Mar 15

Session 1 Recap: Phillips, “Contentment Lost: Sin and Restlessness”

2014 | by Michael Kelshaw | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Michael Kelshaw is the Head Minister at Trinity at the Marketplace in Albuquerque NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Rick Phillips’ message from Friday evening at Clarus, March 14, “Contentment Lost: Sin and Restlessness,” from Genesis 3.


Pastor Rick Phillips introduced the conference by unpacking the problem that we are really dealing with in an exposition of Genesis 3.

Pastor Phillips began by defining true contentment as being self-satisfied. In this sense contentment is only true of God, who is completely satisfied in himself. In being completely self-satisfied, God may take his contentment and give it to us, and that means that contentment is delighting in God despite all of our circumstances.

In Genesis 3, we see one of Satan’s greatest strategies for his assault on God and God’s creation is to breathe discontentment into Eve (vv. 1-6). Satan wants to lead Eve away from God’s blessing by deceiving her into forgetting the glory and goodness of God. He ultimately wants Adam and Eve to choose the gifts over the Giver. Pastor Phillips explained that “discontentment flourishes where there is confusion about God and ignorance of God.” In other words, discontentment is the questioning of the goodness of God and comes when we want God’s gifts and not God himself.

What makes this so difficult is that sin is deceitful. Satan didn’t come at Eve with a gentlemanly, frontal attack but with a flanking attack of deception. It is the nature of Satan and of sin to deceive. Not only that, but the human heart is deceitful as well, and therefore the source of our discontentment is very often from within. Sin says that it will be better, that it will make me happier, or that it will satisfy me. But these are all lies. Because of the deceitfulness of sin and our hearts, our desires are no longer trustworthy.

When contentment is lost, the results are a loss of communion with God and a loss of communion with others. Adam and Eve hid themselves in shame, blamed others, and were cursed with lives of struggle and pain. Pastor Phillips showed how grasping for satisfaction in a world of sin can never give us the satisfaction that we actually desire because without God man cannot be content.

We were made by God and for God to know God. Therefore, we can only be wholly content when we are in right relationship and communion with him. God has sent his Son to be the victor over Satan and sin. When I surrender all to Jesus, I get everything in him. On the cross Jesus paid the price for my sin and has clothed me in his righteousness. When I surrender myself to him, I have everything in him, and therefore I have everything I need. I have true contentment and am supremely satisfied in him because only he is completely satisfying.