When we hear the word autopsy we think of one thing, examining a body, internal and external, to answer one or more questions: how did they die, when did death occur, etc. If you look the word up Merriam-Webster agrees and lists this as the 1st definition. The second definition reads as follows…” a critical examination, evaluation, or assessment of someone or something past”. What we are going to do today is more closely related to definition number two.
The thought of watching an autopsy, definition number one, would not be a pleasant thing. An autopsy of sin isn’t going to be pretty either. We know that sin has consequences. Unfortunately we have made bad choices and suffered the consequences for it. In our critical examination we want to answer some questions as well: What was the sin, who did it, why did they do it and what were the consequences? Our “something past” occurs all the way back in Genesis chapter three. The bible describes a temptation, the choice that was made and the consequences for that choice.
Our goal today is to see sin as exceeding sinful and the consequences as too high a price to pay. Romans 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. The goal today is to burn into our conscience that sin is not a trivial matter. We need to see sin as it really is: a detestable vile act with consequences that are destructive.
The serpent tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And no, it was not the apple tree. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil only existed in the Garden of Eden. Once Adam and Eve were driven out that tree was never seen again. Satan, using the form of a serpent, spins half truths, deception and false promises. Eve saw that the tree bore good fruit, it was good looking fruit, and it held the serpent’s promise of wisdom. (It sounded good, it looked good and it promised good things. Sound familiar?) The tree in the garden is an example of free will. God has always given man a free will choice to choose right or wrong. God does not want mindless robots serving Him. (Would you not rather your children obey because of faith and love as opposed to consequences?)
In verse 7, once they had eaten, Adam and Eve saw that they were naked. Let’s look beyond the obvious and see the real implication: they were ashamed. If you have given in to a temptation then you know this to be true. As soon as we fall for Satan’s deception we are immediately aware what we did was wrong. Adam & Eve instantly knew they had sinned. Next they had to face God. Can we get this in our head that our sin will always be exposed? God, or Satan for that matter, will expose our sin openly for all to see. At the very least we are laid bare before our God and we have given Satan something else to bring to our remembrance in the future.
The Blame Game – ‘It’s not my fault’ is not new
The woman you gave me made me do it. (v.12) Can you imagine telling God it was His fault? That is basically what Adam said. Eve, following the lead of Adam, said it was the serpent’s fault.
Some of the consequences for their sin were quickly known: pain in childbearing, nature was changed to bring forth thorns making the effort for food hard work and they would grow old and die. The paradise they enjoyed, including walking with God, was over. They were driven out of paradise. Sin separates us from a Holy God.
Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. Practically speaking we know that leaves will die and crumble after a short period of time. Spiritually speaking Adam and Eve were trying to cover the shame of their sin. In verse 8 Adam and Eve hid themselves when they heard God coming. We cannot fix our sin; only God can cover our sin. In verse 21 God made coverings for Adam and Eve. The wages of sin had left them naked but God didn’t leave them that way. He clothed them with the animal skins. Here we have the shedding of blood of these animals to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. Sin will always cost you more than you want to pay.
The Consequences of Sin
So what were the consequences of this sin? We have already talked about some of the short term effects. What were the long term consequences of this sin? With this one sin corruption entered into the world. Death was pronounced upon all mankind. Man, who had walked with God, is now driven away from the paradise God had created. The ground was cursed so that we must work for a living. Every man and woman to this day has a sin nature traced back to this one event. As it says in Romans 5:12 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:
We cannot hide behind the myth that we are only hurting ourselves. Clearly, from this bible account, the consequences for Adam and Eve’s sin are still with us today. The sin we allow today could destroy those we love later. Do you think I am trying to use scare tactics? David’s sin with Bathsheba destroyed his family.
The first moment of temptation is the critical point: how are we going to handle it? Why not enlist the bible’s store of consequences?
- Lustful Desire: The destruction of David’s family. (The child dies, Amnon rapes Tamar, Absalom kills Amnon and rebels against David, Absalom is killed)
- Pride: God had given Nebuchadnezzar a great kingdom. In Daniel 4:30 he took credit for all God’s blessings. The consequences was the loss of his kingdom and the death of his family
- Pursuit of Riches: The Rich Young Ruler – He said no to salvation.
- The Desire for Power: Miriam and Aaron rise up to challenge Moses.
1John 2:16 For 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.
To be tempted Satan must capture our imagination in some manner. The next time Satan tempts us I have a suggested course of action… Actually it is a simple prayer “Lord, I want to conduct myself in a Christian manner, please help me to honor you.” Now I ask you, “Do you think God will ignore such a prayer”? Of course He will hear but we have to ask before He will answer.