If you weren’t with us last week, we started a new 3 week sermon series using this program and tool called the 3 circles.
Last week I wanted to paint a picture for you on the problem of lostness in our world, our country, and in our community.
There are many people who don’t know or haven’t heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And as his followers we are called and commissioned to tell them about him.
This isn’t the job of someone else.
This is the calling of every believer.
Young, Old, rich, poor, educated or uneducated.
If you are a follower of Jesus you are commissioned by the Lord himself to make disciples.
Let’s look once again at Jesus’ great Commission for his followers
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Why does Jesus desire for us as his disciples to go and make disciples?
Because as we talked about last week God has a design for our lives.
And when we live within his design we are able to enjoy this life that he has given us.
In his design, we find our purpose.
To love him and glorify him forever.
In his design, we get to know true love.
God’s love. Perfect love. Sacrificial love
In his design, we get to have true joy.
We have access to the source of all Joy.
In his design, we get to know who we are.
Our identity as God’s beautiful creation is on full display when we are walking in him.
And ultimately in his design we get to be in relationship with him.
We get to know the creator of the universe.
We get to have unbroken communion with him.
When we were going through Ecclesiastes, I talked a lot about restoring Eden where we live work and play.
I talked a lot about how we can live redemptively.
How we can make the world around us better.
Sharing the gospel is the best way to live redemptively.
Teaching people about Jesus and God’s plan for salvation and then teaching them how to follow after Jesus is the ultimate way to live redemptively.
B/c each of us have friends, family, and neighbors that aren’t living in God’s design.
They aren’t living in communion with God.
So through reading the book “Turning everyday Conversations into gospel Conversations” and learning how to utilize the 3 circles tool we are able to teach people about the gospel message.
These tools are a relational and conversational way to bring the truth of the gospel of Jesus to those you care about.
So then the question arises, who are you going to share this good news with?
The goal is everyone.
Yet I know that’s not realistic.
So last week you got a card that says “Life on Mission”
If you don’t have one we will get one to you.
This card is where you put the names of those you know that don’t have a relationship with Jesus.
By writing on that card you are committing to praying for them. and for praying for a window to share the Gospel with them.
Put these cards somewhere you will regularly see them.
Where these men and women will be on the forefront of your minds.
Pray that God will grant you the opportunity to share the good news with them.
Pray that the Lord will soften their hearts and open their minds.
Pray that God will embolden you to share the truth with them.
I hope we can all agree that the gospel of Jesus is good news.
That it is the news that offers salvation, brings hope, and transforms lives.
But for the good news to be good that means that there has to be bad news.
The good news of the gospel is the remedy for the bad news of human brokenness.
The gospel is the solution to sin.
The gospel is the cure for the disease of brokenness that all of us know all to well.
So this week we are going to look at brokenness.
We know that we live in a broken world.
It doesn’t take a theologian to recognize that things aren’t as they should be.
In fact, there are many non-believers out there that notice the brokenness of the world.
They call it the problem of evil.
They ask the question why do bad things happen.
Why are there starving children in the world.
Why are there murderous mad men that destroy nations in the pursuit of power.
In fact, over the last few weeks the presence of evil and brokenness has been put on national display.
The movie “The Sound of Freedom” has made waves in this country.
I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve talked to people about it and I’ve watched enough reviews about it to get a pulse on the theme and context of the story it’s telling.
If you don’t know about it, the movie is about a man Tim Ballard who is combatting child sex trafficking.
This is when a child is kidnapped or forced to do things no child or anyone should be forced to do.
And the movie highlights the brokenness of mankind.
The perversion has permeated all aspects of humanity.
And although trafficking is an extreme example of our brokenness it isn’t the only thing that is broken.
Here are a few other statistics
In the United States today:
» Forty percent of children live in single-parent homes.
» 500,000 children have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect and placed in foster care.
» An estimated 20 million people are ensnared in some kind of addiction.
» Police report over 3,000 violent crimes a day
In 2020, there were an estimated 483,000 attempted suicides in our country.
224,341 of them were people between the ages of 10-24.
That’s nearly half of the attempts were pre-teens to young adults.
Out of those young people who attempted to take their own life, do you know who was most likely to try?
Teenage girls between the ages of 15-19. Nearly 70,000. In one year.
In 2021, there were nearly 2 million new cancer cases and over 600,000 deaths due to cancer.
These numbers are an indication that something is wrong.
There is something that is broken in our world.
Humanity is humpty dumpty.
We have fallen, we are broken, and we are trying to put ourselves back together.
And no matter how hard we try, they aren’t fitting.
The moment one piece is in place the next one falls off.
So this shows that we are trying to fix the problems, but we are failing.
We see the brokenness of the world around us.
As a nation, we have put social safety nets is place to help those who struggle.
We advocate for mental health to help those struggling with lack of identity or suicidal thoughts.
And no matter how hard we try, it doesn’t work.
The world is as broken today as it was yesterday.
And guess what if all we attempt are these means of helping, then it will be broken tomorrow.
Now fortunately for us God has given us the solution.
We know that God has designed our live to be lived according to his purpose and his will.
This is God’s Design.
And we know that b/c it’s God’s Design that if we live by it, then many of the problems we have will be reoriented toward him.
Notice, I didn’t say they will all be fixed.
Not every issue.
Not every problem.
Not every sickness.
Disease or social ill will be wiped away.
Not every thing will be fixed when living in God’s design.
At least not this side of eternity.
I don’t want to sell anyone a bill of goods that God doesn’t promise.
However, living within God’s Design will give us perspective.
It will reorient how we think about and see the issues around us.
But the question then arises, how did we get disoriented.
How did we move from outside of God’s Design and into our own?
The bible has an answer for that question.
We, as God’s creation, decided to depart from God’s Design.
This isn’t something that only modern people do.
In fact, this was ingrained in us from the beginning.
The first created humans chose their own desires over God’s design.
Let’s look at Gen 3:1-7
1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 “No! You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Departure from God’s Design
Departure from God’s Design
Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent to distrust God and to seek after their own desires.
I want us to notice here that it wasn’t the temptation that led to departure, but it was the taking an eating.
We can be tempted in many different ways, but it isn’t until we give into that temptation that we sin.
Sin, what an interesting word.
What does it mean?
What is sin?
Sin is departing from God’s Design and going our own way.
Sin is choosing to rebel against God’s instruction and fulfill my own desire.
Here’s something that we don’t talk about a lot in church.
We talk about how sin is bad, how it is harmful, how we should avoid it.
And when we do that we talk about how dirty, disgusting, and appalling sin is.
But the reality is, sin isn’t dirty, disgusting and appalling.
We wouldn’t be tempted by it if it was.
Notice how the bible describes Eve looking at the fruit.
Gen 3:6 “6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Let’s not play the game that sin isn’t appealing to us.
However, we must also acknowledge that living within God’s Design is better than sin.
Sin always over promises and under delivers.
We are all guilty of sinning.
Of choosing the things of this world over God’s Design.
Isaiah 53.6 “6 We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished him for the iniquity of us all.”
Romans 3.23 “23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;”
Look, there has only ever been one person on this earth that didn’t sin and his name is Jesus Christ.
So unless you are him, you’ve sinned.
Adam and Eve’s Sin changed humanities relationship with God.
Now this is a point of contention for some people.
How can I be found guilty on the basis of what someone else did.
How can I have sin b/c some man and woman I’ve never met disobeyed and rebelled against God’s Design.
It comes down to an understanding of Federal Headship.
Meaning that Adam and Eve were our representatives as all of humanity.
They were the foundational beings that represented all other people to ever live.
And they lived in perfect, unbroken communion with God.
As we are supposed to live, but they rebelled.
Think about it this way.
Adam and Eve were the first created humans.
They walked and talked with God in the Garden.
They were given the edict to be fruitful and multiply.
God had given them everything they could have ever needed to live a life that thrives.
To live a life that is perfectly within God’s Design.
And they chose to rebel against it.
How do you think that you would do any better.
It’s arrogant to think that the outcome would have been any different regardless of who was in the garden.
So the bad news is that whether we like it or not, Adam and Eve were our representatives and b/c they failed we to have failed.
But the Good News is that Federal Headship works the other way too.
B/c of Jesus’ sacrifice if we repent and believe in him we can have new life.
We don’t have to die on a cross to have redemption.
Instead, Jesus is now our Federal Head and represents us before the Father.
We have now been made new b/c of what Christ has done.
We were stained by Adam and Eve, we have been cleansed by Jesus.
We will talk about this more next week.
Adam and Eve’s sin, and even our sin leads to brokenness
Let’s see what happened after Adam and Eve ate the fruit
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
When God’s design is abandoned or ignored b/c of our sin we are broken.
This happened with Adam and Eve.
Their sin brought shame.
Their sin severed their relationship with God.
They tried to hide from God in the Garden that he created.
Not only that but one of the biggest problems with brokenness is that we try to fix it our selves.
If you look back at v.7
Gen 3.7 “7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Notice what Adam and Eve Did.
They tried to cover up their nakedness.
By sewing fig leaves together.
They knew that in their sin, in their rebellion against God that something had fundamentally changed.
And they tried to fix it.
They didn’t know how to fix it, but they tried.
You see our brokenness feels like fear, shame, guilt, loneliness.
And we start to cover it up with all different types of things that will never fix the root of the issue.
We don’t sew fig leaves together so what do we do?
How do we try to fix our brokenness.
How do we try and ignore the biggest issue of our living outside of God’s Design?
We each do it differently, but essentially we build and worship idols to fix our brokenness.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading a book by Tim Keller called “Counterfeit Gods” the premise of the book is to show us all the good things that we have made God things.
And when we make good things, God things, we are worshipping Idols.
He Quotes C.S. Lewis
“Most people, if they have really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy. I am not now speaking of what would be ordinarily called unsuccessful marriages, or holidays, or learned careers. I am speaking of the best possible ones. There was something we have grasped at, in that first moment of longing, which just fades away in the reality. I think everyone knows what I mean. The wife may be a good wife, and the hotels and scenery may have been excellent, and chemistry may be a very interesting job; but something has evaded us.”
That something that has evaded us is God’s Design.
We can seek for and search the world for all the things we think will fulfill us, but if we don’t know God and enjoy him, it’s all useless, empty, and vain.
The reality is that we are created to worship.
That was part of God’s original design.
And that is still innately within us.
The problem with brokenness is that we turn to worshipping those things that will never satisfy us.
John Calvin says that “The human heart is a perpetual idol factory.”
We will turn everything into something that we worship if continue to live in our brokenness.
Much like Adam and Eve we try to hide our brokenness from God by focusing on something else.
Like the kid that believes you can’t see him b/c his eyes are covered, we too hide from God thinking he can’t see us behind our relationships, our money, our accomplishments.
If we ignore him, maybe he will ignore us.
And all the while this brokenness, this idolatry.
This praise and worship that we give to the world around us leads us to being more broken.
Feeling more guilt.
Our hearts, minds, and souls long for purpose, meaning, hope, joy, love, but our sinfulness, our rebellion and our brokenness keep us away from the source of all those things.
Why is that?
It’s because our brokenness has disrupted God’s design.
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. 16 He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort. Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you. 17 And he said to the man, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”
Last week we talked about how God had designed every aspect of our lives
Family and Marriage
We were designed to live in healthy good life long relationships with our spouse working together to build a family.
We were designed to work. Enjoying the work that God has given us to do.
Work isn’t a burden, but a blessing.
We were designed to live forever in the Garden b/c of God’s grace and the tree of life.
And even our spiritual life.
We were designed to live in unbroken communion with our creator.
We were designed to walk and talk with our Lord.
However, sin broke life.
The design of God was disrupted b/c of sin and rebellion.
Now we have strife in our families.
Gen 3:16 “16 He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort. Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.”
In marriage, there is a lack of harmony and many marriages end in divorce.
There is increased pain in child birth.
As well as infertility and difficulty being fruitful and multiplying.
Work has been made more difficult.
Gen 3:18-19a “18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it...”
There are thorns and thistles in each of our work environments.
Work is harder and harder to enjoy b/c it takes more and more out of us.
Work is toilsome and at times feels meaningless.
We don’t live forever, rather there is a number to our days.
Death is inevitable. It’s coming for each of us.
And there is no way to escape it.
Gen 3:19b “For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”
Not only do we suffer from the physical consequences of sin, but we also suffer spiritual consequences of our sin.
We now have an Enemy.
Gen 3:14-15“14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
The serpent or the accuser, Satan, is now wanting to keep our soul.
He does this by keeping us entangled in sin.
By pointing out the beauty and enticement of idols.
Telling us that we can be like God.
In fact, if we really want we can be god and design our own life.
Create our own truth.
Do what makes us happy.
Do what makes us fulfilled.
Do what satisfies my desires.
This chasing after what looks good rather than what is good keeps us in bondage to sin.
Keeps us entangled in sin.
Keeps us looking for purpose in the brokenness and keeps us blinded to the truth.
B/c the truth is, there is nothing inside the brokenness that can ever fix us.
There is nothing in the brokenness that can ever satisfy us.
We can chase and chase and chase after the things of this world, but we will always come up empty handed.
Brokenness will always beget brokenness.
Sin will always beget sin.
We can’t cover it up.
We can’t fix our own brokenness.
No matter what we try, alcohol, drugs, new relationships, striving to be better.
It never works.
Brokenness seems like a bad thing, it seems like really bad news, and it is, and at the same time it points to the reality that we need something else.
There has to be a better way.
God has made a better way: that way is through The Gospel.
There are two hints at the gospel in this story of brokenness.
The first is in v. 15
Gen 3:15 “15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
God is speaking to the serpent and promises that there will be one who comes who will crush his head.
That this offspring will be the one that overcomes the brokenness brought into the world through the Serpents deception and Man’s sin and rebellion.
There is another one that isn’t as apparent.
There’s another verse that shows a beautiful picture of the gospel
And it’s in v. 21
Gen 3:21 “21 The Lord God made clothing from skins for the man and his wife, and he clothed them.”
Do you see what God did there.
He killed an animal to cover the shame and sin of Adam and Eve.
There was blood shed to cover the nakedness.
This points us forward to what the author of Hebrews say
Heb 9.22b “... and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Here we see God providing atonement or covering for the sin of Adam and Eve.
A picture that would be fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
That in his death his body was broken and his blood was shed to offer us forgiveness and cleansing from our sin.
So instead of putting our hope in ourselves or the things of this world to satisfy our brokenness, God offers up Jesus to cleanses us and restore us to a right relationship with him.
Now in order for the gospel to be effective we have to repent and believe.
Repentance means to have a change of mind
To recognize that what we are doing isn’t going to work and that the only way that brokenness will be mended is through submission to God and believing in the work of Jesus.
Brokenness gets us ready for repentance, but we must recognize that what we are doing isn’t working.
We don’t need to try something else, we need a change of mind, a change of direction.
Going the same direction down a different road isn’t going to fix anything.
This change that we need comes from Jesus Alone.
When we repent and believe the gospel, then Jesus promises us that we will receive the Holy Spirit to enable us to live life within God’s Design.
And then he commissions us to go and tell a broken world about this message of hope.
We go out and recover and pursue the world, our friends, neighbors and family through he preaching of this message of redemption.
Will you choose to take God’s way out of brokenness? Will you choose to help others find their way out of brokenness?