And The Serpent Said

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012

And The Serpent Said

“And The Serpent Said”

MP3 Version: “And The Serpent Said

Scripture Text: Genesis 3:1-6

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. In the Bible, Satan is called many different things.
1. For example, in Rev. 12:10, he is called an ACCUSER. It says, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down.” (Rev. 12:10)
2. In 1 Pet. 5:8, Satan is called an ADVERSARY. It says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Pet. 5:8)
3. In Eph. 6:11, Satan is called the DEVIL. It says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11)
4. In Rev. 12:9, Satan is called a DRAGON. It says, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev. 12:9)
5. In Matt. 4:3, Satan is called the TEMPTER. It says, “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matt. 4:3)
6. And as we saw in our Scripture reading this morning, in Gen. 3:1, Satan is called the SERPENT. It says, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” (Gen. 3:1)
7. And so, in the Bible, Satan is called many things.

B. But what I want us to focus on this morning is something that Satan is called in John 8:44.
1. In John 8:44, Satan is called a LIAR. It says, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
2. Now we all know what a “liar” is, don’t we?
3. Webster defines a “liar” as “one who tells lies.”
4. A liar is someone who…
-deceives people,
-misrepresents the truth,
-creates misleading impressions.
5. Well, Satan does ALL of these things, doesn’t he?
6. In fact, according to the verse that we just read, Satan is not only a liar, but he is also “the father of” all lies.

C. Now with that in mind, as we begin our study of Genesis 3, which tells us all about the fall of man, we are going to notice the three greatest lies ever told.
1. Of course, they were told by the greatest liar this world has ever known, and they were told the first time to Eve while she was in the garden of Eden.
2. Now, greatest lie number ONE.

I. God’s Word Cannot Be Trusted.

A. Isn’t that what Satan told Eve in the garden?
1. He came to Eve and asked her the question, “…hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen. 3:1)
2. Eve responded by saying, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Gen. 3:2-3)
3. It was then than Satan told GREATEST LIE # 1, he said, “Ye shall not surely die:” (Gen. 3:4)
4. In other words, “You can’t believe (trust) what God tells you! Yes, He SAID not to eat of the tree, and, yes, He SAID that if you ate of the tree you would die, but you can’t believe (trust) what He says. The truth is, you WON’T die!”

B. Let me tell you something, Satan is still in the business of telling that lie today, and many are buying it.
1. (Illus.- For example, several years ago U.S. News & World Report came out with an issue with a series of articles entitled, “Who Wrote The Bible? The Surprising New Theories.” I read the articles very carefully, and do you know that not once was it even implied that GOD might be the author of the Bible. Every article did nothing but cast doubt on the authenticity and reliability of the Word of God!)
2. (Illus.- For example, the first article began with these words, “It is the foundation of Christian faith. On its words rests the very existence of the church and the hope of salvation for believers throughout the ages. Many consider it the only dependable and abiding revelation of God to humanity. Yet the New Testament, in many ways, is a mysterious and enigmatic collection of writings–one that has entranced, enthralled and perplexed scholars and theologians for nearly 2000 years. It is often called ‘The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’. But Jesus didn’t write a word of it. And while some of the writings bear the names of some who walked with Him on the dusty roads of Judea, centuries of scholarship have turned up little convincing evidence that his 12 closest disciples did much of the writing either.”)

C. (Illus.- A couple of years ago God gave me the opportunity to share the Gospel with a young man who, along with his young daughter, was living with his parents in Ranson. As I shared the Gospel with him, he listened very intently, so much so, that I was convinced that he was going to get saved. However, when I presented him with an opportunity to trust Christ, to my surprise, he said, “No.” Of course, I asked him, “Why not?” That’s when he told me that he was not convinced that the Bible is the Word of God. Clearly, this young man had bought into the devil’s lie that God’s Word cannot be trusted. Even though he and his daughter have come to church several times, to my knowledge he is still not saved.)
1. You know, Satan loves it when people doubt the reliability of God’s Word.
2. Know why?
3. Because he knows that as long as they have doubts, they will never be saved. (Pray for that young man, his first name is Mike.)

D. And so, GREATEST LIE # 1 is that God’s Word cannot be trusted. Now let’s notice GREATEST LIE # 2, which is…

II. Sin Has No Consequences.

A. What did Eve tell the serpent?
1. She said, “If we eat of the forbidden tree, we will die!” (Gen. 3:3)
2. And what did the serpent tell her?
3. He said, “You WON’T die!” (Gen. 3:4)
4. In other words, “Go ahead and eat, nothing BAD is going to happen to you!)

B. Again, Satan is still in the busy telling this lie.
1. The lie that says, “You can sin, and you won’t have to…
-pay the price,
-suffer the consequences,
-shoulder the responsibility for your sin!”
2. In other words, “You can sin and GET BY WITH IT!”
3. I sometimes ask myself the question, “Why do people do the terrible things that they do today? Why do people murder? Why do people rape? Why do people steal? Why do people cheat on their spouses?” and on and on I could go.
4. Of course, the bottom line is, people sin because they are sinners, however, I’m convinced that there’s more to it than that.
5. I think the primary reason that people commit horrible acts is because they have bought into the devil’s lie and they really believe they won’t have to suffer the consequences of their sin.

C. One thing that has encouraged people to believe this lie is the gross inadequacy of our criminal justice system.
1. When they see people like O.J. SIMPSON, who is all probability murdered his ex-wife, yet was found “not guilty,” and CASEY ANTHONY, who in all probability murdered her little boy, yet was found “not guilty,” when they see cases like that, they are encouraged to believe that THEY TOO can commit terrible acts and get away with it.
2. What we need to realize, however, is that while one may be able to do wrong and escape the arms of our criminal justice system, one CANNOT do wrong and escape the hand of our God.
3. The Bible says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7)
4. This is called the law of “Sowing and Reaping.”
5. Simply stated: You reap what you sow. In other words, you cannot sow the seed of sin and then escape the coming harvest.
6. I assure you, the harvest WILL COME!

D. There is another reason that people are inclined to believe the devil’s lie that sin has no consequences, and that is the fact that the harvest is usually DELAYED in coming.
1. (Illus.- It is just like planting a garden. I’m sure that some of you have vegetable gardens at home. You know how it works. You plant the seed, and then you have to WAIT for the harvest. There is always a period of time between the planting of the seed and the harvesting of the vegetables.)
2. Well, sin’s harvest usually follows this pattern.
3. Sometimes, the harvest is a LONG time coming.
4. But we need to remember that even though this is true, the harvest WILL come.
5. Even though sin’s harvest can be SLOW, it is SURE.
6. We are fools if we believe Satan’s lie.

E. And so, GREATEST LIE # 2 is that sin has no consequences. Now, finally, let’s notice GREATEST LIE # 3, which is…

III. Man Can Save Himself.

A. Did you notice what the serpent told Eve in Vrs. 5 of our text? He said, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,” (Gen. 3:5)
1. Notice especially the phrase, “…and ye shall be as gods.”
2. In other words, he was telling Eve that she had the power within herself to be like God. All she had to do was to partake of the forbidden fruit.”

B. Did you realize that Satan is still telling that lie today?
1. He is still telling people that they have the power within themselves to be like God.
2. That they can pull themselves up to God’s level by their own bootstraps,
3. That they can make it heaven by their own efforts.
4. All they have to do is to exercise the power within them!

C. Not only is Satan busy telling this lie, but multitudes have bought into this lie.
1. For example, many today think that they are going to heaven because of their GOOD DEEDS.
2. Others think that they are going to heaven because they’ve been BAPTIZED.
3. Still others think that they are going to heaven because they have joined the CHURCH.
4. But they ALL have one thing in common.
5. They ALL think that they can do it ON THEIR OWN!

D. Do you know why this is a lie?
1. Do you know why we can’t do it on our own?
2. Do you know why we (man) cannot save ourselves?
3. It is because, in our natural condition, we are all dead.
4. Not physically dead, but spiritually dead.
5. Notice what the Bible says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Eph. 2:1)
6. You know, I’m not the brightest kid on the block, but even I know that a “dead” person cannot do anything for himself.
7. (Illus.- Ask any funeral director. When they pick up a body from the hospital morgue, that body cannot do anything on it’s own. The funeral home people have to pick it up, then embalm it, then bathe it, then dress it, then comb it’s hair, then place it in the casket, then fold it’s hands. They have to do EVERYTHING. Do you know why? Because it is DEAD!)
8. Well, the same thing is true in a spiritual sense.
9. Because man, by nature, is spiritually dead, he can do NOTHING to save himself.

E. And besides, if man could save himself, then Christ died in vain!
1. If we could save ourselves, Christ’s…
-death was a wasted death.
-suffering was wasted suffering.
-blood and sacrifice was a wasted sacrifice.
2. But Christ’s death was not in vain, and because He died for us, He can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves!

F. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
1. Notice it says that salvation is “not of” ourselves, but rather is totally of God.
2. God the Father planned it (before foundation of world).
3. God the Son procured it (on the cross).
4. God the Holy Spirit produces it (in the hearts of those who put their faith in Christ as Savior).
5. And so, when the devil says that man can save himself, he is lying through his teeth. (A greater lie has never been told!)

Conclusion:

A. What are the three greatest lies ever told?
1. God’s Word cannot be trusted (lie).
2. Sin has no consequences (lie).
3. Man can save himself (lie).
4. Not only did Satan tell these lies to Eve in the garden, he is still busy telling the same lies today.

B. How about you, friend, have you been duped by any of these lies.
1. Do you doubt God’s Word?
2. Do you think you can escape the consequences of your sin?
3. Do you believe that you can save yourself (in other words, by your own efforts earn you a place in heaven)?
4. Listen, these were lies when the devil told them to Eve in the garden, and they are STILL lies.
5. Don’t be taken in by them!

C. Perhaps you have never been saved.

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