Gospel Hope in the Midst of Sin

Gospel Hope in the Midst of Sin

christ the victor final

Sermon Manuscript for Korean Capital Presbytery of the PCA

Genesis 3:1-24

“Gospel Hope in the Midst of Sin”

by Sam Kang


Genesis 3 is the story of devastation and destruction. It is the story of loss and tragedy. Yet, Genesis 3 is also a story of remarkable hope and inevitable rescue.


Passage Study

“1Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

The craftiness of the serpent cannot be confused as a pre-existing deposition for evil. Craftiness or shrewdness is not an evil, pre-existing, pre meditated plan from an evil creature to mess up humanity. No, John Calvin points out that Jesus even tells his disciples to be as shrewd as a serpent in Matthew 10:16! The serpent’s craftiness is not evil, it was designed with its craftiness by God. Satan, in his plan to tempt Adam and Eve, chose to utilize the natural characteristics of the serpent and turn it for the purpose of evil.

“Did God really say?”, asked Satan that day. This is the start of Satan’s temptation. Satan is no fool. His temptation is never a direct assault, but it starts as a small, innocent question. And yet, the innocent question is loaded full with poison and ideas designed to make us question God, His Word, His character, and His actions. When Satan asks Eve, “Did God really say?” It was a subtle but a strong attack on assault on God and His established order. We see that Satan, pretending to innocently just ask about the fruit tree and what God said about it, was in fact calling into question God’s Word. What Satan basically asks is, “If God is good and trust worthy, then why did he say you can’t eat this? Isn’t that weird?” It’s easy for us in 2014 to point our fingers at Adam and Eve for their foolishness, but you know we still today fall for that same trap. After all these years, Satan still asks us today, “Did God really say?”

3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”


2:16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”


Verse 2 shows Eve’s response to the serpent’s question. Satan asks, “Did God really say?” and Eve’s response should have been God’s Word given to Adam, which in turn was relayed to her. We see Jesus using this principle of using God’s Word against temptation in Matthew 4:1-11. In contrast to Jesus, however, Eve commits a serious sin by adding onto what God has said. In essence, by her answer, Eve answers Satan’s question of “Did God really say?” with, “No, He said this but this is what He really meant”. Her answer shows the feeling that perhaps what God has said is not enough and it needed something extra from Eve!

This response from Eve exposes another flaw for our Christian lives. It is not just simply the ignorance about the Word of God. I believe that it’s deeper than that. It is our deep and unspoken belief that the word God has spoken is not enough and therefore it needs something extra from us. God makes it clear all throughout Scripture, in places like Deuteronomy 12:32, that He is quite content in His Word and He’s also happy to leave it as it is. He doesn’t need us as editors. If we truly believe in an inspired and inerrant Word of God, then we must steadfastly hold onto every word that God has said and resist the temptation to add to it, twist it, and make it forcibly say something we want, in contrast to what God wants. Once again, before pointing our finger at Adam and Eve in their failures, we must understand we still are prone to making their mistakes.

4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”


Verse 4 is the second phase of Satan’s temptation. Unlike the initial stage, this one is more direct and explicit in his direct challenge to God, His Word, and His actions. According to Calvin, Satan is planting the seed that God should only be obeyed when the reasons behind His actions are made clear. In contrast, if we look Jesus and His obedience, we see His obedience even at the cost of all things! And so as the disobedience of Adam and Eve brought forth sin and all of its effect on the world, the obedience of Christ brought forth life and the eventual full restoration of creation (Romans 5:14-19).

Satan calls God a liar and a paranoid coward. Calvin says about this verse, that Adam and Eve, by falling into Sin, agreed with Satan and no longer stood with God! Falling into sin, then, is to believe what the Devil says about God, rather than trusting in what God says about everything! When we might think, “Oh this would never happen to me! I’d never believe anything ridiculous about God! Especially when it’s from the devil! This is crazy!” Sin, then, is craziness. Adam and Eve were warned with death as a consequence of disobedience and even in that situation, chose to believe in the Devil. Sin is craziness because in sin, we believe in the Devil and his lies, even against a clearly communicated judgment of God.

Old Testament professor Peter Lee of RTS DC, also notes how Satan went specifically after Eve and not Adam. Again, we must remember that Satan is no fool. It’s not as though Adam had gone somewhere far. We see in verse 6 that Adam had been present throughout this entire conversation! He failed in his duty as the communicator of God’s word and the leader of his family! He allowed the lies of the devil to creep in and his whole family crumbled. But even more so, the question has to be asked, “Why did Satan go after Eve and not Adam?” It was Satan’s purpose to attack the natural order, which God had arranged. God had arranged creation in such a way that there was order and connections based upon that order. God had created man to take care of the world. The world was filled with animals and plants that lived in it and the animals were given their specific domains (birds in air, fish in water, etc). But man was to rule over all these things, in terms of cultivating or care taking. And no animal or plant was over man except God. So we have God at the top, man under Him, animals under him, and world (ground, land, dirt, mountains, etc) under them. In the family we see that God is at the top. Man was under Him, and the woman was under the man. Satan, fully aware of this, goes after Eve to upset the balance of this order. We even see this in the result of sin, as the woman’s desire to take the man’s position as the family leader is mentioned in Genesis 3:16. Another aspect of sin is this corruption of God’s original order of all things. It corrupts the family and it corrupts nature. Sin also corrupts the individual from the inside out.

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.


Verse 6 states that the “tree was desirable to make one wise” and in that mindset Adam and Eve stretched out and willfully disobeyed God. In verse 5, Satan had told Eve that God was a paranoid coward who did not want Adam and Eve to have his power and knowledge. That desire to be like God is the ultimate sin. There is no other God than God and He’s quite content on keeping it that way. This fact, however, does not sit well with us because we so very much want to be God. We don’t even want to be like God, we simply want to be God. We want the autonomy and power to exercise our free will and desire. We don’t want to submit or answer to anyone or anything.

Verse 7 shows our attempt to appease and atone for our sins according to our desires and design, not God. Hebrews 10:1-4 shows us that the Old Testament system of animal blood sacrifices was supposed to point to its own weakness to completely wash us of our sins and point rather away from itself and towards the One who, by His blood sacrifice, completely washes us of our sins. All of that highlights the requirement of blood payment for sin. And what is man’s attempt to appease holy judgment by his own design? It is not for repentance, cleansing, or atoning for sin, but a cover up job. God is not fooled. God graciously showed Adam and Eve the proper way to repent though a blood sacrifice in 3:21. How many of us, like Adam and Eve, desire to appease, run away from, or simply cover over our sin without the proper steps of repentance? We don’t like this act of repentance because it causes us to deal directly with the ugliness of our sin. We would much rather just forget about it and cover over it.

My little 3-year-old boy, Elijah, is a regular little boy who is learning about the world. He is told what is expected of him and what his boundaries are. And yet he rebels out of his sin nature. When he is confronted after his act of rebellion, he refuses to look us in the eye. In fact, there have been times when he would try to run and hide.

This desire to run from confronting our sins is ingrained in us ever since that day in Eden. Jesus does the opposite. He confronts the ugliness of sin and overwhelms it with the power and beauty of the Gospel. We see this in His passion. For all the punches, kicks, curses, lash, and bruises Christ received, He was confronting the ugliness of sin and the horrible judgment it inevitably leads to. The ugly nature of sin, Christ took to the cross and into the grave. You know, when we would otherwise be overwhelmed by this ugliness, Jesus resurrected in triumph and defeated the power of sin once for all. The Apostle Paul describes it like this in 1 Corinthians 15: “56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”


Many people have been reading verse 8 for years without fully going into the depth of what it truly says. “In the cool of the day” is a translation of a rather difficult Hebrew grammar situation. In the literal Hebrew, instead of “cool of the day”, it says “spirit of the day”. Taken out of context, this phrase in verse 8 makes no sense. But in the context of chapter 3, according to Dr. Lee, one can see the “spirit of the day” as God coming in the spirit of judgment! God is a sovereign God, ruling over all of his creation. It is foolish to think that any sin occurs without His knowledge. The traditional “cool of the day” understanding would leave us to think that God was unaware of sin and was just ignorantly walking around in Eden. That is not the picture of the powerful Creator King presented from Genesis 1. God is the Creator King, Lawgiver, and also the Judge or Executor of His Law.

14 Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” 16 To the woman He said,“I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”


Sin, it seems, has won. Adam and Eve had fallen from grace and into an un-recoverable pit of sin. Sin had won. Paradise is lost. Man and creation was damaged. God was robbed of His people. God, the Righteous and Just King had to execute His promised judgment on His people. Verse 14 to 16 is God’s execution of judgment. And yet remarkably, in the midst of devastating and hopelessness of sin, God proclaims for the first time, His Gospel. Genesis 3:15 has been known as “the proto evangelion” since the days of Augustine. It is in fact the source of hope in all of the mess of sin. Sin, it seems, has not won. Adam and Eve had fallen into sin, but sin did not win. From the woman, God said, there will one day come a man who would undo all of this sin and its effects. Sin’s defeat was inevitable. God declared it. The righteous and holy God would not tolerate sin’s victory. And so God declared it. God declared that one day, there will come One who would crush the head of the serpent, and indeed crush all sin and even death itself. This glorious promise and all those who waited were finally relieved when, as Luke says in 3:38, in Christ we finally saw this promised seed come.

Christ is our glorious Gospel hope in the midst of the ugliest and most hope crushing sin. Even when we cannot see it, Christ still stands as our Gospel hope. It’s easy and tempting to see the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden as something negative and see it only as loss. However, that expulsion was only temporary because God would not allow His people to remain perpetually under the curse of sin and death. As we see in Revelations 21 and 22, that as Christ has triumphed over sin and death, the people of God are now ushered back into God’s garden, and not just merely to a garden, but a multi-national, multi-generational kingdom where God’s presence is unending. This is the Gospel hope in the midst of sin.

Sermon Manuscript for Korean Capital Presbytery of the PCA (<–Download link)

Leave a Comment

Got something to say?
Feel free, we want to
hear from you!