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! Introduction:
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)
The First Consequences of Sin: 3:7-13*
The sense of being naked (v.7a).*
The attempt to cover sin (v.7b).*
The running away and hiding from God (v.8).*
The alienation from God (v.9).*
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.
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.
*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.”“
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