If you are reading through the Bible chronologically with me, the reading for today is Genesis 3-5.  These chapters are foundational for understanding what the number one problem in the world is.  I read these chapters early this morning in my time with God, and then I turned on the early morning news as I do each day.  The main story on all the network news channels was the mass shooting at a newspaper headquarters in Paris, France.  It served as a vivid illustration of the chapters I had just read.  The number one problem in the world today is sin.  These chapters in Genesis show us how God’s perfect creation became marred by man’s sin, and yet Genesis 3:15 gives the man hope.

When the serpent came to Eve, he began to tempt her by casting doubt on God’s Word.  He says to her, “Did God really say…?”  He wanted her to question the goodness of God and wanted her to believe that God was holding out on her.  Once that doubt was placed in her mind, the serpent told her the lie that she would not die if she ate of the tree, but would instead be like God.  Being deceived, she took and ate and then gave to Adam who also ate.  Thus, sin entered the world of man.  The eyes of the man and his wife were opened.  They realized their nakedness and ran and hid from God.  Where Adam had once walked with God in fellowship and close relationship, he now ran from Him.  God confronts Adam, curses the ground because of his disobedience, and pronounces upon him the sentence of death.  God curses the serpent and promises that the Seed of the woman will one day crush his head.  Thus begins the story of redemption that is woven throughout Scripture, taking us to the focal point of Christ’s cross, and culminates with Christ banishing the serpent to an eternal lake of fire.

The consequences of Adam’s sin are immediately seen.  Adam and Eve are forced to leave God’s garden.  The shame of their nakedness must be clothed, resulting in bloodshed and the death of a substitute.  Their children are born in sin.  This is really evident in Cain and his attitude.  He wants to worship God by the religion of self-effort, not through the blood of a substitute.  He murders his brother in a fit of jealous envy and rage.  Genesis 5 is further evidence of sin’s consequences, as the phrase “and he died” is recorded no less than eight times.  The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death.  Thus, the story of man is a story of sin and death, a story of sorrow and sadness.  Man in his lostness is separated from his Creator and without the life of God.  This is why we frequently hear stories from around the world of shootings, beheadings, human trafficking, racism, and rebellion against authority.  Man has one problem, but God has given one solution–the gospel.  He graciously gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, who bore the full weight of sin and God’s wrath against sin upon the cross.  In His death and resurrection, He put His righteous heel on the head of the serpent and crushed it to smithereens.  Those who turn from sin and trust Him alone are freely justified and forgiven and are saved from wrath.

The gospel is the only solution for the world’s problem.