Monday, December 17, 2018

2018.12.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 3:1-6

Questions for Littles: Who was more cunning than any beast of the field (v1)? To whom did the serpent speak? Whose words did the serpent question? How did the serpent change God’s words (v1, cf. 2:16)? Who answered the serpent (v2)? How does she change God’s words (v3b, cf. 2:17a)? How does the serpent change God’s words in v4 (cf 2:17b)? What did the serpent say that God knew in v5? What three things did the woman see about the fruit in v6? What did she do about that for herself? Who was with her? What did she proceed to do with the fruit? What did he do with it?
In the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we see the folly of false spirituality. The woman did not give in to the temptation to consider God to be stingy. She flat out corrected the serpent on that. And of course she could see that the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eyes. But that wasn’t new or different.

What had changed? Why did she decide to eat the fruit? 1Timothy 2:14 helps us understand what happened. There, we learn that Adam knew that he was doing wrong (he was not deceived), but his wife did not (the woman was deceived).

Looking at our Scripture with this in mind, we see how the serpent changed his tactic. He couldn’t convince her to rebel against God directly, so He convinced her that she was really obeying God. “You will be like God,” said the serpent. And, of course, this was exactly what she was created to be: in the image of God.

However, she allowed herself to be convinced that God had left it to her to figure out how to do that. Sure, He had brought her to her husband as soon as she was created. He had previously given her husband instructions for her. He had commanded her to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion.

But this seemed pretty exciting. Would she be willing to risk her life to fulfill her calling to be like God?

It’s a very deceptive temptation. Churches are full of believers who sincerely love God, but all of those ordinary things that God has given us to do just don’t seem to be the expressions of love that they are looking for.

We might be lazy, skip work or school to “minister,” and call it “trusting God for finances.” We might try to worship in a more “inspiring” or spectacular way than the plan reading, praying, singing, and preaching of God’s Word. We might come up with doctrines or practices that the world finds more acceptable and convince ourselves that we are being “winsome for the Lord” rather than unfaithful to His Word. We might delve into meditation techniques or man-made rituals that we’re convinced make us feel closer to God.
What kinds of spiritual things do you get excited about? How do you know/learn what God calls you to do for worship, for growing in Christ, for ministry? Whom has God given you to help you identify deceptive temptations? 
Suggested Songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

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