Deceived, Yet Saved

1 Timothy 2:14-15

For most of human history, the family = building block of society. True for practical if not theological reasons. Technological developments –> Octomom only few decades old; prior to that, at least functional equivalent of dad/mom/children was necessary for birth rate > death rate. But more to issue than simply propagation of species; all kinds of creatures manage that without family. How should family members get along? Do different members have different roles/functions within family? Does that pattern, do those principles have application to other institutions?

Answer to last question is an obvious “yes”. Inspired Word of God uses record of family’s institution to explain practice in church. What roles should men and women have in the church? Look at God’s instruction for the family. What relationship should exist between men and women in the church? Look at God’s instruction for the family, In other words, foundational truths for order in the church are found in order in the family as defined in Genesis 1-3.

Major problem with society and the church – denial of Creation and Fall account as historical fact. Here’s the consequence: if evolution is true, argument of v.13 has no basis – no Creation, no Adam first then Eve. If evolution is true, argument of v.14 has no basis – no deception and no Fall. Also no God-ordained pattern for family to follow – can be whatever works however people feel like making it work.

We believe differently. Genesis 1-3 are historical fact, intended to be profitable to us just like rest of Scripture. If we are to “do church” so as to please God, need to understand what our text in 1 Tim. is based on: the circumstances, the consequences, and the cure. First principle underlying male/female roles in church: order established in Creation. Second principle: what happens when relationship established in that order is not followed.

A. the circumstances

begin with first encounter between man and woman: God brought woman to man, joined them together

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Gen. 2:24

only complete together, less than complete apart from one another; concept here of union, way more than simple partnership

God’s design – that man and woman, husband and wife would act together in close and complementary cooperation

working together to take place under leadership of the man, remembering his accountability before God

along comes the serpent – woman followed leadership of serpent, not of her husband; in the process:

“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” – Gen. 3:13

judging by results, man was responsibility for spiritual leadership for very good reason

remember our text: “Adam was not deceived, …the woman was [fully] deceived”

remember also who we’re talking about: Eve, perfect woman, exactly conforming to God’s design, without any history of wrongdoing or inclination toward it

had man and woman acted in union, serpent would probably have been unsuccessful

in sequence of time Eve sinned first, but Adam gets credit for bringing sin into world

so what was that sin against God? depends on who you ask! Adam or God. will get different answers

“Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Gen. 3:12

God doesn’t immediately challenge Adam’s take on the problem, turns to the woman to get her version

God then deals with serpent, woman and man, issuing those awful words of condemnation and curse

God accepts Eve’s version of events as accurate; when he comes to the man, a different story – begins by correcting Adam

Adam’s self-evaluation: his sin was eating of the forbidden fruit; that’s not what God declares:

“Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten” – Gen. 3:17

notice what God puts first: another sin which led to the one Adam identified – role-reversal

instead of fulfilling God-given responsibility of leadership, Adam willingly, knowingly followed wife’s lead, then immediately sinned again

both cases sin against God – not doing what God told him to do (leadership), doing what God told him not to (eating)

B. the consequences

for few brief moments, God left Adam and Eve hanging – spectators to decree of judgment on the Serpent

before God turns back to man and woman, includes words of great hope – promise of survival, a future, a Redeemer – v.15

now the woman:

blessing promised at Creation will come at great expense:

“I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish.” – Gen. 3:16HCSB

blessing promised at first wedding will come with great potential for conflict

“Your desire will be for [to have mastery over] your husband, yet he will rule over you.” HCSB

had experienced only blessedness of life in God’s presence in Eden pre-Fall; must have seemed like immediate death sentence to Eve – life literally would never be the same again

and the man:

creation/nature will resist man’s efforts to subdue and manage it

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” – Gen. 3:19

and his days are now numbered

“Till you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

impossible for us to fully comprehend the full scope of what Adam and Eve experienced in brief episode there in Garden

the more of it we get, the better we understand the awfulness of sin

all in context of what God considers the “first” sin: a willful rejection of God’s order of things

Adam/Eve: “we can do this relationship thing our own way, we’ll be fine” – resulted in God’s curse, not his blessing

that’s what we should expect from a just and holy God; not only in family setting, in church and civil government also

if God has said “do it this way” and we don’t, have absolutely no claim to his blessing

is family life a disaster? are you doing it God’s way? following the roles and relationships he established?

how about affairs of church? same question. obviously goes far beyond who can be an elder – where God has spoken plainly, giving clear instruction, we must do our best to comply

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Gen. 4:1

Bible doesn’t say how Eve reacted to being pregnant – fear, confusion, anxiety, perhaps at least the first time

might have even thought part way through delivery that she was gonna die!

Eve’s first recorded statement following birth of Cain – shows she believed he was at least beginning of fulfillment of God’s promise of a Seed

know from later revelation it was Seth, not Cain, who was ancestor of Jesus

Paul’s argument: look at what happened in the beginning when man and woman decided to turn God’s way of doing things on its head

all creation labors under the Curse, will do so ’til the Second Coming

don’t make same mistake in who you choose for leadership roles in household of faith

C. the cure

serpent didn’t get away with his deception – would not have same freedom to deceive in future

in addition to crawling on the ground, “I will put enmity Between you and the woman” – Gen. 3:15

would meet his ultimate doom at hands of promised Seed, the Lord Jesus

He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

in Curse of the serpent is found truth of Cure for mankind – One who would eventually crush Satan would also conquer power of sin

victory would only come with great sacrifice – very life of only Son of God, the Seed of the woman

foreshadowed in the Garden:

“for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” – Gen. 3:21

first bloodshed not Cain murdering his brother; was God sacrificing animals – provided covering for Adam & Eve’s sin and their bodies

so is there any future? for husbands and wives? for the church? for the human race?

answer is a resounding “YES”, because of gift of salvation

“continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” – 1 Tim. 2:15

faith in Christ, demonstrated by love, holiness, self-control

when that describes parties to a relationship – husband/wife, parent/child, elders/church family – effects of curse on relationships diminish

Are you looking for greater fulfillment in life? more joy and satisfaction? Our good and wise God has particular place of service for each of his children. Will gain fulfillment, joy, satisfaction when, in full dependence on Christ, do our best to fill place of service in humble obedience. Must remember – if there’s particular task God has assigned to you, you don’t do it, won’t get done. Can’t count on him to assign it to someone else; true in all spheres of life. Also must remember – impossible to please God without his help; in own strength, on own terms, will never succeed. Need his help and strength and provision every hour of every day.

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