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December 22, 2021 12:00 am
The Bible describes Jesus as seeking and saving the lost. Consider this from Stephen Davey Jesus that I am, seek an essay was which were lost jobs, covered over with Liam's hand sticking with Turkish delight mouths staying with stolen apples. He comes and he sinks that he says delivering the very first question from his lips to humanity. I love it. Here's the question in verse nine where are you classic lion witch and the wardrobe.
CS Lewis is a character named Edmund is captivated by the lure of Turkish delight. His inability to resist that temptation resulted in trouble for him and his family. CS Lewis intended that seen to be a picture of the temptation we all struggle with today. Stephen is using the scene to illustrate what the Bible says about sin. Sin entered the world because Adam and Eve ate fruit that was desirable to them, but forbidden by God. Sin is treachery and idolatry.
But sin also has a solution that's found in Jesus.
Stay with us for this message. Called stolen apples and Turkish delight. We have been covering dealing as a backdrop to the full Christmas story of creation and Christ's coming tells of Narnia to do a little bit today again along the same lines on it again with the human heart and will deal today with the corruption of God's perfect creation in the early 1600s, a Puritan theologian named John Owen serve the church with wisdom and theological clarity. He wrote in one of his works entitled sin and temptation. These insightful words about you, he writes, however strong the castle may be, if a treacherous party resides on the inside the castle cannot be kept safe from the enemy. The truth is, traders occupy our own hearts, ready to side with every temptation and to surrender to the mall, John Bunyan, another English preacher who lived in the same time as John Owen in the mid-1600s put the truth into an allegory were Diablo's would battle against the city of man's soul attacking one of the five gates send as long as the gates remain closed. Each gate related one of man's sentences man would refuse to open one of the gates his city would be kept safe. It is true, isn't it the greatest traitor to our spiritual health and well-being. The person who will sell us out to the enemy the tempter the one who will betray us by opening the doors the hearts of our castle cities is the same person who stared back at us. We looked in the mirror this morning.
The appetites of our flesh. Paul refers to as the God of the human belly.
Philippians 319 God of our appetites.
Those indulgences and sinful desires. The pride of our hearts those desires and dreams that would violate the will and desire of God, the lust of our eyes.
These are all traders living within the castle walls of our own hearts and we will betray us all. Whatever you do will follow you.
It will find you and will hunt you down.
That is the deception of sin that will not find you out. Truth is, will I came across commercial posts on MSNBC.
The of greeting cards that is now hitting the market for an untapped market of people you can believe that people who are involved in adultery. It's called the secret lover collection and it is and I quote committed to providing the greeting card collection with empathy and understanding without judgment. The people involved in the secret relationship. Imagine that these cards will be displayed under labels like love expressions and card messages will include romanticizing for Christmas time allotted time for Christmas and reads, and I quote as we celebrate with our families. I will be thinking of you imagine the horror bound up in those sentiments for everyone involved. The gates of the castle which is open to the enemy by the traitor within and sin which comes in hidden within that Trojan horse will be absolutely merciless writer of Hebrews referred to sin is the passing pleasures of sin. Hebrews chapter 11 verse 25 and we often think of that as meaning well the pleasures are there but it is going to pass away that enough so it would mean he could be, meaning that the pleasures of sin don't pass away. They literally pass into something else. They pass into guilt.
They pass into despair into sickness into slavery into sorrow into death, they will pass into something and they will not fulfill with a promise to bring. I don't think any writer ever illustrated the Lord of sin and the promise that it gives a freedom and delight and satisfaction.
CS Lewis a couple of instances.
I'll share with you is a subtle backup type of story or two.
Okay, get ready to open your Bibles the Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis illustrated in living color, tantalizing powers of evil and promises that would never come true. The lion the witch and the wardrobe for one in that story you have Edmund one of the four children.
He found his way through the wardrobe and into the Winterland of Narnia. He finds himself alone and rather unexpectedly. There he hears vowels and eventually sees a woman approaching the sleigh. The writer says that he is stunned by her beauty, her pale complexion, her red lips and the luxurious white fur garments that she is wearing at first. Lewis writes that Edmund is a little alarmed by the coldness in her expression, but then she offers him a warm drink which he finds that he is human and then asks him what his favorite thing to eat was to which he responded Turkish delight and instantly she created a beautiful round box tied with a green silk ribbon which Edmund opened and found inside several pounds of Turkish delight which was more delicious than any other he had ever eaten heat digs into the box will sit down like some of us with a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts might act and while he is washing it down. He tells the Queen whatever she wants to hear. He betrays his brother and his sisters, and that tells her all about them. And of course the wicked Queen wants Edmund DeLauro, his brother and two sisters back to Narnia so that she can kill them all, thus eliminating the threat to her rule, which according to ancient legend could only be overthrown by four human sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, so the Queen entices Edmund with the promise that if he brings his siblings back to Narnia and delivers them to her. He will not only become her friends, he will become the king of Narnia and along the way.
By the way she mentions he will have all the Turkish delight he could ever ask for the story to the time when he does indeed betray them. He returns to the clean and tells her where she can find them and then you discover in that insightful moment when he asks her to fulfill her promise and give him Turkish delight.
She instead gives him a piece of dry bread how classic what a picture of the devil who will never keep his bargain. He never delivers on his promises. That's why the description of Narnia under the rule of the which you read that classic line from CS Lewis that it is always wins her. Never what never Christmas. What a fascinating thought, and on what I want a terrible thing. The children and out always winter. Colby got to be indoors. You can be outdoors at its winter and it's cold and barren but never gets the crisp never joy never laughter never lights, never gifts, let me mention quickly. One more scene from another one of his tales in the magician's nephew after Azlan the great lion who courses you know serves as the picture illustration of Christ. He tells young degree to go to the top of the hill and on the top of that hill, surrounded by Golden Gates. He will find an apple tree, and he is to bring Azlan at Apple, but he is told that he cannot eat one for himself or the apples never to be taken for yourself. So he is commanded to bring him one of these these apples would provide immortality of health and healing. Following Azlan's instructions degree travels to the hill on a flying horse. He discovers the Golden gate and a silver sign that further warns him that apples must never be eaten for oneself. They are intended for others to eat one for yourself will be considered stealing but with vigor he stands before that tree. The delicious smell overwhelms him. It's been a long while since he's eaten in his mouth begins to water and his hunger intensifies and he longs to taste the fruit and he tries to convince himself that would be all right saying why.
What possible harm could there be an eating one for myself. He resisted the temptation and plucked one.
The silver Apple only tucked it into his coat, but when he turned back to leave. He came face-to-face with the white which her mouth. Lewis writes, was stained with dark traces of juice from the Apple core. She tossed aside the runs from her living read CS Lewis's own script. Why do you run from me. I mean you no harm.
If you do not stop and listen to me now you will miss some knowledge that would have made you happy all your life. Well, I want to hear it. Thanks that degree, but really did I know what areas you have come on, continue to which you have plucked fruit in the garden yonder you have it in your pocket now and you are going to carry it back on.
Tasted to the lien for him to eat for him to use you simpleton do you know what that fruit is. I will tell you it is the apple of youth, the apple of life. I know Brian tasted it and I feel already. Such changes in myself that I know I shall never grow old or die eat it away needed and you and I will both live forever as king and queen of this whole sound familiar, well then turn to the text where something similar really happened. Genesis chapter 3. Following the creation of mankind.
We now discover the corruption of mankind's heart. The presence of sin. Let's see it with fresh eyes today and learn what we can from this encounter in Genesis chapter 3 Adam and he will face the enticement of the evil one. His mouth is already stained with the dark juices of defiance and rebellion before we dig into the scene you need to understand the tree in the garden is not been placed there to attempt them as much as it has been there to testify, not so much to tempt them to sin, but to testify of their surrender to the sovereign control of God because isn't that basically what sin strikes at sin is really a statement that you have become convinced that what you want is better than what God is delivering that what you need is more important than what God offers, that what you feel is superior to what God allows that what you and I decide is actually more clever than what God has directed sin is ultimately a statement of insurrection. We know better than God what is God no into the innocence of fresh creation.
The satanically embodied serpent delivers these first words of testing.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord got it made. He evidently embodied by Satan said to the woman.
Indeed, has God said, you shall not eat from any tree of the garden has God really said Eve you can't eat from any tree. Did he really say that you know you can be sure you were there when he said that's true she wasn't. She had been created. Yet God delivered the truth to Adam he may have repeated to Eve. The prohibition we know certainly that at least Adam did, because she could quote most of it back or the words that she didn't tamper with this is one of the subtleties of this of this temptation. If you can get Eve to act independently of Adam if he can get her to question the word that came from him.
Maybe he can get her to deny and disobey the word that came from God. He did God really say that. Can you really be sure you got it right doesn't make sense to me. One of his tactics from this day forward our own day is to put a? What God has placed.
God really say that what she should have done is told Satan you know to hold the phone and call for right but she doesn't. She actually entered into a dialogue and and sort of loosely paraphrases the prohibition of God. She says well are not supposed to eat from the tree in the middle of garden. Not even not even allowed to touch it. And therein lies the subtle implication of a growing frustration. God never said you couldn't touch it or look at it. Just don't need it.
How like Eve. We are just before we open the gates of our castle hearts to the enemy.
We focus not on what we have every other tree in the garden, but what we don't have that one we focus not on what we can do but on what we can't do, not all that we have been given to enjoy but what we can't enjoy that one tree.
We can even touch it, lest we die. And at that moment Satan knew he had the upper hand and he sends the subtlety of her implication and he moves from doubt to deny all look at verse four and the serpent said to the woman, you surely shall not die, for the first moment in this perfect history and perfect environment and beautiful arrangement. Someone has honored the unthinkable God is telling a lie. Surely this must've been shocking to Eve but no word from Eva level. How dare you suggest that God my creator is lying to me. None of that, just silence and and now I imagine that you would if you were there you could see a subtle smile with serpents can smile creased the corners of this dark stain mouth. He will move from spreading doubt in stating denial of the speaking out of sheer delusion verse five for God knows Eve listen God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes are going to be open, you will be like God, knowing good and evil. See he is not only calling God a liar but he now was even further to attribute to God. Evil motive and selfishness. Eve the reason God doesn't want you to eat that fruit is because you're gonna become God to do it and he doesn't want any other gods in the universe. He is jealous about his turf which he is seeking to protect these envious of his throne at his heart.
He is a coward said were the lion only wants the silver apples for himself.
You don't want you to taste it.
It will give you what he alone has special knowledge. Listen to me and I will give you all the Turkish delight you will ever want. Instead of running Eve studies the tree for six. She stood there looking saw some observations tree was good for food. How did she know that the Bible doesn't tell us. We can only surmise that she knew what was good for food because she saw someone needed.
Maybe the serpent himself greatly reached and took an apple or whatever the fruit was to the bite serpent and fall over and die. She's observing than the this is good for food. This is the lust of the flesh. In other words, what could be wrong with anything that my body seems to enjoy what could be wrong with something. My body wants if my body says it's a good thing. How could it be wrong. Look further she saw that it was a delight to the eyes. It was beautiful.
It had an appeal to her motion not only the lust of the flesh is engaged but now the lust of the eyes. How can something be wrong when it seems so right.
I think that would be put into a best-selling song. Didn't God create that fruit to God, create something like that would be good for me and it's beautiful and I will smelled good to further she sees that the tree was desirable to make one wise. This is the pride of life.
How can it be wrong when it seems reasonable and logical, and she convinces herself as she reaches for the silver fruit as she digs into her Turkish delight in the serpent years away as she stands independently of her God, her creator and says I know better than the word of God. It's everything you have verse six.
The middle part so she gave some to Adam that he aided to the greater sin rest with him. He was not deceived, he knew full well what it would mean that he blatantly chose companionship with Eve over fellowship with God, and there they stand in this perfect creation in this beautiful scene now corrected winter begins to send all needed and they make three discoveries leading them to quickly number one they discover physical shame whenever seven then the eyes of both of them are open. Hey, Satan was telling the truth well sort of, kind of. Their eyes were opened only, not to what he implied that they would be open to great the light and joy and and wisdom. They're open to what they know now that they are naked. What's wrong with that. They haven't owned any clothing. Up to this point they've been making since the day they were created will be wrong with being naked. Let me remind you that when God is described by the psalmist someone for verse two is described as being clothed with a garment of light when Jesus Christ and his transfiguration shown with a brilliant light that was the observable characteristic of his body in Matthew chapter 17 when Moses spent time in the presence of the glory of God to remember that his face shone so brightly he had to cover it with a veil whenever he went out for Exodus 34 verse 35. I agree with John Phillips and others that Adam and Eve having been in the presence of God. From the moment of their creation. If you could see them. They were covered as it were, with light shone, and when they send as it were, the light went out. The death of their spirit that now must be made alive or quickened Ephesians to buy Christ's atoning work. It was extinguished and their physical bodies displayed now prominence that immediately reveal the money that something was different, something was lost. No doubt in my mind the light was gone. We are naked we are uncovered so the first thing they did was they tried to cover themselves back up proves even further to me that they lost their original covering and in that act, they discovered, as it were, number two, self-made religion not only shame but religion. The latter part of her seven informed her that I believe so fig leaves together to where this is what I like to think of as the first religious act in human history with its fix things up. Is this something to cover our shame and our guilt. I now let's do something religious.
God will come later. As you know, when death will occur for the first time in human history. In this wonderful garden as he takes innocent animals and kills them and fashions their skins that he then presents as coverings for Adam and Eve teaching them at that moment. The basic principle of atonement for sin.
The taking of an innocent life to atone for the sins of the guilty. This is the picture of the coming Lamb who will die for the sins of the world. First onto to the Redeemer of mankind. In Genesis 315 will very soon promise you will come and literally crush the head of the serpent. Gentlemen, your presence here may be nothing more or less than a fig leaf to cover over the guilt that you know was there because you've never exposed the nakedness of your sinful heart to God and claim the atoning work of Christ in your hearing.
I just got cover it up in the offering. Thinking by you put in money and I was another fig leaf. You'll go to a study or you might even sing in the car or whatever, but those are Riley Satan said to Eve, you eat this fruit and you will discover who you really are. They aided they discovered who they were, as the enemy and seated the discover chamber discovered religion self-made. Thirdly, they discovered new emotions and never felt before. Emotions of guilt and fear. First time you hear or read of the were afraid find it in verse eight. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, the man of love, hid themselves in the presence of the Lord they hit among the trees of the garden. This was the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden. This is just the sound of his voice. This is the literal sound of God walking a family taking some form that could be seen and sensed and probably embraced and they hear him coming. Now they feel emotions guilt and fear and look at them there running and hiding behind a tree all how paradise has been lost. You know the feeling you have sin that God given sense of fear, guilt, here are Adam and Eve crouching behind the tree trying to keep their fig leaves from rustling, hoping God will not find them and into the wonderful part of the story is that God found them. He did not leave them alone in their guilt and fear. He came seeking he, the truth seeker Jesus and I am come to seek and to save those which were lost.
I thought of us covered over with Liam's hands sticky with Turkish delight mouths staying with stolen apples and he comes and he seeks and he says, delivering the very first question from his lips to humanity.
And I love it. Here's the question in verse nine where are you where are you where are you where are you not know you knew the tree they were hiding behind this is an invitation of a gracious God to come clean to expose self-made effort, guilt and sin before God.
This is the fullest Christmas story. These are words true Chronicle of a fallen world creation, mankind sent the corruption trench condescension of mankind same utterly amazing story of Christmas is the story of God sending a Savior to deal with our sin problem.
Do you know someone who struggling with guilt over sin and doesn't know how to deal with the burden of that guilt. Maybe you have a friend who doesn't acknowledge a sin problem and tries to blame others or hide her guilt and shame. Maybe your struggling personally with the consequences and guilt of pursuing your own desires. We'd like to help you.
This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi a free manuscript of today's message is firstname.lastname@example.org this message is called stolen apples and Turkish delight. It's posted on our website and you can download the free manuscript of this message right there in fact every sermon in the entire wisdom for the heart archive has a manuscript attached to it that you can download free of charge.
You can share it with a friend or habit to read through at your convenience for this series the Chronicles of Christmas. We also have it available as a booklet you'll find that email@example.com or you can call us for information.
Just call us at 86 648 Bible we'd be delighted to talk with you. Well today's message is part two of a three-part series called the Chronicles of Christmas. Stephen will be back tomorrow to finish it up.
I'm Scott Wiley and I invite you to join us at this same time tomorrow for more wisdom for the hearts