Episode 1
12 October 2021

Among Monsters | Origin of the Monster

Are there monsters lurking in the dark? The greatest monster may be within. Let’s bring our monsters into the light.

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all right brighton campus how you doing
on a sunday morning
i love it i am so excited to be here if
you're new to the brighton campus let me
introduce myself my name is brad i am
one of the teaching pastors on staff
here at 242 and it is october and i
love the fall in particular i love the
month of october usually michigan's
still undefeated during this month and
so i like this this is a good time for
the football season so go blue for that
um but i i love october um because i
love halloween now i'm not like i don't
like love it like to the point where
some of y'all love it too much can i
just say that like some of you you're
like decorating lights and like my in my
neighborhood there is a 10 foot tall
skeleton at this one house it looks
awesome but then i'm like how much does
that cost you know uh so some of y'all
love it more than me uh but i do love
the halloween season uh because
i love scary movies do we have any scary
movie fans in the room okay i love them
all i love i mean don't judge me i don't
need your judgment okay but like like
the slashers i love them they're
supernatural you know like i love it
right and my favorite type of scary
movies are zombie movies i i just i
don't know what it is about them i
absolutely love them my wife
not so much
not so much in fact to the point where i
didn't okay
we need to talk about this okay
i did not know
when i got married that we were allowed
to just veto entire genres of movies
my wife's like i don't like scary movies
i don't watch them what
why did i watch the notebook 39 times
if you're a bird i'm a bird why do i
know that like
i couldn't just like no okay but you're
out okay there you go i'll take it but
so so during the halloween season i'm
oftentimes you know in the basement
watching scary movies by myself
but that's okay because it's even
scarier when you're by yourself
and zombie movies are my favorite um i
think that came from my childhood i
think one of the earliest scary moves i
ever saw you know the old black and
white night of the living dead and then
you know being a child of the 80s like
the return of the living dead remember
those and and now they have like you
know the new zombie movies like world
war z or like 28 days later and even
like tv shows like the walking dead but
i think what i love about the zombie
movies is this is how consistent they
right like i mean for decades they're
relatively the same well first off
zombies are faster today than they used
to be and i don't like that okay zombies
are not supposed to run slow it down
but they're like they're all usually the
same type of scenario
right there's a a group of people who
get infected whether it's like acid rain
or whatever causes it to begin
and then and then you know what happens
is there's a group of people who are not
and they're trying to get away from the
and then what do they do every single
zombie movie they do the same thing
they they go to some abandoned farmhouse
or they go to some you know building or
or compound or in world war z they're
even in the city they have the but they
had the walls to fortify it that
whatever they do they fortify themselves
in one
location and then just waves and waves
of zombies come and they just never stop
coming and the people are inside just
you know like afraid from their life and
it's like so intense
now growing up
i think i just liked the gore of it and
just the scariness of it
now that i
am a little bit more mature and
especially if i came after i gave my
life to christ and now that i'm a pastor
man i think the reason zombie movies
have always resonated with me
is because
in some ways it's a perfect allegory
for what we're dealing with in life
in life there's there's a group of
people who are infected
and they they have this this disease
called sin that's in them
and it's interesting that as a church as
as the christ followers what do we do
too often
we all get inside of a place
and we say well though all the bad
people are out there and we're going to
be safe in here we're going to be safe
with our songs and we'll be safe with
our sermons and and we'll be we'll be
safe in here and we'll keep them out
but here's the
the thing that we need to realize
the monsters are not out there
the monsters are among us
we have all
sinned and fall short of the glory of
god we are all infected
with this thing
and we are all
dealing with this exact same issue
and so that's what this whole series is
going to be about
not zombies
it's going to be about us it's going to
be about our sin
and it's going to be about where does
this thing come from and it's going to
be about understanding biblically what
does it actually do to our lives and
it's going to be about well how do we
get on the solution side of this because
because we are living this movie this
and we have to talk about this and we
have to get to a point where we have a
functional knowledge of it together so
that we can realize that
that the enemy is it's not people
the enemy is this three-letter word that
is consuming the people that god loves
and that word is sin
so here's what we're going to do today
um we're literally going to have to
start at the beginning
so if you have a bible with you or a
bible app on your phone i strongly urge
you to get it out today of all days it's
going to be so important for you to
follow it because i'm going to show you
some really nuanced things in the
scripture so if you have a bible or a
bible app on your phone we literally
have to start at the beginning so page
one verse one we're going to be looking
at the book of genesis
because here's what we why we need to
start here uh that's where god starts
genesis chapter one verse one it says in
the beginning god created the heavens
and the earth and and it says that the
earth was shapeless and formless and the
spirit of the lord hovered over it this
is god introducing himself
to humanity
and what he says is i'm different than
you i
you were created i was not
you are physical i am spirit
and i am over
the chaos of your world and so this is
this is god's introduction to us
but the reason we have to start in
genesis chapter 1
is because
if we're going to be talking about sin
we have to understand where it came from
and it did not come from god
it did not come from him
i think a lot of times what happens is
we we know
the struggles of this world we know the
brokenness of this world we know the
pain of this world we see the monsters
uh among us and and so we say god why
did you do that why did you make bad
people why did you make bad things why
did you make ohio state like god like
well i don't know like
i'm tired i'm down with that okay but
like we're like but like we're like why
are there why is this bad in this world
and here's why we have to start genesis
chapter 1
because notice
in that chapter
31 consecutive verses
everything god makes
is good
he makes the skies and stars it's good
he makes plants and animals it's good he
makes humanity it's good
god's creation
is good
we are the ones who broke it
we are the ones that brought it down
and that starts to happen
in chapter two
and chapter two go over one page uh well
first off genesis chapter 1 verse 31 let
me read this the last verse of that
chapter look what it says it says god
saw all that he had made and it was
very good
and there was evening and there was
morning the sixth day
everything god made was good his
creation was very good but in genesis
chapter 2
there's going to be a problem
the problem begins in my opinion
on verse 15.
look at verse 15 and and notice the
subtleties of what's happening here it
says this
the lord god took man
and put him in the garden of eden to
work it and take care of it
it was always interesting to me
that work existed before the fall
yeah some of you are like
i thought work was a sin no no no maybe
your job's a sin you know but like
but work existed and work was supposed
to be good and supposed to be fulfilling
so we had a job in the garden of eden to
take care of it but it goes on verse 16
and the lord god commanded look who look
who god commanded
the man
you are free
to eat from any tree in the garden
but you must not
eat from the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil
for when you eat it
you will certainly die
god makes creation he makes a human
he says it's all good and he gave gives
that human one
here's what i love about god
he is a good god but he's also a real
god and god knows for good to be real it
has to have the freedom to choose evil
and so so god gives humanity this
he says you are good i am good
but i don't want you to be good because
you have to be because you're forced to
be because i control you i want you to
be good because you choose to be
so i'm going to give you a rule
do not eat from this one tree
because when you do when you eat from
that one tree you you won't just know
what good is anymore you will know what
evil is as well
and then for the rest of your life you
will always
struggle to choose good or evil
that was the condition that god told
but look what happens in verse 18.
the very next verse look what it says
the lord god said
it is not good
for man to be alone
i will make a helper suitable for him
eve was not even there
when god gave the rule
she wasn't created yet
god created adam put him in this garden
says you're going to work it you're
going to take care of it you can do
anything you want you're going to eat
from any of these trees that you want
there's just one tree that's going to
give you the knowledge of good and evil
do not touch that or do not eat that
tree from that tree
and also i don't want you to be alone
so now let me make you a companion let
me make you
eve so eve comes onto the scene
and that
that was satan's opportunity
satan i have to believe knew that eve
wasn't there has to be i have to believe
satan knew that eve did not hear the
information firsthand and so look at
genesis chapter 3 verse 1
notice eve doesn't go after adam
because adam heard straight from god
satan goes after eve because she's
playing telephone
and look how it goes
genesis chapter 3 verse 1 now the
was more crafty
than any of the wild animals that the
lord had made
and he said not to adam he said to the
notice the subtleties
did god really say
you must not eat
from any tree
in the garden
do you see how he twists it
this is why
in my opinion it is so important that
you are opening your bible
that you are reading the word of god
yourself that you're not just getting by
by what pastors tell you what other
people tell you because satan takes
those little gaps those little gaps
between what god's actual word is
and and what people present it as and
the gaps are very subtle
but that's all he needs
satan is a master deceiver when he lies
he's speaking his native language and
very rarely does he full-on lie he loves
to just twist truths
god said you can eat from any tree
save one
satan shows up says did god really say
you can't eat from any of these trees
he's testing eve's knowledge
now she's going to pass this first test
look what it says verse 2 the woman
said to the serpent
we may
eat fruit from the trees in the garden
but watch where she messes up
but god did say
you must not eat fruit from the tree
that is in the middle of the garden
you must not touch it
or you will die
where did touching the tree come into
go back to read genesis chapter one and
chapter two at what point did god ever
say anything about touching the tree
he doesn't he just said jesus says don't
eat from it
now i don't know exactly what happened
there i don't know exactly where the the
miscommunication was but but i have to
believe that adam did what we do
what human beings tend to do is we take
god's word and and god's doctrine and
then sometimes what we do is we put
these dogmas around it
because we don't want you we don't want
people to mess up and and to fall into
the sin so so we say you know don't do
what god said in sin but then also don't
do these things that are close to sin
but the problem is those things aren't
in god's word
and it's confusing to people and it's
often misleading to people
and there's all kinds of these examples
you know i'm not trying to pick on any
uh denomination i'm not trying to pick
on any church tradition but but i
understand there is a difference between
tradition and actual theology
and i'll give you some examples like
like there's some church traditions that
say we'll say christ followers are not
allowed to dance
that we can't dance
there's the bible doesn't say anything
about not dancing king david dance
miriam dance people dance
but the bible does say that that we
shouldn't give into fornication
and what people were afraid of was that
if you're a really good dancer
that might lead to some trouble
so they say don't even dance
because we don't even get close to this
thing that actually is sin
or or i had a friend growing up i never
understood this because i wasn't raised
going to church so i had a friend
growing up
and i was over their house at night and
i was like hey let's just you know play
some games whatever and like we could
play you know
cards and they're like oh no
we're not allowed to play with playing
cards i'm like what
i never heard that yeah christians
aren't allowed to play with cards i'm
like what
and i'm studying i'm going to buy where
does it say christians can't play with
playing cards
but you know where it came from it says
that christians shouldn't be a part of
witchcraft and they were afraid that
cards were like tarot cards they were
afraid it was like witchcraft like okay
i'm sorry i'm just playing rummy okay
like i'm not trying to cast a spell here
i was getting three sevens anyway
and then what happened so so these these
dogmas around the laws oftentimes they
they mislead people from the truth and
i'm telling you
well there's a gap in this truth that's
where satan likes to play
so he comes at eve here
and he tries to twist god's word the
governor says they can't eat from any
tree she says well no you can we just
came from that one and then she adds
probably something that adam told her
adam price said god told me you weren't
here but he was he told me don't eat
from that tree
you know what just don't touch it just
don't even touch it
and so that was what she thought the
rule was
now watch
watch how satan works
look at this very next verse verse 4.
you will not certainly die
the serpent said to the woman
i wish
i was so bad that the bible was
i wish we could have seen what was
actually happening because
because i wonder and this is just my own
personal opinion so this
i wonder
if satan was not standing right next to
that tree and he said you really can't
eat from any of these trees and he's
like well no we can but just not that
one or you can't even touch it or we'll
and i wonder with right when he said
this verse if he was like
oh surely
you won't die
and i wonder if he just reached out and
just touched that tree right in front of
her see
you're not gonna die if you touch it
it's not a big deal
it doesn't do anything
it doesn't hurt anybody
isn't that what we do
oh it's just a few drinks i can i can
control it i can handle it i
it doesn't hurt anybody
oh it's just it's just it's just a
little more a little bit more debt it's
just a couple more payments if i could
finance it i can afford it it doesn't
hurt anybody
there are things that
that are actual sins that that put us in
and i wonder how many of us are just
touching those things and satan saying
it's fine
it's not a big deal
everybody's doing it
just have fun
so he tells eve certainly
you're not going to die and i wonder if
he was touching that tree
and then he gets to the crux he gets to
the temptation of it look at verse 5.
this is the serpent talking he says for
god knows that when you eat from this
your eyes will be open
and you will be like
good and evil
and i think that's why
every single one of us
falls into that trap of sin
because every single one of us
wants to be our own god
we want to be in control of our life
we want to do what we want what makes us
feel good what we feel like we deserve
and it doesn't hurt anybody else
and i can control it i can handle this
and so we make our own decisions to sin
here's eve's decision verse six it goes
when the woman saw that the fruit of the
tree was good for food
pleasing to the eye
and also desirable for gaining wisdom
she took some
and she ate it
the very thing she wasn't supposed to do
she also gave some to her husband who
was with her
and he ate it
and then sin
enters this world
a knowledge human beings
cannot handle
became available to us
the ability to justify
the ability to rationalize
the knowledge of good and evil
and so then from that moment on humanity
started a love affair
with sin
there's two main theological thoughts
when it comes to sin
one is that because of what just took
place right there that we read about at
the very beginning because of adam and
eve's sin
some uh theologians and some scholars
will say that every human being from
that moment on is born into sin
that the moment you were born you're
just slimy and gray and sinful instantly
now another theological thought
is that human beings are born with the
ability to sin
but it's not until you
commit your own sin that you then are
under the yoke of sin that you're not
being punished for adam's sin adam sin
makes it available to you to sin but
it's not until you come to your own
knowledge of good and evil and you
choose evil yourself
it really doesn't matter it sticks one
way half a dozen of another because
what it boils down to is this
every single one of us have sinned
we were all born into this world that
was broken by the sin of adam and eve
and at some point every single one of us
has absolutely without a shadow of a
doubt knew what was right
and we chose to do wrong
and because of that
we now have that not the monsters among
we now have a monster in us
sin is alive in every single one of us
if you want to read a book in the bible
that's not about dogma but it's actually
about good doctrine
go with the book of romans
romans is a great book that talks about
all of this stuff and explains it all
very well and very clearly and in romans
chapter 5 verse 12 it tells us where sin
came from look what it says it says
therefore just as sin entered the world
through one man and death through sin
and in this way death came to all people
because all sinned
to be sure sin was in the world before
the law was given
it says
we all have sin
it came into this world through adam
but it's not adam's problem anymore
it's our problem
and you are not going to find a solution
to this problem until you're willing to
admit it's a problem for you
and that's the first thing i need to say
is you need to admit that you
struggle with sin and when i say that
you we have to understand what sin is
because that verse in romans it says you
know you know just a sin entered the
word world you know the new testament
the bible was not written in english it
was written in greek and in the greek
the word sin is not s-i-n no the word
sin is a greek word called harmatia
and hermitia doesn't mean bad
it means
lost it means to miss the mark
it means to be aiming for something
but to harmonia to miss what you're
aiming for
and that's what sin does
sin doesn't just make us bad sin makes
us lost
and i can't tell you how many times that
i see people struggling with sin and
they think it's just about like being a
bad person no no like
what sin does it it keeps you from being
where you want to be
i remember growing up in the 80s there
was a commercial um that was on tv it
was like this guy like a gray sweat suit
on and he was like running down like the
street and like was like slow motion
running you know and then like the voice
over was like you know like little kids
like i want to be a football player when
i grow up and i want to be an olympian
when i grow up and and the guy's just
running you know
and then the camera zooms out further
and then you see two police officers
chasing the guy
and then they cat you know the cash is
like no one says i want to be a junkie
when i grow up
commercials hit different in the 80s
guys say that like
i got dark quick you know like
but it's true
no one says i want to be divorced no one
says i want to be addicted no one says i
want to have broken relationships no one
says i want to be in crippling debt no
one says i want my life to be out of
control and have broken you know no one
says those things
that's not what we're any human being
wants to be we don't want to be there
but why are so many people there
why are so many people there that's not
where anybody wants to be
it's because sin crept in
and it caused us to miss the mark
we need to be aware of sin
we need to understand the problem of sin
every every year a lot of people like to
make lists like what they want to
achieve in the year what they want to
accomplish in a year and i want to i
want to get to here i want to do that
maybe maybe instead of saying like what
when you're when you're making that list
maybe maybe make the list about what you
want to accomplish this year
but maybe write down
what's two or three little sins
little decisions that if i make those
it's going to keep me from getting where
i want to be
if you eat a quarter pounder of cheese
every week and you want to be healthy
that's going to cause you to miss that
it's just little decisions
that we give into these temptations that
oftentimes cause us to miss the big
place where we want to be
and we find ourselves in these detours
now i know how you
you deal with detours i living in
michigan is a trip for me because i'm
not from michigan i've been living here
now for 16 years i love it now it's home
now for me my daughters were born here
but i had to get used to driving in
michigan because mdot doesn't play
i can't tell you how many times i'm
driving down the interstate i'm like
going to get off the exit that i
normally get off of and just like mdot
just like nope psych
shut down like can i get a warning like
a few miles back no figure it out
and then i'm stuck in like recalculating
purgatory with my my phone you know i
was like recalculating recalculating
and i was like oh i was like i lost like
30 minutes of my life i just wanted to
be here i knew where i wanted to go and
and it detoured me
i wonder how many of us
you know i'm not talking like losing a
detour like an hour of your day i wonder
how many of us
we know where we want to be in life
but we hit a detour of addiction
and we lost a decade fighting alcoholism
i wonder how many of us do we know where
we wanted to be at retirement but then
we hit a we hit a detour of debt
and it took us years to dig out of it
i wonder how many of us knew what we
we wanted what god created for us good
and when i say god what's good for you
i'm not saying like he wants to have a
range rover
i'm saying he wants you to have love joy
peace patience kindness gentleness like
god wants you to have a good
but then we sin
and we get chaos and drama
and despair and fear
all of this happens because of sin
and what we need to realize is
god gave us a way to conquer sin
and it's through jesus christ
that's why this matters
that's why i do this that's why i stand
on stages and talk to you because i just
want to wake people up to what's really
attacking us
it's ourselves it's the sin that's in us
and we have to we have to look up from
this the routine of life and we have to
see what's happening and where we're
heading and we need to put ourselves
back on track
by focusing on jesus
i love that the bible gives us this
constant metaphor that jesus is the
shepherd and we are the sheep
because sheep are dumb
and then think about what like what a
shepherd does a shepherd a shepherd
keeps the sheep together literally the
shepherd's job is to keep the sheep from
getting lost because you know what she
will do
it'll get lost by itself because it just
looks down
it just eats
and the sheep is just looking down
and it's not looking for a shepherd
and it looks like hey where'd everybody
and then they're lost and then they're
attacked and then they die
the shepherd's job every now and then is
to keep the sheep's attention to keep
looking up at him to keep them together
and i wonder how many of us if we're
just being honest
we live life like this
just mortgage payments
my bills
tic tocs
sports team you know we're just like
we're just we're just looking down at
what is right in front of us and we're
not paying attention to the end game
we have a savior
who wants to cause all of us to look up
and to look unto him
that's why i love the way
peter puts this when he says this in
first peter chapter 2 verse 25
for you
were like sheep
going astray
but now you have returned to the
and overseer of your souls
that's what jesus wants to do
he wants to literally change your life
put you back on track to hit the mark
that you were always intended to hit to
get to the place
where he wants you to be jesus wants you
sin wants you in hell
jesus wants you to be holy
sin wants you to be afraid
jesus says would you please look up at
because i am the way
i am the truth
i am the life
and if you want to get to the father
i don't know what steps you're going to
need to take today
but i know the first thing
is we need to own our sin
realize it's in us
don't be blind to it be aware of it
and then let's
lift our heads up
and maybe just risk trusting jesus
and see if he is the absolute way
because when you test that for yourself
then you're going to find that this
faith is real not because i said it
but because you're going to experience
life to the full
and that is
the walk of the living
and i would hope each of us
would take whatever steps we need to
today to join
with that
would you pray with me
let's pray father god i come before you
and lord
father that's my prayer
that we
every single one of us in this room god
can acknowledge the sin that is in us
that the problems of this world are not
with a political party they're not with
another person around us but the problem
is the evil that is within us
and so god i pray for deliverance from
and i know the only way to get back on
is to focus on your son
so father as we lift him up here right
now as we sing this last worship song as
we magnify the name of jesus
i pray that the bondage of sin would be
even if it's momentarily for us here
and that the path would be illuminated
to live life
with you and for you
and father for any soul in this room who
says it needs to say yes
to jesus for the very first time holy
spirit may you have your way today
i pray this in jesus name
amen amen

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