So life is too short, to be fake. It is, when you stop, and you really think about it, life is way too short, to be fake, to walk around, without ever really letting people get to know the real you. It's way too short, to walk through life and wear a mask. And yet we all do. We all tend to wear masks, at least on some level author, Donald Miller says everyone has a story. And it's not the one they are telling. There are things about us that we don't want other people to know, things that we struggle with things that we are insecure about things that we are embarrassed about. Matter of fact, counselors will often tell you that when people walk into their office, there are things that they're willing to talk about. And there are things that they are not willing to talk about. And it's often the things that they're not willing to talk about that are the things they need to talk about in order to create real life change, lasting change in their lives. Some of you, we've just highlighted being moms and it's easy to sometimes struggle with mask wearing as a mom because of the insecurities that you can feel sometimes because of the unrealistic expectations that are placed on you by maybe your own mom or your spouse or just the world that we live in. And there's a lot to live up to you think you have to be supermom, and be able to be good at everything that is that you do as a mom. And so sometimes it's way easier than to just admit that it's hard and you're struggling and that you're tired and lonely and weary and exhausted to just put on a mask and pretend that everything is okay. And it's not not just our moms that put on masks though we all do this. We all tend to wear masks, cover things up in our lives pretend to be people that were really not. The question is why do we do this? I mean, if life is too short to be fake, then why do we often put a fake me out there for other people to see and not let people get to know the real me and what's really going on in our lives? If you have your Bible this morning, I want to invite you to open it up to Genesis chapter three. That's where we're gonna see the answer to that question why we hide behind masks. As you're turning, they're flipping through your device to get there. I do want to start with the very last verse of chapter two because it's important to the context that we'll see this is right after God had created Eve and we see Adam and Eve coming together as as one. And we're told this at the very end of Genesis two and verse 25, Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. It's important to note before we get into chapter three, because as you'll see in just a moment, that won't be the case for very long. But it was at this point in time. Genesis chapter three and verse one says, Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden? 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 certainly die. The serpent said to the woman for god knows that when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom. She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were open and they realized they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and make coverings for themselves. Now there is a lot that just happened in those seven verses. But at the very top of the list is the fact that sin entered into this world in this moment. Both Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. And they did. They were guilty and they knew that they were guilty. They felt the guilt for their wrongdoing. And there was absolutely nothing that Adam or Eve could do in this moment to absolve their guilt, to be able to get rid of their sin, it was done. And there was no way that they could undo what they had done. And so with that unresolved sin in their lives, and nothing that they could do, to be able to resolve the sin that was in their lives, they began to feel shame. Guilt told them that they had done something wrong, but shame told them that there was something inherently wrong with them. And now that Adam and Eve were experiencing shame in their lives, it caused them to cover up to begin to fashion out a mask of fig leaves to try and cover up what was true about them in this moment. In other words, just to be able to write this out in a linear way, and be able to focus on what we're seeing here, what we see is that sin leads to guilt, guilt leads to shame, in its shame, that leads us to wearing a mask to feeling like we have to cover up and hide behind that mask when we sin, God put guilt in our lives is a good thing, to be able to capture our attention to go Well, that wasn't right. That's not the way I created you to behave and act out that way that you treated that particular person hurt them. That's not a good thing, right. And so we will feel that will feel that guilt. And we'll know that something is wrong in that particular moment. But then we begin to feel shame, in the shame says, not only did I act out in that moment, or something wrong with the behavior that I just exhibited, but something is wrong inherently with me. It's at that point where we think, Well, I can't be known as the kind of person who's done such a thing. So I've got a cover up, we begin to wear a mask. And there's all kinds of different masks that we can wear. Some of us wear different masks, different days, or sometimes different masks multiple times a day. And we'll talk more about that as we go on throughout the series and specific kinds of masks. But today, what I want us to see is this, that the root of our mask wearing is unresolved sin in our lives. If we haven't found a solution to our sin problems, and we keep committing sins over and over again, then we're just going to feel more shame. And we're going to have to feel like we need to wear more and more masks to try to cover up. The same thing is really true, not just about the sins that we commit, but the sins that other people commit against us. People commit sins against us and that hurts. Sometimes the hurt that we feel when someone sins against us can cause shame. And then that shame eventually leads to mask wearing as well. Mask wearing ultimately all comes back to unresolved sins that we have committed, or sins that others have committed against us. Well, that's not entirely true. It even goes further than that, actually, because we live in a fallen world and there's sin in this world and that affects the world that we live in. And sometimes we suffer consequences in our lives, just from the effects of sin in our world. And then things happen to us not necessarily because of sin that we've sinful behavior actions on our part or things that someone has done to us, but it's just something that happens in a fallen world you get cancer, or you experience in fertility. It wasn't because you've committed a sin or someone committed a sin against you it just happened but that hurt that you experience from that consequence of the fall can sometimes lead to shame I cannot be a momWhat are others gonna think of me if I can't even be a mom to cover it up have to hide it kept gotta hide behind a mask, pretend that everything's okay. It can't let people know that about me. It's awful what Satan will do to us because of unresolved sins in our own lives and and other people commit against us and just the sinful consequences that we experience every now and then because of a fallen world that we live in. He's gonna use them to cause shame in our lives, to lead us to wearing a mask, because he knows that if we can get us to wear a mask, then we'll never truly be able to be receivers or expressions of love. And we were made to be receivers and express errs of love. If we wear a mask, and people fall in love with us, they're not really falling in love with us. They're falling in love with our masks, with the fake me. Not really, truly going to be able to express love to other people, because we're hiding behind a mask. This is where Adam and Eve, were at. They were in the garden, Senate entered into the world and experienced the guilt, the shame and the mask wearing. And it just continues verse eight, then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden, but the Lord God called to the man, where are you? He answered, I heard you in the garden. And I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid. Notice what enters the scene here? Fear, right, I was afraid. So I hit. Adam felt the guilt of his sin, couldn't resolve the sin issue in his life, began to feel shame. Shame led him to fear what God was going to think about him or potentially do to him. And so he heights. Of course, this is what we do, too. We feel the shame in our lives, we get scared, we fear what other people are going to think of us what God will think of us. And so we hide to we hide behind masks, or we try to avoid God, we try to run from God, we try to hide from other people. And of course, when we do those things, it just gets worse. Shame grows. In the darkness, shame grows, when we're isolated from other people, it festers behind the masks that we wear, which just leads us to deeper and deeper hiding, more and more covering up. So Adam and Eve are hiding from God, which is impossible, of course. But that doesn't keep them from trying. It doesn't keep us from trying either, really. But watch what happens now that they have to face God and verse 11. And he and God said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? The man said the woman you put here with me? She gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it. Then the Lord God said to the woman, what is this you have done? Woman said the serpent deceived me and I ate. You see what's happening here now. They're both putting on a mask right there. They're trying to hide by deflecting attention away from themselves. Eve says it was the serpent. There's the serpent's fault. The serpent deceived me it was him. It wasn't my fault. I'm I'm a victim here God. Add on blames Eve. It's the woman she gave it to me. It's her fault. And he goes even beyond that, though. He is matter of fact. He says the woman you right put here with me. In other words, come to think about it. God, you are the one that put the woman here. And then she's the one that gave it to me. So ultimately, I think you're the one to blame here, right? I'm not at fault. I'm just a victim here. God, it's your fault. That again, it all comes back to sin. They had sin, they had no way of dealing with their sin. They couldn't do anything about it, which led to shame and then to fear and hiding and blaming and mask wearing and all the above. And it's been going on ever since. Well, Happy Mother's Day is concludes our service. And imagine if we had to stop there. I mean, they did. But now living on the other side of the cross. It's different. God sent Jesus to do something about this sin problem that entered into the world in the garden that created this whole cycle that we're talking about. And now on the other side of Jesus's death and resurrection, the apostle Paul could declare things like this and Romans eight one, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.I guess the rest of y'all didn't hear it. There's now no condemnation for those who are a Christ Jesus means you and I don't have to carry our shame anymore. We don't have to carry the shame. with us because Jesus came to deal with the shame problem, which of course is a result of the sin in our lives and in this world. So if we're in Christ, we've said yes to Jesus, we've received His grace and His salvation by faith, then there's now no condemnation in our lives. And that means that you and I don't have to deal with shame any longer. Why? Well, verse two, because through Jesus Christ, the law of the Spirit who gives, life has set you free from the law of sin and death, sin produces death in our lives, it leaves us spiritually empty. Satan swoops in and causes us to feel ashamed of who we are and what it is that we've done, but Jesus through what he's accomplished on the cross. The Spirit then comes to dwell in us and gives us life makes us spiritually full again, fills us completely with the love of God and all that we need to now be made whole again. Paul goes on in verse three, For what the law was powerless to do, because it was weakened by the flesh God did by sending His own Son and the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. In other words, Jesus who, who had no sin to deal with in his own life, offered up him self as the sacrifice for our sins, He took all of your sins, all of the guilt, all of the shame you experience because of your sins, he took all the sins that others would commit against you, and all of the hurt that you would feel, and all of the shame that you would experience in those moments as well. And he willingly took them to the cross. And He paid the penalty for them once and for all. Verse three says, And so He condemned sin in the flesh. Why, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, Jesus condemned sin in his flesh, so that you and I would be free from the condemnation of it in our own lives. You condemn sin, so that you and I could come out of hiding. He condemned sin so that you and I could be fully known, fully known by him and fully known by others. He can them sin so that we can be fully loved by Him. And so that we could fully express his love to other people, as well. And now that he's accomplished those things through his finished work on the cross, there's absolutely nothing that can come between him and us, between him and you. I mean, Paul's writing all of these things at the very beginning of chapter eight, but listen to the way that he closes the end of this chapter out. He says, If God is for us, who can be against us, He who did not spare His own Son that gave him up for us all, how will he not also along with him, graciously give us some things that say some things there. Now it says all things right? He goes on and says, Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies Who then is the one who condemns no one. Christ Jesus, who died more than that, who was raised to life is at the right hand of God, and is also interceding for us Who shall separate us from the love of Christ Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written for your sake, we face death all day long, we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the president, nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, or anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Oh, amen. And amen and a man. And so if nothing can separate you from the love of God, then that means that you don't have to hide any longer. Remember, we hide because of the shame that we feel we put masks on trying to convince God and others to accept us and to fully love us. But Jesus has taken care of the shame and he fully accepts us and he fully loves us in Christ. And if nothing can separate us from that love and acceptance, then you and I don't have to hide from him in We also don't have to hide from others. We don't have to pretend that everything is okay. We don't have to walk around and hide our marriage problems and our family struggles. We don't have to cover up our problems with pornography and alcohol and drugs and gossip and lying and cheating depression and anxiety and comparing ourselves to others. Because if there's no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ, then you and I can just simply bring those things out into the light now, we don't have to fear them being exposed, we can just expose them ourselves. There's no reason to go into hiding. And of course, when we do that, it's often when we diminish the power that we've allowed Satan to have over us in those moments, when he's convinced us to keep those things in the dark, right? That's what's better for you, you shouldn't tell anyone about that. What are they going to think about you in those moments, you just keep that to yourself, and you'll be able to work it out, you'll be able to figure it out on your own right. We've all known of someone who ended up getting a divorce at some point, and it seemed like it came out of nowhere, they seemed like a great couple seemed like a perfect couple, all of a sudden, are getting a divorce, what happened, what happened all of a sudden, nothing happened all of a sudden, was something that had been going on, and on and on. But Satan had most likely in those moments convinced them that the best thing to do was to hide it. There may have been shame involved embarrassment, things to protect. And again, Satan says you can't share those things with other people in the struggles just got deeper and deeper and harder and harder as they kept those things in the dark. And of course, Satan does the same thing. And all of those areas that we just talked about when we're struggling with pornography and alcohol and depression and anxiety and, and trying to live up to unrealistic expectations and comparing ourselves to others. And all that comes with that. Satan says you can't talk about those things. Because people won't really truly love you anymore. You can't talk about those things. Because you will suffer consequences in your relationship or your job or at at school, if you're make those things known, you again, can just work those things out yourself, it's best to just put the mask on, put the mask on, hide it, cover it up, you'll be okay. That isn't true. You're not going to be okay in just those moments. And again, Jesus has taken everything to the cross, he's dealt with it there. And if you're in Christ, then you are fully loved, you are fully accepted and you have a new and a true identity in him, that will never change, which means you can bring it out to the light, because nothing ultimately is going to change according to who you are in him. You don't have to fear God, you don't have to fear what other people are going to think you don't have to fear the consequences. I mean, there might be consequences when we come out into the light. And we put those things out for others to see in front of us. But it's far less than what we would suffer if we keep those things in the dark and hold on to it and let it go deeper and deeper and darker and darker, and then have even bigger consequences to experience whenever those things finally do end up coming out. Say it again, life is too short, to be fake. And over the next several weeks, we're going to talk about our fakeness. The fake means that we tend to create the masks that we wear the specific masks that we sometimes wear and how to deal with those things. We're going to talk a lot more about our true identity and how that helps us with our mask problems. Butfor today, I wanted you to see why it is that we hide that it's a result of sin. unresolved sin in our lives, the shame that we carry from those things. Satan convincing us that hiding in the dark is what's best for us. But again, it's not. It's not what's best for us. And so if you're struggling with things today, you're keeping things in the dark no today that there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. There is no condemnation if you are in Christ. And I want to encourage you to begin praying about bringing those things out into the light making them known receiving his true love for you. And sharing that same love with people around you who open up to you and trust you with things that they would share. We have four core values as a church. There's a lot of things that are important to us. But there are four things that we would say are most important to us. Life in Christ and him being our source, unity, we don't all have to believe exactly the same things about everything that the Bible talks about. But we are going to be united around the most primary essential things of the gospel and our mission with Christ. The third is being a church for the community. We don't want to be a holy huddle and just hide and go this is to ourselves. We're going to be a church that's involved in what God's doing in the community. But the fourth is authenticity, that the church ought to be the safest place in the world. For us to come in say that we are not Oh, K. But oftentimes, that's not the case. Oftentimes, the church has been the most dangerous place that you could show up and say things are not okay. The church ought to be the place that we show up and no one is wearing a mask. But a lot of times it seems to be the place where we show up and we most of the time wear masks. How are you doing? I'm fine, how you doing? I'm good, good, everything's good. He's great. Right? We cover it up, we hide, we don't really get into what's really going on. If we're going to be a church who says that we value authenticity, then it starts with us being willing to bring things out into the light and allowing others to get to fully no us to be fully known before others so that they'll feel comfortable and letting us fully know them as well. It's us coming alongside of people when they do that and and not gossiping and not sharing it with those that it doesn't need to extend to and and getting the help that they need and supporting and encouraging them in doing so. But it all starts with a willingness to pull things out of the darkness to take off our own masks.