Beginning and Besetting Sin

Looking at Genesis 3 we see the flow and function of sin being set for the course of human history. Before we look to the sin in Genesis 3, I would like to point out that even here, Satan is under God’s rule. He is made by God (3:1) and God has authority and power to curse him (3:14-15). Also, no where in Scripture is the Devil seen as a victorious being, he is always being controlled and defeated. Ok, back to the sin.

The first question that is asked of Adam and Eve is a challenge to the authority of God’s Word, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Given that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), we should not assume that this is an innocent question. It is not like Adam, Eve, and the Devil were having a Bible study and the Devil asks, “Where does the Bible say you have to be immersed for your baptism to count?” No. His question was more like this, “Did God really say that you can’t do that?” with a long held toothy grin, crooked eyebrows, and raspy laugh. The question is a direct challenge to the revelation that Adam and Eve received. This is the beginning of sin and it is also the besetting sin of our day.

Our culture is asking the same question, “Did God really say…?” Fill in the blank. Did God really say that homosexuality is a sin? That marriage is between a man and a woman? That abortion is murder? That taxation is wrong? That there truly is a difference between boys and girls? That all men, women, and children are sinners? That there is only one way to salvation? That the church is necessary? That the Bible is true? That repentance is required? That faith is a gift? And on and on. I wonder who their father is?

But the Devil does not end there, he pursues Adam and Eve offensively. After asking his deceptive question, he then responds, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). Here, the Word of God is openly challenged, twisted and distorted, and we see that the Devil is a thorough rationalist submitting the Word of the Creator to the finite mind of the creature. It is kind of like when your friend who attends church whenever she wants (which means never), because she is spiritual not religious and can worship God at home by herself, thank you very much (but you and I highly doubt she worships anything except herself) says, “Well, my God would never send someone to hell (if it exists) because my God is love.” See what our friend did there? She took Scripture (Revelation 21:81 John 4:8), openly challenged it, twisted and distorted it to fit her scheme, and created a god in her image. I wonder who her father is?

The beginning and besetting sin of the world is simply put like this: man wants to displace God with himself. This is why R.C. Sproul has aptly defined sin as cosmic treason.

In opposition to this may we be Christians who submit to the God who made us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), may we worship Him and Him alone (Exodus 20:1-6), may we trust His Word (Psalm 19:7), may we place our faith in the One who saves us from our sin (Acts 2:38), and by His grace may we persevere to the end (Revelation 21:7).

Now, before I bring this to a close, if Christians do all of what I just said, we will receive words like this, “Who do you think you are?!” “Who made you God?!” “Who gave you the authority to…?!” “That’s why I hate the church, you’re all arrogant!” And so on. Now, let’s just examine these two scenarios. Here we have God’s revelation, the Bible. One group of people want to challenge it, twist and distort it, create a god in their image, and submit the infinite Creator to the finite creature. On the other hand, there are people who submit to the Bible, believe it’s truth, have an authority outside of themselves that they are accountable to, instead of twisting and distorting the Bible they seek to study and cherish the Bible. Instead of making God in their image, they want to be built up into the image of Christ. So, I ask, who is the arrogant one? The one who submits to truth, or the one who tries to create it?

So, how do we battle this opposition? The same way Jesus did. We battle the opposition against God with our words, calling out sin and calling for repentance. We battle this opposition against God with our actions, we pursue mercy and peace. We battle this with our blood, we give our lives for the sake of the glory of God and the wonderful name of Jesus Christ. Adam should have upheld God’s Word, rebuked the Devil, and died if necessary battling the Serpent for his bride. Let us not be like Adam, let us be like Christ, who upheld God’s Word, rebuked and routed the Devil, and died for the redemption of His Bride.

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” –Revelation 12:10-11



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