East of Eden – Gospel in Life
Sermon

East of Eden

Tim Keller |  November 19, 2000

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Topics:
  • The Fall
  • Sin
  • Atonement
Duration:
39:49
Scripture:
Genesis 3:20-4:2
SKU:
RS 122-06

Understanding Genesis 3:20–4:2

When we look at Genesis chapter 3, we learn about how humans first started doing wrong things, or sinning, and this contradicts the popular idea that people are naturally good. Genesis gives us a different perspective, explaining why there is evil and sin. Three important symbols – the reaching, the covering, and the sword – help us understand how we got into this mess and how we can find hope and healing.

1. The reaching

The Serpent tricked Adam and Eve into thinking they could be like God, knowing what’s right and wrong. But this knowledge turned out to be a disaster, not a blessing. The tree of life represents not just living forever, but all the things God has given us – thinking, feeling, making things, and being eternal – that make us want to know things, love people, create, and last forever. But when we try to meet these desires on our own, we end up sad and frustrated, because only by recognizing our deeper spiritual needs can we find true satisfaction.

2. The covering

The idea of being naked in Genesis 2-3 shows our fear of being seen for who we really are and our worry about losing control. It points to everyone’s struggle with feeling not good enough, which can make us work too hard, act too nice, or go to extremes in religious or non-religious ways. The idea that we can create our own reality to hide our faults doesn’t work, which makes us wonder if there is hope for dealing with this widespread feeling of inadequacy.

3. The sword

Sin leads to separation and exclusion, and there’s a price to pay to make things right, as shown in the most sacred part of the tabernacle and temple. The sacrifice of Jesus gives us hope, because if we trust in Him, God’s love and acceptance cover us, instead of us trying to earn them. This trust changes our behavior, making us humble, honest about our faults, and not needing to put others down or always be right.

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February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.

February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.