The Beginning and Effect of Sin
Dr. Joe Temple

Will you open your Bibles, please, to the book of Genesis, chapter 3. We have been studying the book of Genesis chapter by chapter and verse by verse because we do want to get as much of the truth as we can.

We gave you several divisions of the book which are introduced with the words which we find in chapter 2, verse 4. These words are repeated nine times over: “These are the generations.” Then we are told what is going to come in the succeeding chapters.

Genesis 2:

4These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

This first portion of the book of Genesis continues through the last verse of chapter 4. We make mention of that in order that you may see where we are in our study.

Sin Enters the Human Race

We want now to consider the introduction of sin into the human race. Will you notice what I said, please: the introduction of sin into the human race…not the introduction of sin into the earth. Sin was introduced into the earth, you remember, between verses 1 and 2 of chapter. 1.

When we began our study of the book of Genesis, we took you to Isaiah 14, to Ezekiel 28, and to Luke 10. Examining those passages of Scripture in the light of the first two verses of Genesis 1, we discovered that sin entered the earth when Satan aspired to usurp the throne of God and was cast down to the earth as a result. Though sin had entered the earth, sin had not entered the human race until the events which are presented to us in this chapter.

We are going to read along in the chapter, making comments as we go, and noticing a number of things which should be of real interest to us.

Genesis 3:

1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5For 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.
6And 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.
7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

We will stop our reading there. That is not the end of the story, as you realize by glancing at the chapter, but that is far enough for us to read to enunciate some facts that we need to have for our foundation if we are going to understand how sin actually entered the human race.

Satan Uses the Serpent

The first thing I would like to call to your attention is the instrument of the introduction of sin: the serpent. You will notice he is mentioned in Genesis 3:1. The first thing I would like to emphasize to you is that this is a serpent. It is not a figure of speech. It is not an idea. It is an actual creature…a serpent, an animal, a member of the animal kingdom.

Notice what is said about the serpent in this first verse. “He was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.”

Created Form of the Serpent

The word subtil comes from the original word in Hebrew which includes not only the idea of wisdom and slyness, as we would say today, but also of beauty, because the serpent was among the highest of God's animal creatures. He was beautiful, attactive, and wise…not the slimy creature that you see today. That is a result of the curse.

Furthermore, the serpent had the ability to converse with man. If you stop to consider everything that is involved in this text, you will find that that is true. It is significant, I think, that the word serpent in Hebrew means whisperer , and it would seem from the story recorded here that this is exactly what the serpent did. He whispered these things in a very sly way to Eve when sin was introduced into the earth.

Turn, please, to Revelation 20, and notice a verse of Scripture which will emphasize to you something that I certainly want you to realize. I do not want you to suggest that I am introducing the idea that sin and the temptation to sin were made possible by an animal. That is not true.

I am making this emphasis because there seems to be belief today on the part of some people that everything in the book of Genesis is figurative and allegorical, not literal and real. The serpent was very real.

If you will notice in Revelation 20:1, John said:

Revelation 20:

1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Going back to Genesis 3, we recognize that the serpent is the Devil personified. You say, “What do you mean by that? You mean that the Devil literally entered into the serpent, took possession of him, occupied his body, made use of all his capabilities while tempting Adam and Eve?”

I mean just that. Someone may say, “Well, is it possible for the Devil to enter someone? Is it possible for the Devil to take possession of a body and to use it for his own ends?” That is true.

Satan Uses Men's Bodies

If you will turn with me to Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, you will realize that that is possible. It is very plainly declared that the Devil is able to possess not only the body of a serpent and to use it for his own ends, it is possible for the Devil to possess the body of a human being as well and to use it for his own ends. If you will look with me at II Corinthians 11:13, you will notice that this is true:

II Corinthians 11:

13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

You will notice verse 14:

II Corinthians 11:

14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Go back to Genesis 3 as I remind you that when the serpent, or the Devil, appeared to Eve, he did not appear with a forked tail and horns and hoofs and with fire blazing out of his nose. He appeared as an angel of light, a creature so attractive that Eve was quite willing to listen to his conversation. He spoke with such a soft and alluring voice that she heard all that he had to say before she realized the damage that was being done.

Threefold Foundation of False Doctrine

Hear me. Eve's sin did not begin when she ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That was the climax. It began when she listened to the first whisper of Satan. I want you to notice what he whispered to her, because in the three things that he whispered to her is the foundation of all false doctrine and all error in any age whatsoever.

Causing Doubts Concerning God's Word

Notice in chapter 3, verse 1. “He said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

That is the first thing he said: “Eve, did I hear right? Did God say that you should not eat of every tree of the garden? Surely God did not say that.”

The first thing he did was to place doubt about the Word of God in the mind of Eve, because God had said, “Thou shalt do so-and-so, and thou shalt not do so-and-so.” So he said, “Hath God said?” That is typical of the Devil today. When he wants you to lose your faith, he begins by saying, “Well, now, does the Bible really say that? Surely it does not say that. Does it really say that?” Of course the doubt that the Devil plants in our minds is not an honest doubt, because the Devil knows what God has said.

The only way that Adam and Eve had to live was on the fruit of the trees of the garden. If God had really said, “You cannot eat of any tree, any of the fruit at all,” then they would have died. That is just how foolish doubts are, but we are prone to yield to them.

Contradicting God's Word

The Devil said, “Yea, hath God said?” And notice in verse 2 what the woman said:

Genesis 3:

2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

That is the second thing the Devil said in the temptation of Eve. First, “Did God really say that?” And then, “Oh, you really will not die just from eating a piece of fruit. You shall not surely die.”

You see how he is planting doubt in the Word of God? That is the way it is today. The Devil says, “You do not really believe there is a Hell, do you? God is really not going to send you to Hell. You do not really think that the only way of salvation is by the finished work of Christ? You do not really mean to say God would let people go to Hell if they did not hear about Jesus Christ? Surely not that.” You see how the doubt keeps coming over and over.

Appealing To Personal Ambition

Notice verse 5. This is the Devil still talking:

Genesis 3:

5For 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.

That is the third thing the Devil did. He is using the same tactics today. What he said to Eve was, “Eve, oh, I do not want to suggest this about God. I know that God is holy, and I know God is good,” the Devil said, “and I know that God loves you, and I know that God is kind. But, Eve, have you ever stopped to think that God does not want you to have a good time? God does not want you to enjoy things. Did you ever stop to think about it, Eve? God is really depriving you of something that will do you a whole lot of good. He wants to keep you in ignorance. He wants to keep you underfoot. God does not really want you to enjoy life.”

The Devil is still doing that today. He is still planting in the minds of people the idea that God robs us of our freedom when we come to know him.

Sin of Adding to God's Word

What was the response of Eve? Her response was threefold, too, and in the response of Eve, as well as in the whisper of the Devil, are the roots of so-called modernism today. I do not like that term modernism , because it is as old as the Garden of Eden. It might better be termed liberalism . But here are the roots of it.

You will notice verse 2:

Genesis 3:

2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

“Devil, you are wrong. Serpent, you are wrong. We are allowed to eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.” She was that honest. But now notice the next verse:

Genesis 3:

3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

When Eve gave the serpent that answer, she did three things to the Word of God that liberalists do today. I keep referring to the Word of God, because this vocal Word of God gives the permissions and prohibitions that God gave to Adam and Eve when He placed them in the garden. Eve was repeating the Word of God, but she was adding to it, and in so doing she lied about God. In verse 3:

Genesis 3:

3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

God did not say that. God did not say, “You cannot touch this tree.” She added to the Word of God. That is exactly what people do today who want to undermine your faith. They add to the Word of God. God had said absolutely nothing about touching the tree. He said, “There it is in the midst of the garden. Do not eat of it.” But she added to His words and said, “He would not even allow us to touch it.” You see, the seeds of rebellion were already arising in her heart.

Sin of Watering Down God's Word

And then she changed the Word of God. Look at this 3rd verse:

Genesis 3:

3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

I repeat. She changed the Word of God. If you will go back to what God said about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will see exactly how she changed the Word. Look at Genesis 2:17:

Genesis 2:

17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

You see what He said. Eve said, “God said that we cannot eat of it because if we do eat of it we might die.” That is not what God said. God said, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

There is a tremendous difference between lest and surely . Lest denotes a possibility. Surely denotes an irrevocable fact. God said, “If you eat of the tree, thou shalt surely die.” She watered the Word of God down a little bit and made it a little bit lighter than it actually was. She said that God said, “You might die.” Somehow you might escape from it. After all, God is merciful. God is loving. God is understanding. After all, there are extenuating circumstances. She watered it down until there was no meaning to it at all.

Sin of Leaving Out Part of God's Word

The third thing that she did is suggested by this same statement. She left out a part of God's Word. By leaving out the word surely , she completely changed the complexion of the situation. She completely changed the color of the picture.

Adding to Scripture Makes False Cult

Listen carefully to what I am saying. Every false cult is guilty of these three things. Without offense to friend or foe, we sketch these things as they go, if I may paraphrase a statement we see in the paper every day. What is Christian Science but the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's Key to the Scriptures ? What is Mormonism but the Bible and the so-called golden plates of Joseph Smith? What is Seventh Day Adventism but the Bible and the writings of Ellen White? What is Catholicism but the Bible and the pronouncements of the Pope that are additions to the Scripture?

What I am about to say may not be pleasant. You know, we do not mind criticizing folk when we do not happen to be associated with them. But let me issue this warning to those of us who consider ourselves orthodox, and who do not think of ourselves as being associated with false cults. When any church or religious organization promulgates a creed, regardless of how much Scripture it has attached to it, which you have to accept, and which adds things to the Bible that are not in the Bible, it is just as bad as any false cult that you could think about.

It is easy for us to talk about Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy and to think that we would not want to be associated with Christian Science, when we may be just as bad off in other associations. Let us keep that in mind.

Changing the Scripture

When people add to the Word of God, it presents problems, because they run across passages of Scripture which do not fit into the addition. There are passages of Scripture which do not fit into the Key to the Scriptures . There are passages of Scripture which do not fit into the pronouncements of the Pope. There is only one thing they can do when that happens, and that is to change the Scripture to say what it really does not mean. Instead of a serpent's being a serpent, the serpent is an evil idea. Instead of Heaven's being a place, Heaven is a state. Instead of sin's being an act, it is an idea of the mind. They change the Scriptures.

Leaving Out Part of Scripture

Then, of course, they come to an insurmountable problem because they cannot escape it. There are some Scriptures so specific that you cannot spiritualize them. There they are…black is black and white is white…and you cannot make it a dull gray, no matter how much you twist it. All you can say is, “Well, it should not be there,” so you leave it out. And that is what Eve did when she responded to the temptation of the serpent.

I said to you when we began our discussion that Eve's sin began not when she plucked the fruit, but when she listened to the whisper of Satan. All her guards were down now, and she was wide open. There was no reason in the world why she could not yield to temptation, and she did. If you will look at verse 6:

Genesis 3:

6And 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.

In this verse is presented the whole tamptation of Eve. You will notice what I am saying. Adam was not tempted. Adam sinned deliberately. It was not any struggle for him. Nobody slipped up on the blind side of him, and we will prove that further along in the Scriptures. He sinned. But Eve was tempted, and she was tempted body, soul, and spirit.

Man's Fall - Body, Soul, and Spirit

We have told you already in our discussion of the creation of man that God created man a tripartite being…body, soul, and spirit. He created his body out of the dust of the ground. He breathed into his nostrils the breath, or spirit, of life, and man became a living soul…body, soul, and spirit.

When the Devil planned the temptation of Eve, he planned for the complete fall…not a fall just mentally or emotionally or physically, but the complete fall of body, soul, and spirit.

Notice here in verse 6: “The woman saw that the tree was good for food.” That was an appeal to the physical appetite. And she saw that it was pleasant to the eyes. That was an appeal to the emotions. That was an appeal to the soul, the seat of the emotions. Someone said centuries ago that the eyes are the windows of the soul, and that is true. Then you will notice the third thing: “And a tree to be desired to make one wise.” That was the temptation of the spirit. The spirit is that ability of man to comprehend and to come in contact with God. There is the whole man…body, soul, and spirit. The temptation was there, and Eve swallowed the bait…hook, line, and sinker.

How Man Is Tempted Today

Will you turn, please, to I John, as I remind you of two things. What I have said to you about this being the complete temptation to sin is true, and the Devil from the day that he tempted Eve has not changed his tactics one little bit. There has been no need for him to change. Things have remained the same. In I John 2:15:

I John 2:

15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

No matter what temptation you may face, and no matter what sin you may commit, it will come under one of these catagories, for this is what makes up the possibility of sin.

Turn, please, to the Epistle of James that you may see that that is true, because in the Epistle of James, we are told what makes it possible for man to sin. When you learn what it is, you can guard against it:

James 1:

13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14But every man is tempted, [notice now] when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Look at those words carefully again. “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust”…the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, or the lust of pride. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

Tendency to Sin Remains In Man

Going back to I John 2:15, you find this truth clearer because you recognize that resident within everyone one of us are these desires. There are some people who say that they have had an experience which eliminates these desires from their life, but God says they are liars. It is impossible.

“If a man says he hath no sin” (that is, no sin principle) “he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him.” (I John 1:8). If there is an individual who says, “Well, there was a time when those lusts were in me, and I was very conscious of them, and I yielded to them, but I do not any more,” that man is a liar and God testifies to that. These are the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

When Eve looked at that tree and saw that it was good for food, it literally made her mouth water. When she looked at that tree and saw that it was pleasant to the eye, it stirred her emotions. Her soul was moved within her. And when she looked at that tree and remembered what God had said about it, that she would know good and evil, (remember that the Devil said that there was something God did not want her to know) the desire to become wise appealed to her spirit…the pride of life. She yielded.

We may say, “Well, poor thing! After all, that was the first time anything like that had happened, and maybe she could not help it.” The Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth to dispel that idea forever.

Why Jesus Was Tempted

Will you look with me, please, at Luke 4. The Lord Jesus Christ was the second man (I Cor. 15:47). He was the perfect man. The Word of God tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, yet apart from sin. He was tempted in all points like as we are for two reasons. First, that He might understand our temptations, and second, that He might come to our aid when we are tempted.

It is also true that Adam and Eve in their fallen state needed not to sin. The second purpose for His temptation was to prove that if the Holy Spirit has control of our lives, we need not to sin. I do not want you to think for a moment, because the Word of God does not teach it, that you have to be a slave to sin. The Bible says, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Romans 6:14).

Jesus's Temptation Like the Temptation of Eve

Listen carefully to these words from Luke 4, and see whether you can detect the same method the Devil used with Eve in this portion of the Word:

Luke 4:

1And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
9And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
10For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
11And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
12And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

If you are familiar with thought processes, you will recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted, though the circumstances were different, in exactly the way that Eve was.

Jesus's Temptation Greater Than Eve's

Eve was not hungry. The Lord Jesus Christ was, as He had fasted 40 days before this temptation came about. But you will notice that He was tempted in the same way, as John said in his First Epistle, chapter 3, by the lusts of the flesh. The Devil said to Jesus, “Here are stones; turn them into bread if Thou be the Son of God.” If!

Jesus Was Tempted to Doubt

You see, he was planting a doubt then. The Lord Jesus Christ had been baptized. The Holy Spirit came down like a dove, and the voice from Heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And immediately the Holy Spirit led the Lord Jesus Christ into the wilderness for a period of 40 days fasting.

When He was over the period of fasting, the Devil came to Him, and the first thing he said was, “Well, you talk about that voice, but are you really the Son of God? If thou be the Son of God, then turn these stones into bread.” That was the lust of the flesh, the appetite of the flesh.

Jesus Was Tempted to Achieve Power

Then the Devil took Him upon the high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world…not just the little city of Jerusalem, but all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to the Lord Jesus Christ, “If you will fall down and worship me, I will give you all of these kingdoms.”

Wait just a minute. There are people who do not believe the Word of God, who say the Devil is a liar, and that he could not have done that. He certainly could have. He is the Prince of the Power of the Air, and the kingdoms of this world are delivered into his hands until such time as the Lord Jesus Christ takes charge of them. He could have given them to the Lord Jesus Christ.

You say, “Well, how could that have been a temptation?” It was pleasant to the eye. You see, the Lord Jesus Christ could have received the kingdoms of the world by bowing His knee. He could have received them by simply bending His knees. Isn't that a lot more pleasant than being nailed to a cross? Isn't that a lot more pleasant than suffering everything He suffered before He was crucified? That was the temptation. It was pleasant to the eyes. “Here they are. I will give them to you.”

Jesus Tempted to Get Recognition

Then the Devil took the Lord Jesus Christ up on a pinnacle of the temple. There were a lot of people down below there, and he said, “Why don't you throw yourself down from here? You want people to notice you. You want people to accept you. You want them to acknowledge you as the Son of God. Why don't you throw yourself down?”

And he even bolstered his temptation with the Word of God. I do not know how it started, but I heard somewhere in the early days of my Christian experience, (and before I had any sense, I believed it), that the Devil trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees. That is not true. He will get right down beside you and say, “Amen.” He will even give you some verse of Scripture to quote. That is what he did here.

He said to the Lord Jesus Christ, “Now, you know what the Bible says,” and he quoted Him from Psalm 91: “It is written that he shall give his angels charge over thee. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Psalms 91:11,12).

The Devil said, “Now, Jesus, you know what the Bible says. The Bible says the angels will swoop down underneath you and lift you up. You cannot even stump your big toe. Why be afraid to throw yourself off the pinnacle of the temple?”

Of course, there is only one thing wrong with the way the Devil quotes the Scripture. He never quotes it all. If you have time to turn to that passage of Scripture, you will find that the Devil left out the most important part of it. He did not say, “He will keep thee in all thy ways.” It was not in the plan and purpose of God for the Lord Jesus Christ to cast Himself off the pinnacle of the temple.

I say this reverently, for I do not like to speak facetiously when I am speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ, but if the Lord Jesus Christ had cast Himself off the temple,He would have broken His neck, because that was not God' plan for Him. The angels could have kept Him,and did keep Him when He was within God's plan, but they would not have fooled with Him if He had gotten out of the plan of God. Thank God, He did not.

But the Devil, you see, even quotes Scripture to back up his temptations. Do you know what I have had people rationalize for me? Direct violations of the Word of God. They will say, “Well, I have prayed about it. I have prayed about it,and I feel as if I ought to do it.”

And I say, “What about this passage of Scripture?”

“Well, I have prayed about it, and I think it is all right because I have prayed about it. I do not believe the Lord would let me do it if it were not His will, since I have prayed about it.”

That is the Devil saying, “Amen,” while you are praying in the wrong way. It does not mean anything that you prayed about it if it is contrary to the Word of God. I have had people say to me, “Well, I know that is what you say, but I believe the Bible teaches this,” and they quote half-truths from the Word of God. That is the Devil, whether they realize it or not.

Adam Did Not Have to Sin

The Lord Jesus Christ did not yield to the temptation of the Devil, thank God, though He was the Son of God. There is quite a conflict in theological circles as to whether or not He could have sinned. Personally, I am of the opinion that these temptations were to prove that Adam did not have to sin, and that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Son of God. If He had sinned, He would have not been the Son of God.

But be that as it may, there are certain characteristics of this experience that I would like to pass on to you because I believe that there is every evidence of the way and the means to gain victory over the Devil.

Commanded to Be Spirit Filled

Will you notice in chapter 4 of the Gospel of Luke that the very first thing we are told about the Lord Jesus Christ in this experience is that He was full of the Holy Ghost. He was full of the Holy Spirit. You understand what that means, I trust. In Ephesians 5:18, we have the command addressed to you and me:

Ephesians 5:

18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess [nobody doubts that that is a command, but the last part of the verse is a command as well]; but be filled with the Spirit;

It is the obligation of every child of God to be filled with the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit simply means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The word filled means controlled . That is the reason why on one side of the verse you have a picture of a drunk man, and on the other side of the verse you have a picture of a spirit-filled man. There is a similarity. A drunk man is controlled by intoxicating beverage. A spirit-filled man is controlled by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus Christ was controlled by the Holy Spirit when the Devil made his attack, and that is one of the reasons why He gained the victory. Another reason, I am sure, why the Lord Jesus Christ gained the victory is the reason that should enable us to gain the victory today. He answered the Devil with the Word of God. He said, “It is written.” The Bible tells us that the Word of God is the sword of the believer (Ephesians 6:17). It is sharper than any two-edged sword invented by human hands. It is made of the finest steel, spiritually speaking. Nothing can dent it, and nothing can dull it. We are told that if we use it as a sword, as an offensive weapon, we can put the Devil to flight. “It is written.”

Meeting Temptation In Two Different Ways

You see the difference between the Lord Jesus Christ and Eve? She listened while the Devil whispered in her ear, but the Lord Jesus Christ shouted, “It is written,” and refused to listen to the whisper of what the Devil had to say.

The Bible says, “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you,” (James 4:7). The Lord Jesus Christ did not mince words with the Devil. He recognized him for what he is, and He said, “Get behind me, Satan. I do not want to have anything to do with you.”

But Eve carried on an animated conversation with the Devil. No wonder she fell. And mark what I tell you. If you and I get to the place where we spend time in the Devil's territory, we can expect to have trouble with the Devil. There is no room for that in the life of the child of God.

Usually when I make a statement like that someone says, “Well, how can we know the Word of God? We do not know it.” Listen carefully to what I say, as I say it with all kindness. You may not know the Word of God. You may not know all there is to know about the Word of God, but you are responsible to God for the effort you put forth to know it. If you are not putting forth any effort to know the Word of God, when you stand in the presence of God, you will be speechless under His condemnation.

Disobedience Brings Results

One other thing I would say to you. Turn back with me to Genesis 3:7 for the result of eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil:

Genesis 3:

7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

May I say to you…and listen carefully to what I am saying…that the sin of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil had nothing to do with sex. That is one of the greatest lies that the Devil has foisted upon the human race. It has nothing to do with sex. We are so cluttered and filthy in our thinking because of our fallen nature that every time we see the word naked we relate it to sex and to sin related to sex. That is not what is suggested in this verse. Look at it again:

Genesis 3:

7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Will you look at verse 25 of chapter 2:

Genesis 2:

25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

They were naked all the time they were in the Garden of Eden, but after they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they were ashamed of their nakedness. Why? Will you keep in mind, as I told you when we looked at the creation of Adam and Eve, that they were created in the image of God.

Losing the Glory of God

We examined a number of things which that could mean, and we emphasized one thing that was included. I would like for you to turn with me to Psalm 104 for a moment and notice one of the things that I believe were included when Adam and Eve were created in the image of God:

Psalms 104:

1Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
2Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
3Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
4Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
5Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Look at verse 2:

Psalms 104:

2Who coverest thyself with light…

If we use the word glory for light here, it reads: “Who coverest thyself with glory.” I am going to suggest to you that the reason Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed before they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was that they were clothed with the glory of God. They had nothing to be ashamed of, because their nakedness was covered with His glory.

Will you turn, please, to Romans 3:23. You are familiar with that verse. Many of you have committed it to memory. I believe that when we examine it in the light of what we have just said it becomes more clear:

Romans 3:

23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

For all have sinned and lost the glory of God. That is what happened when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The glory of God which had clothed them was taken away, and they were ashamed. That it was a reference to something that once covered their nakedness will become evident if you will look back at Genesis 3:7, where we read:

Genesis 3:

7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

They did the best they could to cover themselves.

A Picture of Salvation Through Jesus

Though we will have to wait to see this in further detail, I might say to you that the human race has been spending its time ever since in trying to cover itself. By their own efforts, whether it be fig leaves or good works, people have been trying to cover themselves and hide the fact that they have lost the glory of God. But what Adam and Eve did was not good enough, and neither is what we do. Look down at verse 21, after God had dealt with Adam and Eve:

Genesis 3:

21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Their fig leaves were not good enough. They were not sufficient. God had to provide the clothing that would make it possible for them to be acceptable for fellowship with Him. There are three things about this clothing that God provided that I want to pass on to you.

First of all, it was God's work. God did it. That is what is said here. God made for Adam and Eve coats of skins and clothed them.

The second thing I want you to notice is that there had to be a substitute. An animal had to die. There could not have been coats of skins without it. This is the first time death is mentioned in the Bible. An animal had to die. A substitute had to die.

The third thing is that blood had to be shed. That is God's way of salvation. It never changes. What you and I do to make ourselves acceptable to God is unacceptable…as unacceptable as fig leaves. But God Himself, alone, without the aid of human efforts, has provided a way. He has provided a way through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. If any of us are acceptable in the sight of God, we are acceptable because Christ died for our sins, according to the Scripture, and by faith we have accepted the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ as our eternal sacrifice. We have become clothed, not with the filthy rags of our own efforts, but with the righteousness of Christ, and we thank God for that.


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