SanLo Community, an update for the week of July 14, 2019…
Pastor Eric – The Deception of Sin – Genesis 3:1-15
When we really think about deception and sin that is how Satan works. He takes one little step, another little step, another, and then another step until he’s got us. He finds compromising moments, where he can tempt us, deceive us, and cause us to fall into sin. Sadly, many of Christians can become compromised by Satan's cunning ways, and many people are swallowed up by sin for an eternity separated from God. Let us see the steps Satan takes to deceive us.
Step 1: Satan deceives us to believe “The Devil ain’t that bad but more so He doesn’t exist.” Satan comes in disguise to make us think that He’s really not evil. (Genesis 3:1)
Eve was tempted by Satan, because the serpent’s words find their origin in Satan. In Scripture, we find Satan described as one who masquerades as an angel of light. He appears to be a beautiful being offering blessing, but he offers the complete opposite. He is known as the father and author of lies, and the ruler of the world to make us believe he’s not there.
Step 2: Satan deceives us to question God and believe, “Did God really say that?” Satan causes us to question the Word of God and the goodness of God. (Genesis 3:1-3) Satan’s method was shrewd and calculated. He knew exactly how to tempt Eve and cause her to question God, and how He was holding something back and making her to believe what God had offered her wasn’t extravagance or splendor. Thus, he does the same to us to believe, did God really say that?
Step 3: Satan deceives us to believe, “It won’t really hurt, it’s actually good.” Satan tempts us with, “Don’t believe it’s going to affect you or harm you. There aren’t any deadly consequences. Even better, it’s good for you. You’ll benefit from it.” (Genesis 3:4-6)
This is really the ultimate twist and deception. Satan causes Eve to question the consequences of sin. Satan is eternally trying to weaken the everlasting ramifications of sin, and he downplays the danger of Hell and the judgment of God.
Satan turns it upside-down for Eve saying, “You’ll be like God!!! You will know good and evil. This is what you always wanted and what you always needed.” Satan tempts Eve to believe that somehow she and Adam can have a better life now.
Step 4: Satan deceives us to believe “It’s better to hide.” It’s better to deal with your sin your way and away from others. And if it's really bad, then never tell anyone what you’ve done. Just keep it to yourself. (Genesis 3:7-11)
Now, this is the consequence and result of the sin. When we sin, and we will, Satan tries to deceive us into thinking that it’s better to conceal our sin. Sin causes shame and an eternal separation from a holy and perfect God. We have a broken relationship with the Almighty God of the Universe, deserving hell and death.
That’s why at SANLO - we strive to be a gospel community, not a perfect community, a gospel community meaning a people with struggles, failures, sins; yet focused on the gospel and on Christ who redeems, renews, and rescues us back into relationship with Him and with each other.
That’s why it’s so important to be in a small group and to let your community in. So that when we get stuck, we can help each other get unstuck.
Step 5: Satan deceives us to believe, “It’s not my fault, but your fault.” It’s not my bad, but your bad or something else’s bad. We play the blame game. We don’t take responsibility for ourselves, our thoughts, or actions. (Genesis 3:12-13)
Scripture teaches us to own your responsibility. We have to own it in our marriages, in our relationships, and in the church. Otherwise, the real danger is that we’re letting Satan rule our homes, families, workplaces, and churches.
So, let us own responsibility with a simple “I am sorry. I made a mistake, or please forgive me.” Reflect the same gospel through forgiveness toward someone else. We never know how far a simple sorry can change a life, a relationship, or a church.
The good news - Believe Satan deceives and sin kills but Christ liberates us from deception and death! Believe in the gospel. Come to the confession and commitment that you are a sinner and that you need a Savior, Jesus Christ. It is only through the gospel that we are free from deception and can live a liberated and joyful life in Christ. (Genesis 3:14-15)
There is a tiny glimmer of hope, a spark of light in the darkness of the Fall. In verse 15, He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel, and the offspring of Eve will crush the serpent. The offspring of Eve will eventually be Christ. Christ is and will become the snake crusher. He will conquer Satan, sin, and death.
Throughout the biblical narrative, there has always been this building of a greater and grander story from the Fall. The story of Adam and Eve teaches us the true reality that we are all fallen sinners in need of a Savior, yet out of the ashes of deception and sin, Christ rises up through the cross and the resurrection to redeem and to free us.
In the garden, God was always completely in control to provide a seed, a hope, and a Savior, His very own Son. Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to take away our sin. God’s love was always at the forefront of saving the world even before Adam and Eve’s fall in order that we might be brought back into a right and loving relationship with our God.
So, if you’ve fallen off the track into deception, denied Christ, or you are in a deep and dark place, then believe, you are loved and forgiven by Christ. God bids for you to come to Him, receive His forgiveness, and the blessing of His community, the church.