Re-understanding Sin

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. — Genesis 3:6, NIV.

Is sin in the actions or in the thoughts? Did sin enter the earth when Adam and Eve took that fateful bite? Or did sin enter the earth when Adam thought about eating? And if sin entered the earth when Adam thought about eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, how can we make sense of humanity’s relationship with God between the time Adam thought of eating and the time Eve took her first bite?

Surely, sin was present on earth way before that fateful morning.

If sin was on earth before Adam and Eve took that fateful bite, then what use is that plant that was so meticulously planted by God in the middle of the garden?

I think we can draw a parallel here.

Sin is in the heart of humanity. Law is the written or spoken command from God.

Without the law, sin would have no meaning. There wouldn’t be a command to break and hence, no expression of sin.

Without sin, the law would have no purpose. Everyone would abide by the law wilfully with no sin acting as the motivation to break anything.

Now, we know that the Law will not be abolished. In fact, it is here to stay. Christ came to fulfil the Law. And unless our righteousness can surpass that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, we will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. So, how can we, by mere rational thought, overcome the motivations that are rooted so deeply in our heart to sin? We can’t. As what Paul mentioned, “the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” So we are doomed. That is, unless we hold on to the law of the Spirit — through Jesus Christ — who gives life and set us free from the law of sin and death.

In other words, we will never be able to overcome sin on our own except through the law of the Spirit through Jesus Christ.

Understanding this helps us understand the nature of sin it itself. We might be stuck in sin, trapped in addiction and unhealthy habits that we find it hard to escape from. And that’s okay. Understanding that we are unable to overcome sin by our own will helps us understand that we are not called to face addictions and unhealthy habits alone. We are called to face all of these struggles with the law of the Spirit: – Christ.

Believers in Christ are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit. Because we are in Christ and Christ is in us, even though our body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because it is righteous in Himself. In Christ, we become the righteousness of God.

And if we’re in Christ, we have an obligation to put to death the misdeeds of the body. But not by our own will, but by He who lives in us.

Do not be overwhelmed with guilt if you’re struggling in sin or is unable to come out of the addiction you’re facing. You’re not made to face this alone. You’re not made to come out of it on your own. Rather, trust that Christ has overcome the world and fulfilled the law of sin with the law of the Spirit. And in Him, we put our faith, knowing that He will take us out of our current struggles and liberate us into life everlasting.

Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay
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