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The Curse on the Man, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2020 4:00 am

The Curse on the Man, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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March 11, 2020 4:00 am

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Yes to live in an equally fallen world which yields its riches with reluctance and all of this is to help the woman and to help the man see what sin does. And then to cause him along for a better life better ways to better serve is that the case why is work well. So often difficult and hard something we resist. Why is it normal for work to take so much of our time and demand so much of our physical and mental energy. Consider those questions from a biblical perspective today on grace to you as John MacArthur shows you how to honor the Lord in the work you do and how to find true joy in whatever you do for a living. It's all part of John's continuing study called Genesis of the gospel and now with today's message. Here's John MacArthur. We come back to the study of origins in the book of Genesis and in chapter 3 chapter 3 we have studied the origin and impact of sin and what were learning as we come to the text again for tonight in chapter 3 verses 17 to 19 is that because of sin, God cursed man we read this text for you again versus 17 to 19 then to Adam he said, because you listen to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying you shall not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you and toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you and you shall eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken for you are dust and to dust you shall return curse on man was sweat, labor, work, toil, and this for men defines life. Life is work the earth is a rich provider of numberless things, but they are not easily procured everything man gains from the earth comes by hard work and even when man doesn't work even when he may be retired or he may have enough money that that he can support himself.

He still lives on the work that other people do every meal that you eat, whether or not you work to gain that meal is the product of the labor of some who till the soil planted the crop protected its development, or who nurture the animals to provide for your food.

We live essentially by work as we look at the curse that came on man mentioned there are three things I want you to see the cause the curse and the consequences that causes in verse 17 God says to Adam, because you listen to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying you shall not eat from it, cursed is the ground so the cause was that Adam chose to do what his wife wanted rather what God wanted. That's it. You listen to the voice of your wife. That's all God has to say about it. I don't think you can get to far beyond that. Because that's all we have in the text, no deception, no ignorance, no confusion, no subtleties of a premeditated willful choice to follow his wife's desire and disobey God GH you want to now delete. Adam says I'll do what you want, rather what God commanded. So that's the cause. Secondly is the curse and we started to look at that in verse 17.

Cursed is the ground because of you. The curse doesn't actually fall on the man. Here it falls on the sphere cursed is the ground because of you. As I said last time the king of the earth. Man becomes the slave of dirt dirt becomes his master previously rich flourishing nourishing earth will be the enemy of man and he's going to have to battle to get what it will yield to him to survive in toil you shall eat of it eat of it you will, but not by just going through it in a leisurely way meandering around Paradise plucking whatever you want it's going to take a tremendous amount of effort and down in verse 23, it says that later on. Of course, we read that the Lord sent the couple out of Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken, that's what Adam had to do the rest of his life.

All human labor is in view here. The whole aspect of working of of this expending energy. The battle for bread all human labor, not just agrarian work or agriculture. This is the realm of man's life and it'll be that way and of verse 17. All the days of your life is not possible for a fallen, sinful man to live in a perfect world. Yes to live in an equally fallen world which yields its riches with reluctance and this would remind him of his sin. Remind him of the burden that's on his back for disobedience to God and make salvation attractive to him as he struggles in the misery of his toil and all of this is to help the woman and to help the man see what sin does. And then to cause him to long for a better life long for a better situation to long for better circumstances long for deliverance of further detail of this curse is given in verse 18 both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you and you shall eat the plants of the field. Now he says the ground is cursed and the only way you're going to get anything out of it that you can eat is by work. That doesn't mean that nothing will grow in dirt, you and I both know what grows there very well with no cultivation and no attention at all and it is thorns and thistles by itself with no help from man. You know how that works you clear offer a lot. Get it ready maybe to build a house and for some reason you don't build a house six months later you come back and have a jungle of weeds inedible not nourishing toxic tasteless or distasteful the ground when left to itself will produce but it will produce not the rich food of Eden. It will produce thorns and thistles inedible noxious weeds, which provide no sustenance for men. So that's why there's a battle in the life of man as he attempts to get his food, so thorns and thistles are going to grow and you shall eat the plants of the field.

That's how agriculture goes, that's the way it is now in modern times we've invented all kinds of chemicals to deal with these kinds of weeds and we all worry about what that's doing to us.

Don't wait as we ingest the chemicals that are intended for the weeds well so much for the curse. The consequence comes in verse 19.

So here's how it's going to be by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.

In other words, you're going to eat, but you're going to sit down to a meal, sweating, and you gonna do that until you return to the ground, because from it you were taken for you are dust and to dust you shall return. That is a bleak approach to life isn't your dirt start with you going back to dirt in the meantime it is gonna be digging in the dirt. All you gonna spend your whole life trying to stop the weeds and make the crop grow so you can just survive another day, eat and feed your family. So man is picture he's going to get his meal out of the ground is going to get his bread out of the ground, but when he sits down to eat. He's gonna be sweating and then is going to have to go back and do the same thing the next day.

In fact, is gonna keep doing it till he returns to the ground.

That simply means death until he dies and goes back to the ground so work until you die is the curse for man until he goes back to decay and dust and then he says, because from it you were taken for you are dust and to dust you shall return. So we learned in the curse comes to the woman in a place of her domain curse comes to the man in place of his domain and lifelong misery for the woman lifelong misery for the man is that it means that the way it's going to be.

Is there any way to remedy that. We just can live in this misery was for people before the flood lived in Reno for a millennium. It's unthinkable that they would have to do that.

I mean that you can imagine Adam saying well honey I'm 64. I've only got 840 years and I can retire me and what, where, was there any hope in that kind of approach to life is that how it is for everybody. Are we all trapped in Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Is there any Israeli solution to this is Ernie kind of condition that can come about to liberate us from this from the Monday and trivial work just to survive and make it another day so we can work to make it another day so we can work to make it another day and survive another day. And finally, when we racked our body with all this effort dissipated our energy and warn ourselves out we go back to the dirt we came from. That is a that is a very fatalistic approach to life is Ernie hope being delivered from well there is there is finally a II want to mention this to you. I could spend a lot of time on this, but let me just we just cast a different picture here for you.

Remember what I said about the woman that she was saved in childbearing for some of the two. All of a sudden the domain of a woman.

The home can be transformed by Christ. Remember now she has a whole new approach to raising children.

She is raising a godly generation. She has a whole new relationship with her husband whom she views as as if you were Christ and he has a whole new view of her. He loves his wife and gives his life for her. Ephesians 5 so in Christ.

This relentless Monday and treadmill of emptiness is dramatically changed the curse on the.

The woman dramatically changes when in Christ. Marriage takes on the wonders in the glorious of the Christian principles and her relationship with her children is also affected in the same way and the same is true of work. Turn to Titus chapter 2 some of you been sitting out there hearing me say this and saying I'll feel better about my job actually I don't feel like I'm caught in some inexorable cycle going downward and meaninglessness. And if you're Christian. I understand that I understand that you don't feel that way. Titus chapter 2 verse nine now going to see the term slaves, servants, bond slaves, I want to get into a whole thing about slavery in all the forms of slavery, but really that's a term that describes anybody who works for somebody else in the Old Testament in Israel.

There were servants in the house and their very clear laws for how those servants were to be treated fact in the Jubilee year all the servants were released to go back to their original homes. If anybody mistreated a servant. There was punishment prescribed for that individual.

There was a time for liberating servants and giving them a certain degree of freedom. Every seventh year, the Sabbath year so the treatment of employees of very very important concern in the Old Testament and the New Testament servant hood is elevated because the Jesus says I came not to be served but to serve, and we as Christians are called slaves and servants so it it has dignity to it because we serve our master who is the Lord himself. So when you see the term here bondslave or slave or servant. It is in the context of viewing that as a general economic term referring to people who were employed by other people and in Titus 29. Servants or bond slaves are to be subject to their own masters in everything to be well pleasing, not argumentative, not stealing, showing all good faithfulness, loyalty, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior never respect now here's a brand-new perspective on work. All of a sudden work becomes an environment in which I can demonstrate my salvation and work becomes the realm of witness, I can work in such a way that people around me are going to see that God has saved me delivered me from sin work then becomes the launch point of witness.

Keep that in mind, word bond slaves to us. It simply means somebody who's in submission, the workplace, even though it is part of the curse and even though we go are all life having to work the workplace becomes the sphere of witness you New Testament doesn't it doesn't strike a blow against this kind of servant hood, or even against slavery.

If it does set the standard of treating people the way they should be treated. Of course, but God knows they're always going to be employers and employees of me that's just the way it is.

You have to have authority and submission in order to have anything true in the church is true in the home.

It's true in the workplace, so there's no attempt here to denigrate that economic truth that some will lead and some will follow some well-planned and some will carry out the plans.

That's just the way it is and what the Scripture says is if you're an employee, and most of us are. You need to realize that this is the place where you can adorn the doctrine of God our Savior, what week were you can put on display the fact that your Christian that this is a very beneficial very reasonable economic situation. You have some people who hire and you have some people who are hired just to talk about it as bondslave or slave or servant doesn't necessarily mean that it's fraught with all of the terrible injustices and abuses that you might associate with some kind of kidnapping of people and shipping them often treating them as if they were animals. That's not how it was, in fact, even in the Old Testament of many of the slaves willfully when given their liberty refused it and when they did that they would take their ear and they would stick their earlobe up against the wall and drive a pick through it to pierce it and that was a way in which a servant could say I've given myself to my master for life so Scripture uses servant hood as an appropriate motif for employment as well as a spiritual analogy and it becomes then the sphere of our witness. What a great opportunity that is not turned for a moment if you will over to Colossians chapter 3 Colossians chapter 3 is a parallel to Ephesians 5 and six but in Colossians chapter 3. There is a familiar section down to verse 22 for the other main point that we need slaves again, servants, employees, in all things obey those who are your masters on her not with an external service. What that means is not doing what you should when they're looking when they're watching. It's not.

I service that the Lord is after. It's not that external service or it's called I service in some translations and he says this not with external service or I service as those who merely please man, but with sincerity of heart, fearing Lord give me another word for fearing the Lord, fearing respecting honoring reverencing about worshiping, there's a new dimension of work.

Work is the sphere of our witness and work is the spirit of our worship all of a sudden is a Christian the whole work world takes on a different perspective.

It now becomes the realm of witness in the realm of worship, you simply mean the realm of worship just this when I do my work to the very best of my ability I can offer that effort to God as an act of worship.

That's what it says in verse 23 whatever you do, do your work heartily. You drive a truck teach school.

You dig ditches you put in plumbing your construction worker you sell insurance whatever whatever you do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men. In verse 24, knowing that from the Lord, you will receive what the reward of the inheritance, it becomes the sphere of your witness. The sphere of your worship in the sphere of your eternal reward of that changes the whole thing. That's not Ecclesiastes vanity vanity all is vanity as it that's very different and so through salvation. The curse is mitigated as it was in the case of the woman who now has a relationship to her husband that is like that of Christ and the church in a relationship to her children, which is one of godliness and's and at one in which she's producing righteous children and all of a sudden what was the point of pain becomes a point of joy and for the man the mundane routine, lifelong struggle of work becomes for him realm of witness the realm of worship in the realm of reward console as a Christian you go to work you do your thing you you plow the field, whatever it is that field means for you.

You do that work in you, you do it as unto the Lord himself knowing verse 24 that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance and then this last statement.

Verse 24 is the Lord Christ whom you serve a great statement or great state say mean I thought that was true preachers. It is, but not only preachers that's true of bus drivers, school teachers, lawyers, doctors, anybody. Whatever it is you do you work in an office as a secretary or clerk or you work as a judge sure you work as a policeman or you work as a firefighter, or whatever it is you do. It says you serve the Lord is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Now all of a sudden it's a completely different thing. I'm adorning the doctrine of God for the sake of witness. I'm doing my very best and I'm offering it to the Lord as an act of worship. And I'm actually laying up eternal reward, which the Lord will give to me when my inheritance is presented turned to Ephesians chapter 6 turn to Ephesians 6528 because this is a parallel starts in that Ephesians 5 passage talking about marriage and all of you get into chapter 6 verse five slaves again or servants or employees be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling in the sincerity of your heart.

I love this, as to Christ or what a statement. Now you you couldn't have it more clearly than that you, you're literally serving Christ again not by way of a high service or external services men pleasers, but is servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart of what is the will of God will of God is that you be the best employee that you can possibly be that you work hard you give us a full day's wage full days work for a full day's wage.

Verse seven with goodwill render service as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing.

Each one does this he will receive back from the Lord.

Again, the whole idea here is to work in such a way that brings honor to God that shows that God is a Savior and it's obvious that he saved you because you're full of peace in your full of joy in your full of hope in your full of faith and and you have loyalty in your submissive all of those. The fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. When you live that out in the workplace. You demonstrate God as a Savior, who has saved you.

So what what we see in all those passages well. We see work taking on a completely different perspective from from that sort of cursed perspective, and we say again that when you have God pronouncing curses. The curses are mitigated in Christ when you you work in Christ you work with submission. You work with excellence. You work with respect to work with honesty you work with loyalty to do it for the sake of witness you do it for the sake of worship and you do it for the sake of eternal reward. That way you find in your work. Not that sad cycle of meaningless, but joy doing something so eternally purpose and this is grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today. John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and his current study is titled Genesis of the gospel of John. You talked at length about work today and I want to ask you a simple question work, you know, it seems like it's part of the curse, but it's the sweat in the toilet and the difficulty of our work. That's part of the curse work itself can be a blessing and so let me ask you a question that I think applies particularly to some of the young men who may be listening and is this how do you know what kind of work to pursue, especially if one day you're going to lead and provide for a family or to say it another way, when you're thinking about a career or even a specific job. What factors would you consider while I think you would consider obviously opportunity. You can't sit in wishfully think where is my ideal world, where's my ideal job in so you got a look first at opportunity what what is before me. What can I do then you got a look at giftedness of skill. There are some things that you're not physically able to do right are some things you may not be intellectually able to do your view may not be able to to design the internal systems of a rocketship so you you look at opportunity look at skill. We look at giftedness and then I think you you have to own the reality that what whatever you're going to do you going to do with all your heart and this is a biblical approach. Whatever you do you do unto the Lord, the Lord is going to be my boss whatever this job is whether it's my ideal job or something that's that I have to do because it's the only opportunity I have. I do it on to the Lord.

So I pour all that I have into it with joy and gratitude. I think people need to approach work with a grateful heart, you know we we live in a world where expectations are rays that are just utterly unrealistic is her total time, you can be anything you want to be. You can become anything you can do anything that's a lie right. You gotta be honest about who you are and parents need to teach their children to take every opportunity as a gift from the Lord and make the most of it and don't overestimate your value don't overestimate your skill and and you know I've learned this in working with the well almost 40 years now work with university students of the Masters University.

You have to tell young people that there is a place that the Lord wants to put them in the kingdom in which they can flourish in their work, but they can't always be discontent. Paul said in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. If you have a job that the Lord is provided as an opportunity be content in that. Do your best and you may be surprised at how fast the Lord will move you to something else because you been faithful over that and he'll give you another opportunity. So these are all important elements as we approach work. I just think we have way too much pride way too many unrealistic expectations.

Be thankful for whatever the Lord places you again II do want to mention today fill that the book divine design is still available free to anyone is never contacted us before it will help you to understand the role of men and women of that kinda fits into the whole issue of work doesn't. You can order one from us today free if you haven't contacted us before. That's) will send you John's book divine design free. If you've never contacted us before. Just call us or go to our website get in touch today. The number here is 855 grace in our website Jide John's book divine design looks at how your marriage can honor the Lord and be a continual source of joy answering questions like what does God expect from husbands and wives. How can I best serve my spouse and how can I raise my kids to follow the Lord again divine design is our gift to you. If you never contacted us before.

Just call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to the website Jide and while you're at Jide Make sure you take advantage of the thousands of free resources that we have available. There you can read our blog can download any of John's sermons daily devotionals and much more to tap into those resources go to for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you. Television on Sundays. Check your local listings for channeling times and also be here for our next broadcast. John's going to continue his look at the genesis of the gospel to another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to

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