Paradise in Crisis - Gospel in Life

Paradise in Crisis

Tim Keller |  January 11, 2009

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  • Creation
Genesis 3:1-7
RS 310-6


The Bible is not a series of disconnected stories, each one with a little moral for how to live, but it’s actually primarily a single story about what went wrong with the human race and what will put it right.

Figuring out what went wrong with the human race is really important. In her 1925 diary, Beatrice Webb, one of the architects of the modern British welfare system, says there’s something wrong with us that leads to selfishness and violence, corruption in business and government, war and atrocities—and that it’s consistent across history. Science hasn’t dealt with it. Education hasn’t dealt with it. Social machinery hasn’t dealt with it. Who will explain it? Chapters 3 and 4 of Genesis do.

Let’s start with this very famous text, and let’s notice four features of the narrative: 1) the sneer, 2) the lie, 3) the tree, and 4) the call.

Genesis 3:1–9

The story of Adam and Eve in their perfect garden home teaches us about the dangers of ignoring God’s instructions and how easily we humans can make mistakes. It shows us how the sneaky snake tricked Adam and Eve to question God’s words, reminding us how faith can slip away when we start doubting or changing what we believe.

The story also brings up different kinds of humor, an old Greek idea of being the best, and the temptation faced by Adam and Eve. It mentions the “human stain” – the wrong choices we make – and the serious mistake of eating the forbidden fruit. Through all this, the story underlines the importance of being humble, forgiving others, trusting God and accepting Him as our ultimate guide.

The story digs deep into how worry and wanting to be in charge can lead us to make wrong choices. It shows how we need to let go of control and trust God. It uses the example of a man named William Borden who chose to follow God’s plan without expecting anything in return or even understanding why. The story ends with a common human habit – hiding from God and ourselves because we’re scared or lack trust. But it reassures us that God, who loves us deeply, will always seek to find us.

It’s important to remember that God’s love was shown most powerfully when Jesus Christ died for us on the cross. This act of love offers us a way to fix our wrongs and get rid of the original sin of Adam and Eve. The story also talks about laughter in the context of God’s good news, reminding us that Jesus has defeated lies and turned them into joy. We’re encouraged to understand and overcome our weaknesses through the grace and good news of Jesus Christ, and find happiness in belonging to Him.



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