In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Previously we’ve been looking at God’s amazing providence to humans when they were created. Today I want to take a particular look at how the first humans did not continue in the state in which God first created them.
Despite the enormous number of blessings God gave the first humans, being left in the freedom of their own will they chose to sin. How could such a thing happen? Firstly we need to understand that the first humans were tempted to sin by Satan. In Genesis we read that Satan approaches the first woman, Eve: ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”’ (Genesis 3:1). Notice how Satan works. He initially makes us question whether we have heard God’s commands correctly – is it really true that God said…? Whereas if we were really righteous we would be shocked that such a question is asked – we would affirm everything God says without question.
Then Satan lies to Eve ‘The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman’ (Genesis 3:2-4). Once we start questioning God’s word we start listening to Satan and his lies that sin does not equal death and punishment.
Then Satan encourages Eve to question God’s good character: ‘”You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”’ (Genesis 3:5). Satan is saying that God is depriving Eve of something good and if Eve sins she will be blessed. Sadly Satan still does the same today every time we think that sin equals good, e.g. sexual immorality will make me happy.
So the Bible teaches us that God in his providence has been very good to us. But Satan again and again brings people to embrace sin and then suffer the consequences. The only way to escape Satan and his ways is to repent of your sin and trust that Jesus died for every sin that Satan brought into your life. So have you repented and believed in Jesus, or are you still trusting Satan and his lies?