The exceeding sinfulness of sin (part 2) – Genesis 3:8-24

“The closing thought of Genesis 2 was: “the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” These words remind us that the Garden of Eden was a place of beauty; a place of bounty; and a place completely unmarred by sin and its crippling, polluting, heartbreaking effects. It was the birthplace of marital intimacy and of intimacy with almighty God. Everything, says God, was “good.” Adam and Eve’s world was a paradise. But if Genesis 1–2 was paradise, then, sadly, Genesis 3 and what follows is a description of paradise lost. Through one foolish and rebellious act—eating the fruit God had forbidden—Adam and Eve lost their innocence, their dignity, their home, and their perfect relationship with God. And so, says Romans 5:12, did you and I: “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” The reason we are the way we are—diseased, discontent, disobedient, disappointed, and disenfranchised from God—is because each one of us has inherited a sin sickness and a death sentence from Adam, our first father.”[1]

As we continue to consider the exceeding sinfulness of sin, we come to the results of sin. What does sin bring?

The Shame (v. 8). Adam and Eve who once walked freely naked in the garden with no feeling of shame, now finds themselves feeling dirty and shameful. When they hear the voice of God in the garden they immediately hide themselves. Sin brings shame. This is why the majority of crimes committed is done in the cover of night. There is a naturally tendency in all of us to be secretive when it comes to sin. We want to hide. We do not want anyone to know what we are doing and what we have done. Sin brings shame.

The Blame (v. 9-13). As God begins to question Adam and Eve, the fingers begin to point. When we are confronted with our sin, the natural reaction is to blame someone or something else. We try to make excuses for our sin. We try to pass it off on someone else. We may even get to a place where we blame God for our sin. This is ultimately what Adam and Eve did. Adam said that the woman that you made, God, caused me to sin’. Eve blamed it on the serpent which God had made. We do the same thing today. We say, ‘God, you allowed me to be tempted, you did not stop me, you let me sin.’ No matter how much we try to blame someone else or even God, the blame always lies with ourselves. No one is at fault for our sin other than our own selves. We may be tempted, we may be tricked, but, ultimately, we are the one who sinned.

The Curse (v. 14-19). Now that sin has entered the world, the entire world is cursed because of sin. “Whether they wanted to admit their sin or not, Adam and Eve’s rebellion came with great consequences. They lost their capacity to rightly enjoy God’s good gifts. Perfection was replaced with pain (3:16a). A joyful marriage became an unequal partnership (3:16b). Happy cultivation became sweaty toil (3:17). The beautiful garden became a briar patch (3:18). Once-imperishable bodies began slowly to decay and die (3:19). And they were thrust out of their garden home forever (3:22–24). Everything that was once so good was turned on its head. As we read on in the book of Genesis we find that murder, rape, disease, drunkenness, and death were further results of the sin of Adam and Eve. And the world in which we live today is mixed-up and messy because of their original sin.”[2]

The Provision (v. 20-21). Even in the midst of this horrible tragedy, we see the love of God. A sacrifice is made. God makes coats of skin for Adam and Eve to cover their shame. You see, no matter how bad our sin is, God always has a way of escape. He provides a way out. You do not have to stay in your sin. You do not have to suffer the ultimate consequence for sin. You can be set free. Jesus came to make the ultimate sacrifice. All you must do is trust and believe in Him.

The Protection (v. 22-24). God drives Adam and Eve out of the garden before they caused even more harm. If they had eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever in their fallen state. God has a way of protecting us from what we cannot see. He has a way of guarding us and keeping us from ruining our lives with sin. I love the words to the song that says, “Mercy said no, I will never let you go. You do not have to be afraid. Sin will never take control. Mercy said no.” In God’s love and mercy, He has a way of keeping us safe in Him once we have trusted in the Lord Jesus.

Sin is a terrible thing. It brings terrible consequences. But, through Jesus, there is hope. There is a way of salvation.


[1] Strassner, K. (2009). Opening up Genesis (pp. 31–32). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[2] Strassner, K. (2009). Opening up Genesis (p. 36). Leominster: Day One Publications.

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