall around themselves they won't hear it and so I think from my perspective I'm just trying to help lower that barrier because it's not anything I say that's going to change your life it is the gospel you simply have to have the barriers down so you'll listen to it. Right so this is a great tool to help get those barriers down a great resource you could share with people who maybe seem like they're completely closed to the gospel like Jim once was and the book is called the truth in true crime available to you for your gift of any size this month. Yeah that's right it's such a fascinating book it offers a unique application of biblical insights to the facts of true crime investigations let us send this your way we'll send it to thank you for your investment in keeping these daily studies coming your way just ask for the truth in true crime when you call 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or just go online to well next time more insights from the book of Genesis we'll focus on keeping our thoughts in harmony with our beliefs join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life share your story leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-16 05:40:28 / 2024-05-16 05:50:56 / 10

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