Genesis 3:7-13 - The First Consequences of Sin: Man’s Tragic Fall From Perfection

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There was a time when there was no evil—no sin whatsoever—upon earth, a time when the whole world was perfect.  But the day came when sin entered the world.  This we saw in our last study in (Genesis 3:1-6).  When sin first entered the world, catastrophic consequences began immediately to take place.

Galatians 6:7 says "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap."

For the believer who lives with the consequence of poor decisions in the past, Paul’s words may seem rather harsh.  For the young Christian who has yet to feel the sting of sin in a significant way, Paul’s words may not seem all that important.  But for people on both sides of the aisle, the apostle’s words hold great significance.

Consequences affect our lives every day. But as familiar as we are with this cause-and-effect relationship, there is still confusion about how it fits in with the forgiveness of God.  

·         At the moment of trusting Christ as Savior, many who struggle with the idea of grace and forgiveness hit a brick wall regarding the continuing consequences of their sins.

·         To them it seems strange to speak of forgiveness and consequences in the same breath.  Contrary to what many believe, forgiveness and consequences are not opposite ends of a spectrum.  Rather, they run parallel.  Together they accomplish an essential part of God’s plan for believers.

The questions most commonly voiced among those who struggle with this seeming contradiction are understandable considering what the world has to say to us about our actions.

·         The prevailing ethic implies there are no consequences for our choices and that we are not responsible for our choices.

·         Watch any morning television talk show and you will find ample assurance that someone else is responsible for the things you’ve done.

·         In other words, we can’t be expected to pay the price for something that wasn’t our fault to begin with.  If we believe what the world teaches us, it’s easy to understand why so many struggle with God’s forgiveness and the consequences of sin.

What we are going to talk about today is the issue of sin and its consequences.  Sin crushed and devastated Adam and Eve’s life as well as all those who were to follow.  As I was studying, I thought I would type the word “sin” in my Bible program to see how many times the word “sin” is used in the Bible.  The word’s “sin”, “sins” “sinning” or “sinned” is found over 752 times!

            I looked up the word consequences and one definition is “the price we pay or the benefit we derive from our decisions.” 

Listen very closely to what Paul says in Romans 6, "What fruit [or consequences] did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death." (Romans 6:21, NKJV)

Don’t forget that sowing and reaping is not just focusing on the negative about our sin, but the opposite is true as well.  When we sow to righteousness, we will reap spiritual benefits:

James says "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (James 3:17-18, NKJV)

I.          The First Consequences of Sin: 3:7-13

A.         The sense of being naked (v.7a).

B.         The attempt to cover sin (v.7b).

C.         The running away and hiding from God (v.8).

D.         The alienation from God (v.9).

E.         The disturbed relationships caused by sin (v.10-13).


A.           The sense of being naked (v.7a).

1.            “The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked…”  (v.7a).

a)            The two views.

(1)           The clothing of perfection and innocence was stripped away.  Note the statement: their eyes “were opened and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7).  
(a)           This could not mean their physical eyes, because the eyes of their body had been opened since their creation.  It must mean, therefore, the eyes of their heart and mind, of their conscience.
(b)           Before their sin, Adam and Eve were morally perfect and innocent, sinless and righteous.  But when they sinned, a radical change took place within their hearts and minds.
(c)           They immediately knew that something was wrong.  Within their hearts and minds they sensed guilt and shame, and they knew they had done wrong.
(d)           The radical change within their hearts and minds was traumatic.  Their hearts and minds had never known anything but perfection.  But now their sin had changed all that.

(i)             They had perfect peace, but sin made them feel disturbance.

(ii)            They had perfect security, but sin made them feel insecure.

(iii)           They had perfect comfort, but sin made them feel restless.

(iv)          They had perfect goodness, but sin made them feel bad and evil.

(v)           They had perfect joy, but sin made them feel sad.

(vi)          They had perfect love, but sin made them feel rejected.

(vii)         They had perfect strength, but sin made them feel weak.

(viii)        They had perfect control, discipline, and obedience; but sin made them feel guilt and shame.

(2)           The clothing of God’s glory and righteousness was stripped away.  Remember, Adam had been created in the image and likeness of God.
(a)           Scripture tells us that “God is light” (1 John 1:5) and that “[God] covers Himself with light as with a garment” (Psalm 104:2).
(b)           God’s glory is so brilliant and full of so much splendor and light that it has stricken a terrifying fear in men when they have witnessed it.
(c)           The point is this: Adam and Eve had been created in the “image of likeness of God.”  This was bound to include—at least to some degree—some of the glory and righteousness of God’s being.
(d)           But when they sinned, they immediately became naked.  They lost the covering of God’s glory and righteousness.  Their bodies were radically changed...

(i)             from perfection to imperfection.

(ii)            from incorruption to corruption.

(iii)           from glory to dishonor.

(iv)          from power to weakness.

(v)           from spiritual to natural bodies (1Cor.15:42-44).

!! B.           The attempt to cover sin (v.7b).

1.            “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings…”  (v.7b).

a)            Covering their sin – guilt and shame.

(1)           This is always true of the person who sins: he tries to hide and cover his sin to keep others from finding out.  Why?  Because of shame.
(2)           Or there are those who try to cover their sin because they like it and don’t want to stop:

Jesus made this clear when He said "that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." (John 3:19-20, NKJV)

Moses said don’t think you will continue to get away with it because "be sure your sin will find you out.”  (Numbers 32:23, NKJV)

(3)           The shame Adam & Eve felt must have been the most intense shame imaginable.

Everyone needs to ask himself the same questions Job asked hundreds of years after Adam and Eve: “[Have] I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom?”  (Job 31:33).

(4)           They felt what we feel when we are naked and unclothed and ready to go out in public: the instinctive move to reach for clothing and to dress ourselves.
(5)           Very Important Note: when you sin and cover it, sin and cover it, sin and cover it, over and over… what begins to happen is a hardness of heart.  Insensitivity to sin.  Beware!

The writer of Hebrews says "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God…”  "but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin…”  "While it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”“  (Hebrews 3:12, 13, 15)

b)            Love covers sin, guilt and shame (1Pet.4:8).

(1)           “Love covers a multitude of sins,” is an allusion to (Prov.10:12), “Love covers over all wrongs.”
(2)           What is the meaning of this proverbial saying?  Whose sins are covered?  The saying can be interpreted in a couple of ways:
(a)           A Christian either extends love to his fellow man and covers the sins of his neighbor.
(b)           He himself experiences God’s love by which his sins are forgiven.
(c)           Although both interpretations are relevant, in the light of the context (which stresses the Christian’s relation to his neighbor) the second one appears to be more reasonable.
(d)           God forgives the sinner who comes to him in repentance and faith.  He demands that the forgiven sinner show the same forgiving spirit toward his fellow man (Matt.6:14–15; 18:21–22; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13).
(e)           When God forgives our sin, he does not bring it up again as well as not telling others about your sin.  We must forgive sins committed against us and not tell others about your friend’s sin (that is covering a multitude of sins).   
(3)           Example: Noah is naked, one son sees his nakedness the others try to hide it (Gen.9:20-27)

Paul says that we are not even to talk about sinful or shameful things "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret." (Ephesians 5:11-12, NKJV)

Paul makes it clear that are shameful past did not bring us life, he says "What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:21-23, NKJV)

And there are those who even glory in their own shame "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things.”  (Philippians 3:18-19, NKJV)

(4)           There are many who have no shame and even take pleasure in it (Rom.1:24-32).

!!!! c)            God covers our sin – guilt and shame (Gen.3:21; Phil.3:9).

(1)           Just as Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves, today, man does the same thing by essentially saying, “I am good enough to get into heaven” or man will do works to try and get into heaven.                                         
(2)           Just a side note: the only thing recorded in Scripture that the Lord Jesus ever cursed was a fig tree (Mark 11:11-14, 20-24). 

The Scriptures declare there is no man without sin "For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin."  (Ecclesiastes 7:20, NKJV)

No man can cleanse himself from sin, "For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord God.”  (Jeremiah 2:22, NKJV)

(3)           The Scripture make very clear that Jesus was manifested to take away our sin:

John writes in his first epistle saying"And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin." (1 John 3:5, NKJV)

John the Baptist "Saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29, NKJV)

(4)           There is a blessing to those who sins are forgiven (Psalm 32:1-5).

But "He who covers his sins will not prosper…”  (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV)

Jesus counsels those in the church of Laodicea, listen to what He says: "Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see." (Revelation 3:17-18, NKJV)

Jesus also says in Revelation 16 "Behold, I am coming as a thief.  Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”" (Revelation 16:15, NKJV)

C.           The running away and hiding from God (v.8).

1.            “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord (v.8)

a)            Two significant facts.

(1)           It was apparently the habit of God to appear to Adam and Eve and share fellowship.
(a)           Remember: fellowship was one of the primary reasons God had created man.  Therefore, God “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” is to be expected. 
(b)           This was His habit, His custom, to come to Adam and Eve and fellowship with them.
(2)           Adam and Eve ran away and hid themselves from God.  What a sudden change!
(a)           They had often heard God walking about and calling out to them in the garden.
(b)           Their hearts had always leaped with joy, excitement, and great expectation when they heard the sound of His strong, yet tender and welcoming voice.
(c)           They had always run to meet Him, just as a child runs to meet his father who has been away for awhile.

b)            Man still tries to run and hide from God.

(1)           by staying away from church; by refusing to sit under the preaching of God’s Word.
(2)           by never seeking God; by never reading and studying the Bible and by never praying.
(3)           by denying the existence of God; by ignoring God; by neglecting God.
(4)           by pushing thoughts about God out of his mind.
(5)           by denying there is such a thing as sin, guilt, or conscience.
(a)           In the past we read of “Jonah
(b)           In the future during the tribulation we read of man trying to hide from God (Rev.6:15-17).

!!!! c)            You cannot hide from God (Psalm 139:7-12).

(1)           No person—not a single person—can hide from God.  Everyone of us will have to face God—someday, some-place—we will all have to stand face to face with Him.
(2)           No person can hide from Him.  He sees us, no matter where we are and what we are doing, good or bad.
(3)           When you sin, never run from God but run to God (Luke 15:11-24).

D.           The alienation from God and the breaking of God’s heart (v.9).

1.            “The Lord God called to Adam and said, “Where are you…”  (v.9)?                          

a)            The call of the seeking Savior.

(1)           Note that Adam is not seeking after God, but God is seeking after Adam.
(2)           God saw the great price He would have to pay to complete His purpose upon earth.  God saw that He would have to give His Son to pay the penalty for man’s sin.
(3)           God is love—His very nature is love—therefore, God set out to demonstrate His love.  God went after Adam, asking: “Adam, where are you?”  This is the call of God as the seeking Savior.

Jesus said "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?”  (Luke 15:4, NKJV)

Jesus "has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”“  (Luke 19:10, NKJV)

To the church in Laodicea, the Lord said "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20).

b)            The call of godly conviction.

(1)           The question, “Adam, where are you?” was not for God’s information; it was to stir Adam to think about where he was.
(2)           God was calling out to Adam in order to arouse conviction within him.  Adam needed to think about what he was doing: he was running and hiding from the only One who could help him.

c)            The call of God’s justice.                                           

(1)           When God created Adam, He told Adam the penalty of sin: the penalty was death.  Therefore, God’s call to Adam was a summons to judgment.
(2)           Adam was to appear before the court of God and face the sentence of death.  He had to bear the judgment for his rebellion and insurrection against God.
(3)           Think about this: A person may try to run away and hide from God.  He may deny, ignore, and neglect God.  But the day is coming when God will call him and everyone else before His court of justice.  And every person—all who ran away and tried to hide from God—will be judged.

The writer of Hebrews says "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Heb.9:27)

And we see the final judgment in the book of Revelation: "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works." (Revelation 20:12-13, NKJV)

!! E.           The disturbed relationships and the severe divisions caused by sin (v.10-13).

1.            “I heard Your voice…  I was afraid… because I was naked…  I hid myself…”  (v.10).

a)            Sin disturbs man’s relationship with God (v.10).

(1)           Sin caused a division between him and God.  The perfect relationship he had known with God no longer existed.
(2)           Our relationship with God has been separated by sin.  We are doomed unless we cast ourselves totally upon God and commit all we are and have to follow God.

Jesus said that "People draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me."  (Matthew 15:8, NKJV)

Paul, speaking of the Gentiles or the unsaved says to us "You should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."  (Ephesians 4:17-19, NKJV)

Many times, as humans we hold things in and the Lord says "If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear."  (Psalm 66:18, NKJV)

b)            Sin disturbs man’s relationship with others and causes a division (v.11-13).

(1)           Adam blamed Eve and God (v.12a):
(a)           In essence, he said: “The woman gave me the fruit.  I did not eat it until she enticed me to eat it.  I would have never touched it if she had not enticed me.”
(b)           This is the depth of sin, blaming God.  The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate
(c)           We often ask why God let such a terrible thing happen to us, as though God caused the temptation or tragedy.  But note: God did not tempt Adam, nor does God tempt us and cause bad things to happen to us (James 1:13-15)
(d)           It was Adam’s sin and it is our own sin that causes corruption and death in the world.

(2)           Eve blamed the serpent, the devil (v.13):
(a)           She simply said, “The serpent deceived me” (v.13).  This was the truth, but Eve still chose—made the decision—to eat the forbidden fruit.
(b)           Eve did not accept blame for her sin any more than Adam did.  She blamed someone else, the devil.  
(c)           She indirectly charged God with being the cause of the sin.  She was saying that God could have kept the devil from tempting her and shouldn’t have allowed the devil to enter the Garden in the first place.

c)            Sin is progressive – it grows.

(1)           Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
(2)           Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the devil.
(3)           Then, Adam and Eve both blamed God.
(4)           Note also how the relationships between all the parties were tragically affected.
(a)           Adam and Eve’s love and oneness of spirit were greatly disturbed.
(b)           Love and oneness of spirit with God was greatly disturbed.
(5)           We must confess and repent of our sins.  God has provided salvation—eternal life—for us, but we must be honest and quit blaming others.  We must do just what Scripture says: repent and confess our sins (2 Chron.7:14).

Jesus said "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”  (Luke 13:3, NKJV)

Peters words are encouraging, he says "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," (Acts 3:19, NKJV)

I.  The First Consequences of Sin: 3:7-13

A. The sense of being naked (v.7a).

B. The attempt to cover sin (v.7b).

C. The running away and hiding from God (v.8).

D. The alienation from God (v.9).

E. The disturbed relationships caused by sin (v.10-13).

F. The Reality of Judgment (v.14-19).

G. The Reality of Death (v.19).

H. The Reality of Separation (v.22-24).

F.            The Reality of Judgment (v.14-19).

G.           The Reality of Death (v.19).

H.           The Reality of Separation (v.22-24).

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