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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Saturday Evening, September 22, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:6-7).

Arthur W. Pink correctly said that the third chapter of Genesis is one of the most important passages in all the Word of God. Pink said,

It is the “seed-plot of the Bible.” Here are the foundations upon which rest many of the cardinal doctrines of our faith. Here we trace back to their source many of the rivers of divine truth. Here commences the great drama which is being enacted on the stage of human history…Here we find the Divine explanation of the present fallen and ruined condition of [the human] race. Here we learn of the subtle devices of our enemy, the Devil…Here we mark the universal tendency of human nature to cover its own moral shame by a device of man’s own handiwork (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Press, 1981 edition, p. 33).

In our last study of this great chapter we saw how Satan entered the Garden of Eden, indwelling and speaking through the mouth of an as-yet-unjudged serpent. We heard Satan speak to the woman, casting doubt on what God had said to Adam, twisting and distorting the Word God gave, telling her “ye shall not surely die” if you eat the fruit of that one forbidden tree, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

It should be remembered that Satan was already by this time a master of deception. We read in Revelation 12:4,

“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…” (Revelation 12:4).

The meaning of that verse is brought out clearly a few verses later, in Revelation 12:9,

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).

Dr. Henry M. Morris said,

The dragon is here identified with the serpent of Eden (Genesis 3:1)…and as the Devil who tested Jesus [in the wilderness] (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishing, 1995, p. 1448; note on Revelation 12:9).

Satan was cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God, and seeking to take God’s throne (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:13-18). Satan was cast out of Heaven to the earth, where he became

“…the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).

But what about the angels that followed Satan in rebellion against God? Revelation 12:9 says,

“He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).

How many angels rebelled with Satan? How many of them were “cast out with him” to the earth? Revelation 12:4 says,

“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth” (Revelation 12:4).

Dr. Morris said,

These ‘stars of heaven’ are identified as Satan’s angels in Revelation 12:9 (Morris, ibid., p. 1447).

Thus, we believe that one third of the angels in Heaven rebelled with Satan their leader and were cast out onto the earth, becoming the demons Jesus so often encountered in His earthly ministry.

Satan had lied to these angels. Doubtlessly he had used the same sort of lie he presented to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when he said, “Ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). That was undoubtedly the lie that destroyed those angels, “Come with me, and ye shall be as gods.” They believed the Devil’s lie, but they did not “become as gods.” Oh, no! They became monstrous unclean demons, roaming the world in anger, lust and rage!

And just as Satan lied to the angels, by tempting them to sin against God, so he did again when he lied to man. The very idea he had seduced those angels with, which ruined them, was similar to the false idea he used to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Look at Genesis 3:4-5,

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).

I think Satan must have used a similar argument, a similar lie, to bring one third of the angels of Heaven down in that great angelic Fall from their exalted position in Heaven.

And now he brings that lie, and that distortion of the Word of God to our first parents. And, like the angels, our parents in the Garden also believed his lie and became as doomed as were the angels who believed the “Father of lies,” for that is what the Lord Jesus Christ called Satan when He said to the Pharisees,

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

In that verse Jesus told us two important things about Satan: (1) “He was a murderer from the beginning” and (2) He is a liar, and the father of it.”

Satan lied to the angels when he tempted them to follow him. Satan lied to Adam and Eve when he tempted them to eat of the one tree in the Garden which was forbidden.

Satan was “a murderer from the beginning.” Through his lies he “murdered” the angels that followed him, “his angels,” for they were cast out of Heaven to earth, where they await certain doom in Hell fire, “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). “He was a murderer from the beginning,” for not only did he “murder” one third of the angels of Heaven, he also murdered the entire human race by his deception and lies.

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him…” (John 8:44).

Satan destroyed one third of the angels in their Fall. And Satan “murdered” the whole human race by entrapping them in this great sin they committed by defying the living God, and following the Devil to doom in the Fall of man, recorded in our text.

When Adam sinned he was no ordinary human. He was the natural head of the entire human race. As Satan’s rebellion directly affected one third of the angels in Heaven, so Adam’s rebellion and sin in the Fall also had great consequences for others. The entire human race fell in Adam as their natural head. An old Puritan textbook for children correctly said, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” By believing Satan’s lie, and eating the forbidden fruit, Adam brought death to all his progeny – to the whole human race. As the Apostle Paul put it,

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men…” (Romans 5:12).

The effect of Adam’s sin on the human race was immense. Before the Fall, God and man were in fellowship. After the Fall that fellowship ended. They were cut off from God. After the Fall they tried to hide from God.

Before the Fall man was innocent and holy. Adam and Eve had no sin nature. After the Fall they were sinful and ashamed. The Apostle Paul said,

“By one man sin entered into the world” (Romans 5:12).

That verse does not say “sins” entered the world. It says “sin.” Adam did not bring sin into the world by setting a bad example. His act of sin brought about a change in his very nature. His very heart became depraved.

Before the Fall man could have eaten of the Tree of Life and lived forever (Genesis 2:9; 3:22). After the Fall the death of the body became part of the penalty for Adam’s sin. Romans 5:12 says,

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…” (Romans 5:12).

This refers to both spiritual and physical death. After Adam sinned, God said,

“…for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”
      (Genesis 3:19).

Thus, physical as well as spiritual death is the result of Adam’s sin.

As a result of the Fall, sin became universal in mankind. All men are now born with a sinful nature, inherited from Adam, the natural head of the human race.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

The basic sin-nature of fallen man is given throughout the Bible.

“There is no man that sinneth not” (I Kings 8:46).

“In thy sight shall no man living be justified” (Psalm 143:2).

“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

“Ye then, being evil” (Luke 11:13).

“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).

“That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (I John 1:8).

We believe that Adam’s sin was imputed to all of his posterity, that is, to the whole human race. Because of the organic unity of mankind, God imputes the sin of Adam immediately to all his offspring. Thus, the nature that all men now possess is the same depraved nature possessed by Adam after the Fall. According to Romans 5:12 death (both spiritual and physical) passed down to all men, because all sinned in Adam, their natural head.

This is what we mean by the “Total Depravity” of mankind. It means that man in his naturally depraved state, has no true love for God. It means that he prefers himself to God, that he loves himself more than his Creator. Total Depravity also means that every man in his natural state has a dislike of God, a repulsion or aversion toward Him, and is against Him.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7).

The “carnal mind” refers to “a man not regenerate,” not born again (The Geneva Bible, 1599, note on Romans 8:7).

Thus, the Fall of Adam, in Genesis chapter three, has a direct effect on you. Whether you were raised in the church or not, you have received a nature that has an aversion to God in Christ, inherited from your forefather Adam. Nothing you think, learn or do can reverse your inherited inner corruption. Therefore, salvation must come from an “alien” source, from a source completely outside yourself. And that source is God Himself. God must awaken you to your inner depravity. God must wither your false ideas of salvation, and convince you of your inner depravity. God must draw you to Christ, for both cleansing and the creation of the new birth within you. Because of Adam’s sin, no one but Christ, the “last Adam,” can save you. That is salvation by grace alone, through Christ alone. That is what we believe and preach. May you come to Christ and be converted soon!

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