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Adam and Eve
ate an apple
and the whole world was screwed.
Why was the whole world from then on subjected to the consequences of their single sin?
They sinned because they were deceived by the serpent into believing something that was absolutely not true.
They believed the big lie, which continues to disturb and destroy humanity today.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field
that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman,
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent,
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
3 but God said,
‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden,
neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
4 But the serpent said to the woman,
“You will not surely die.
5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
I would guess that you have heard more than a few sermons from this passage of scripture.
Most of those sermons were probably used to show how the devil deceives us.
I have preached a few of those myself in the past and today will be no different.
However, before you turn me off and go to sleep, I want you to know that what I will be sharing with you today is not the same as you have heard before.
Hopefully, I can take you to the heart of the matter so that any possible deception in the future is rendered futile.
When we get sick, there can be many symptoms associated with whatever is ailing us.
The symptoms can make us quite uncomfortable, so we attack the symptoms.
We dry up the runny nose, or we take away the pain of the headache.
All the while, whatever is causing those symptoms goes untreated.
Once we discover what is causing the symptoms, we are able to attack the source and experience healing.
That is what I hope to help you with today—remove the cause of our sickness.
Our sickness is due to a disease called sin.
We have always thought that Adam & Eve sinned by eating the apple.
Eating that piece of fruit—whatever kind of fruit it was—was only a symptom of the disease they had acquired just moments before.
Have you ever had someone come up to you and say, “Hey…oops, I thought you were somebody else.”?
Maybe you have done that yourself. I know I have more than once.
That is a case of mistaken identity—thinking the person is someone else.
This also happens to us as individuals when we make a mistake about who we are.
When we forget who we are, when we mistake our identity for someone else, it is because our foundation is being shaken.
Our English word “foundation” has many different meanings or uses.
Women use a foundation of a colored cream, powder, or liquid as a base to even out facial skin tone before applying other cosmetics.
We have foundations established to help some group of people usually with health or money.
The most common understanding of foundation, though, is that of a building.
We know that a good foundation is necessary for a building to be able to stand up in a storm or earthquake.
There is also the idea of foundational instruction.
For instance, in math the fundamentals of addition and subtraction must be mastered before one attempts to solve a quadratic equation in algebra.
The word foundation shows up 80 times in the Bible including its plural form.
Most often it is referring to the foundation of a building and a couple of times it refers to the foundations of the earth itself.
One verse that many people remember is found in Ps. 11.
if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Once a foundation is destroyed, the whole building will fall. And if we do not have a good foundation for our faith, then our faith may crumble and be destroyed.
We do not want that, do we? We want our faith to be strong and to be a testimony for Jesus.
Therefore, we must make sure that we are building a good, solid, and strong foundation for our faith. The apostle Paul says that very thing in his letter to the church in Corinth.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation,
and someone else is building upon it.
Let each one take care how he builds upon it.
1 Cor. 3:10
Paul is saying here that he built a solid foundation. And anything built on top of that foundation had better be just as good. Then, in the next verse, Paul tells us what that foundation is.
For no one can lay a foundation
other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
Do you see that? Do you see how important it is that we have a right foundation? Our foundation is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Therefore, we are faced with a very important question—What does it mean that Jesus is our foundation?
It means that we must learn and know everything we can about Jesus.
We must know who He is, who He was, what He did, and why He did it.
And we learn these things from the Gospels and from Paul’s letters to the different churches.
The four gospels in the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
They each tell the story of Jesus’ life while He was on earth. Paul’s letters tell us what His life means to us.
The word gospel means good news. The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news, and Paul tells us exactly what that good news is.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures,
1 Cor. 15:3-4
There it is.
That is the Gospel in its purest and simplest form. Jesus died. Jesus was buried. Jesus was raised from the dead.
And all this was just as the scriptures had predicted.
So, what does it mean that Jesus died for our sins? In order to answer that question, we must first find out what sin is. Sin is not the bad things you do.
SIN is not the bad things you do.
I will say that again. Sin is NOT the bad things that you do.
We have been told that sin is all the bad things we do, like murder, adultery, drunkenness, lying, and such things. But those things are really only the symptoms of sin.
Paul hints at this truth in his letter to the Romans.
So now it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells within me. …
Now if I do what I do not want,
it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells within me.
Rom 7:17, 20
He says that sin is something that lives within his being, not the actions he does.
Our actions are symptoms of what is within.
That is also what Jesus said.
For from within, out of the heart of man,
come evil thoughts, sexual immorality,
theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness,
deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying.
Those actions are wrong. They are deadly to our faith; but sin is something much deeper than just our actions which we think are bad.
Let me give you a definition of sin. The Greek word for sin is used as a term in archery, of shooting with a bow and arrow. It means to miss the target.
Even before that time, though, the word meant a lack or failure in understanding.
And that is exactly what we discover when we read about the first sin in the Bible.
We have been told that Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
We were told that because we have always thought that sin was the act of doing something wrong.
But let’s look a little more closely at that story.
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God,
knowing good and evil.”
Oh, brothers and sisters, PAY ATTENTION!!
The devil said to Eve “you will be like God.”
That was an absolute lie, because they were already like God!
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Do you see that?!?
They were already like God.
They had been created in God’s image.
But the devil said they would become like God if they ate from the tree.
That was the big lie.
The devil made them doubt who they really were.
When he makes you forget who you really are, you end up doing things that are hurtful to you, because that is not who you are.
In many countries, it is possible for a child to bring shame on the father and on the family name by doing things that are contrary to the good image the father wants for his family.
You bring shame on your family when you do something that is against what your family believes and stands for. If you bring that kind of shame on your family they may reject you and kick you out of the family. For some, it could even mean death.
This often happens for Muslims and Jews if a family member becomes a Christian.
The devil made Adam and Eve doubt who they truly were.
They were already in the image of God, but he said they could become like God.
This is very important and I want you to be able to see this.
SIN = Mistaken Identity
Sin is having the disease of a mistaken identity—of forgetting who we are.
When we sin, when we do things that are wrong, we are doing them because we have forgotten who we are, whom we belong to.
You were created in the image of God to be just like Him. Whenever you doubt that and do something that is against His image, the image of His family, you bring shame on yourself and on the family of God.
So, in conclusion, what we need to know is that sin is not what we do, but what we fail to believe.
It is a case of mistaken identity.
We forget who we are for the moment and do something stupid.
You are a child of God.
You were created in His image.
You are just like Him.
And don’t you forget it!!
Whenever we DO forget, we end up trying to hide ourselves from God as Adam did in the garden.
Thankfully, though, the grace of God comes shining through as He continues to call your name so that you will awaken once again to who you really are.
Don Francisco wrote a song to that effect a few decades ago. Listen to it here.