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Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Sin Hath Wrought - Part 3

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14)
The devil's strategy for ruining mankind is worth taking note of. Satan thought out his plan very well and chose to approach the woman first. I have found that discussing this matter seems to be offensive to some women, but the fact remains that this is how God says sin entered into the world. This is not about laying the blame for the sin of mankind on the woman, and therefore making all women guilty. She is not to be blamed, any more than Adam, because he sinned also, just as every man and woman has since. So for women now to get up in the air about the account in the Bible of how sin entered the world is a very ungodly way to feel and think. There are some very obvious reasons why the Serpent approached the woman first instead of the man, and we are going to look at some of them.

Satan did not attempt to deceive or attack Adam in person, but entered into the situation by striking up a conversation with the woman and influencing her thinking. Her feminine nature was more susceptible to the subtle and deceitful reasoning presented by the Serpent. He took advantage of her God-given characteristics in order to prevail. Furthermore, the Serpent chose the woman first because she was made after God had given Adam the commandment about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so she had received the knowledge of God's command from her husband, while Adam had received it directly from God. Another advantage Satan had by going to the woman was that he knew she had much more power to influence Adam than he did himself, because of her relationship to him and her access to his heart. His goal was to bring to bear on the man such pressure that he would yield and disobey God. We should be aware that Satan never changes his strategy. He will not attempt to enter through the most fortified gates. We can be sure that he will work subtly and deceitfully through whatever person or median that has access to the mind and heart of the person he is out to destroy.

What happened when Adam and Eve sinned has had far greater consequences than just the sorrow and hardship they suffered for the rest of their lives. There is no argument that the entire human race has been affected by their sin. Life has been made hard for all of us. Furthermore, it is obvious from observation, and confirmed by the Scriptures that all men are sinners, and that all men die. But we must look deeper than physical things in order to understand spiritual matters. What really happened when Adam and Eve ate that fruit? Did it change the molecular structure of their physical bodies? Did it cause a mutation in their genes that made all their offspring sinners by nature? Did it introduce some substance into their bloodstream called "sin" that is now passed from person to person like a disease? When put this way these ideas sound absurd, but they are in fact what most modern doctrine is based upon.

What really happened when Adam and Eve sinned was that their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked. They obtained the knowledge of evil - they already had the knowledge of good. They knew about the concept of evil, but now they knew evil experimentally. They knew evil was possible because God had established that fact by simply setting before Adam a forbidden object. But now they have identified themselves with evil instead of good - they have become sinners. Their souls have been altered from their original state of innocence and now are guilty. The pain and darkness and sense of loss that always accompanies sin is now a permanent part of their very being.

The manner in which one soul begets another is a mystery that is far too deep for our comprehension. Although man has dissected, analyzed, and studied all the physical aspects of how reproduction occurs, he cannot explain how a soul is created and set apart from another soul.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)

Man seems to have trouble grasping spiritual truths without trying to make them conform to physical processes. It is one of the great errors of our time that all moral and behavioral problems are believed to be based on physical things, and therefore treatable with physical means. There are so many problems now that have no identifiable physical cause that a new generic term has been invented to describe them - they call them "disorders." Many things that used to be considered immoral behavior are now considered to be simply a "disorder." It is interesting that they chose that word because it is certainly very appropriate. "Disorder" perfectly describes the behavior of people who do not behave according to the way they were designed. Believing that all behavior is somehow caused by physical composition or processes they assume there are drugs, surgeries, and mind games that will correct any "disorder." This is basically what is called sorcery in the Bible and is condemned by God as a most serious sin.

Just as the soul of Adam descended from God, so the souls of our children are descended from us. Our offspring get more from us than physical traits and characteristics. We always see ourselves in our children - not just in their physical characteristics, but in their personality and disposition. They are not only our flesh and blood, but their soul is begotten of ours. Although God is without sin, Adam, being separate from God, sinned even though he was the offspring of God himself. Likewise, Eve, although she was the very flesh and bone of Adam, and her soul was descended from him, she was separate from him, and sinned. Now Adam and Eve begin to have sons and daughters.

Example is the strongest influence. What they had done was their example, and it could not be undone. When their children got old enough to begin to ask questions how did they explain the reason for covering their nakedness? They had sinned against God and life was difficult because of their sin in every respect. This was the kind of life that their children inherited from them.

We can see in the first child born on earth that he followed the bad example of his parents. He made up his own mind about what was acceptable to God, and got angry with God for not agreeing with him and approving of his attempt to be his own moral authority. But we must also take notice that the second son was a righteous man who obeyed God and obtained the witness of God that he was righteous. He offered an acceptable sacrifice to God and ended up being murdered because of his righteousness. So of the first two children of Adam and Eve one was wicked and one was righteous. If sin were a physical substance transferred from the parents to the children then they both would have been wicked. The truth is that Cain and Abel were both able to choose to obey or to disobey God, just as their parents were. Their circumstances were just far more difficult than their parents were, and ours are even far more difficult still. The way we come into existence in this world now assures that selfishness will be rooted well in our hearts before we have any knowledge of God. That selfishness must be dealt with by parents who are usually selfish and immature themselves. So their walk talks louder than their talk talks and the children follow their example. Since the first parents sinned, sin has been the path of least resistance. As people multiply, so does the power of sin, and the resistance to righteousness increases. This is a truth that applies to all the social order of man - cities, nations, churches, etc.

The fact is that we cannot blame our sin on anyone or anything else but ourselves.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

It is true that we live in a sinful world and the pressure is on us to follow their example. It is true that as long as we are in such a world we will be tempted to sin. It is true that lies and deception abound and that we are very vulnerable to being deceived.

But it is also true that God has sent a Savior and has made an Atonement for our sin. It is also true that we can be forgiven of our sins which are past and be delivered from sins power and dominion by being born again and trusting in the Savior. We are not doomed to sin and to live under its power. We can walk with God and shine as lights in this dark and evil world. We can overcome all that is against us by the Spirit of God living in us and the written Word of God He has preserved for us.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

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