In Genesis 2:15-17 were told God initiated relationship and provided everything we could ever want or need (food, relationships, and purpose). He also established one moral guideline: do not eat of the tree in the center of the garden—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God clarified that it was off limits, and if they ate of it they would die. In Genesis 3:1-6 we find out the man and woman are deceived. Instead of being faithful to their loving Creator, they succumb to the temptation to exalt & worship themselves and chose to rebel against God’s commands, doubt His perfect nature, and questioned his plans. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie (Rom 1:21-23), believing Satan’s words and the pull of their own hearts desires. This rebellion is sin and Genesis 3 marks its entrance into the world and the damage it brings. Description #1: Sin is missing the mark of God’s perfect standard. God and His commands are perfect, yet we fall short and are unable to meet his righteous requirements. Romans 3:23 tells us – “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Description #2: Sin is rebellion against God. As Creator, God is ruler over all, yet mankind rejects that rule and chooses to go his own way, living according to his own will. Isaiah 53:6 describes this: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way.” Description #3: Sin is idolatry. Sin is not only moral failure, rebellion, or disobedience; it is all of those things and more. Underneath all of these “outward” sins lies a much deeper problem. Fundamentally, all sin is a result two things: a failure to believe the Gospel, and a selfish motivation of the heart. Rather than placing our faith and finding our identity in Jesus, we look to created things for our security and identity. This is called idolatry. In Romans 1:21-25 – Paul says there is something behind our disobedience, rebellion and inability to live according to God’s standards – Idol worship D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (“Idolatry” in Life in God. Studies in 1 John) – “An idol is anything in our lives that occupies the place that should be occupied by God alone. Anything that . . . is central in my life, anything that seems to me . . . essential. An idol is anything by which I live and on which I depend.” Stephen Charnock (The Existence and Attributes of God) – “[Each person] acts as if God could not make him happy without the addition of something else. Thus the glutton makes a god of his dainties; the ambitious man of his honor; the incontinent man of his lust; the covetous man his wealth; and consequently esteems them as his chiefest good, and the most noble end to which he directs his thoughts.” Consider Adam and Eve. The root of their disobedience was a belief that God was not enough for them, so they looked to something else as more meaningful. Anytime we place our trust or our worship in something other than God we are worshipping idols. Anytime we are trying to direct & rule our own lives we are worshipping an idol. Anytime we disobey, rebel, or go our own way we are worshipping some form of an idol. And God is very clear that we are to have no other gods before him. To do so is sin. The Effects Of Sin On All Creation – Genesis 3:7-19 Sin essentially destroyed all relationships. First, man’s relationship with God was broken. Genesis 3 tells us that after their terrible choice, Adam & Eve heard God walking toward them. They hid themselves not because they were afraid at this sound, but because they knew they had acted wrongly. Before the fall, mankind enjoyed a remarkable personal relationship with God. However, a holy, perfect God cannot remain in relationship with a rebellious, sinful people. Sin separates man from God and carries with it the punishment of death (Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27). This death is not only physical, but also spiritual and eternal. Sin distorts our thinking, enslaving us to a life of sin and death (Romans 1). The second relationship that sin destroyed was the harmonious relationship between mankind. As God confronts Adam & Eve about their disobedience, accusations fly as to who is at fault (Genesis 3). Harmony turns into havoc as their beautiful relationship is forever broken by the selfishness of sin. We see the relational effects of sin throughout scripture. From Cain & Abel to the current events of our time, there is no shortage of evidence that mankind is inherently self-seeking and self-worshiping. The third relationship that sin destroyed is the relationship between God, man, and creation. As we have seen, we were created to enjoy God and to enjoy working with one another. We were created to enjoy the beauty and harmony of all of God’s creation – culture, music, art, etc. But the Fall marred what was once beautiful and unifying, so that brokenness is visible even in God’s creation (Romans 8:22). We can do nothing to restore what sin has destroyed? In our own ability we are powerless to re-establish what God has created. No one is wise, good, or powerful enough to work his or her way back into the covenant relationship with God (Psalm 14:2,3; Romans 3:23). But the good news is that our loving God can do something about our problem, and He acts on our behalf to redeem us and restore us!