Do you KNOW what sin is?
Can you define it?
Is it arbitrary? Fleeting?
Is it something you rationalize (make the unreasonable sound reasonable)?
What if we look up “sin + definition” online at sites such as Webster and dictionary.com. What do we find?
- An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
- an offense against religious or moral law
- transgression of the law of God
- transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
- any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
- any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It’s a sin to waste time.
- A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.
- a. Deliberate disobedience to the known will of God.
- b. A condition of estrangement from God resulting from such disobedience.
- To violate a religious or moral law.
- To commit an offense or violation.
This is what the world says sin is. Is it accurate? Can it be analyzed (as in quantitative or qualitative)? What is immoral? What is transgression? What is violation? How are they determined? WHO determines? Will each person determine the same way? How is the bar set?
In other words, could you from the above definitions ALONE make an ACCURATE statement regarding what sin is and what sin is not that would be supported by the text? I suppose you could PROVIDED that you KNEW the law and KNEW the will of God, however, my question was from just the above definitions ALONE. The definitions do not state what the will of God, or moral law, or religious law, or moral principles are.
To truly understand what sin is, we have to go to the text. We have to see how it was used – what context it was used in and why. You see the above definitions may have some truth in them, but they are NOT the WHOLE truth. For the whole truth, we have to search the text . . .
Some might (and some do) say that sin is really more of a curse handed down from generation to generation because of a single man and a single woman and that curse became their own sin.
Compare the following:
Genesis 2:25 (CJB)
25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.
Man and woman naked in the Garden and not ashamed. Sin is not in existence yet. Once chapter later we find the same story with a much different take by the man and the woman:
Genesis 3:8-11 (CJB)
8 They heard the voice of Adonai, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Adonai, God, among the trees in the garden. 9 Adonai, God, called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I ordered you not to eat?”
Quite a difference, huh? What caused this difference? What caused this fear? What caused this sudden shame that they now felt?
Genesis 2:15-17 (CJB)
15 Adonai, God, took the person
and put him in the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate and care for it.
16 Adonai, God, gave the person this order:
“You may freely eat from every tree in the garden
17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
You are not to eat from it,
because on the day that you eat from it,
it will become certain that you will die.”
This was a command from God himself to the man. The man knew it and the WOMAN that was made from the man knew it too:
Genesis 3:1-3 (CJB)
1 Now the serpent was more crafty
than any wild animal which Adonai, God, had made.
He said to the woman,
“Did God really say,
‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman answered the serpent,
“We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden
God said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’”
The serpent calls God a liar. He tells the woman God has not told her the truth . . . He implies that the reason is that God knows if she eats from the tree, she will be like God:
Genesis 3:4-5 (CJB)
4 The serpent said to the woman,
“It is not true that you will surely die;
5 because God knows that on the day you eat from it,
your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God,
knowing good and evil.”
The woman makes the first rationalization (attempt to make the unreasonable sound reasonable) – well, 3 of them actually in the text. She makes these rationalizations to justify breaking the command from Adonai that she had just proclaimed with her mouth in verse 3:
Genesis 3:6 (CJB)
6 When the woman saw that the tree was:
good for food,
that it had a pleasing appearance
and that the tree was desirable for making one wise,
she took some of its fruit and ate.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her; and he ate.
This was the first sin . . . the original sin, right? Eating the fruit that she admitted that she was told she was NOT to EAT or to TOUCH – willfully disobeying God. I am going to challenge tradition and say that it was NOT the original sin!
I realize that for some of you, your defenses just went up regarding that statement on original sin. You are ready to stop reading right now. If you can drop your defenses for just a bit, you are going to see a truth that you will NOT be able to ignore – I promise!
The original sin was NOT a single act of eating the fruit and disobeying God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil . . .
it was the LACK OF TRUST in the God that gave the command!
Before she broke the command(s) to NOT eat and NOT touch, she rationalized! Remember the (3) rationalizations from above?
- good for food,
- that it had a pleasing appearance
- and that the tree was desirable for making one wise,
What was she rationalizing? You have to look deeper than just on the surface! She was building a case – excuses – rationalizations for disobeying God. A lack of trust that was rationalized by the woman and accepted by the man! I am going to let that sink in for a minute . . .
Why was she doing this? Why is he accepting her rationalizations? Pay careful attention:
Because before she ever broke God’s commands,
she chose to trust in someone or something OTHER than God!
She chose to trust the serpent’s LIE over God’s TRUTH!
We know that disobeying His commands are a sin. Is lack of trust in Adonai not also sin? Is not trusting that His word(s) is and are true not a sin as well?
The serpent called God a liar. Notice the following (the serpent’s lie):
Genesis 3:4 (CJB)
4 The serpent said to the woman, “It is not true that you will surely die;
Compare this to the God’s commands to the woman and man (God’s truth):
Genesis 3:3 (CJB)
3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said,
‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’”
I have written the following in many of my posts regarding my experience with people that rationalize their behaviors in light of and in spite of God’s word:
It has been my experience that when someone makes a rationalization,
it is usually in contradistinction to the word of God.
You see, the oldest rationalization in the bible results in the REAL ORIGINAL SIN:
LACK OF TRUST! – Trusting the serpent’s word over God’s word!
Lets recap so that there is no confusion:
- God makes 2 commands: (don’t eat and don’t touch)
- God says “if you eat or touch, you will die!”
- The serpent says “God is a liar – you won’t die . . .”
- The woman chooses to believe the serpent – she chooses to believe that God is a liar!
- She does this by making (3) rationalizations to support her rejection of God’s commands.
- The man accepts her rationalizations
- She eats
- He eats
What was the enticement that was worth rejecting God’s Truth and embracing the serpent’s lie? What was the enticement that resulted in the need to make (3) rationalizations? What was the enticement that resulted in a lack of trust? Remember what the text says?
Genesis 3:5 (CJB) “. . . and you will be like God, . . .”
Brothers and Sisters – I pray that you have ears to hear this and eyes to see this:
False teachers are no different than the serpent!
They teach that God is a liar!
They teach that His word is corrupt!
They teach that THEY have the truth!
But more so, they teach the most destructive thing of all – they teach the “original sin” as part of their core presentation:
They defile and destroy people’s trust in the one true God!!!
The following is going to be hard for more than a few of you. These are popular teachers and preachers. In fact, they are some of the most popular teachers and preachers in the world.
What you are going to hear from them in the following video and audio clips can NOT be ignored in light of what we have just studied in the text. But to be absolutely sure and to leave no chance that you don’t, I am going to spell it out for you in simple terms:
The following clips teach that you are made in God’s image and therefore a “little god” . . .
(Make no mistake, they are not teaching that you are a judge which is one of the understandings of elohim – they are teaching that you are divine.)
The following clips use the same line of reasoning that the serpent did in the garden:
Genesis 3:5 (CJB) “. . . and you will be like God, . . .”
Paula White and Creflo Dollar:
There are so many more. What do they all have in common? They are word of faith teachers – prosperity gospel teachers . . .
When you look at the videos above, there is no denying the similarity to the serpent’s enticement in the garden – there is no denying the implications. And yet if you can and do deny, then I would ask a question that I have asked before:
Now watch this small clip by Justin Peters as he refutes some of these teachers:
You see, when you defend a man-made doctrine instead of the text that refutes it . . .
when you defend a heresy committed by a teacher or preacher against the very text itself . . .
When you rationalize that what they have done and what they have said is okay or even preferable . . .
then you truly worship and God YOU have created and not the GOD that created you.
You have chose to trust in something that is not trustworthy . . .
You have chosen to believe the serpent and call God a liar!
We were warned that this would happen. It was not a “might” happen. It was a “will” happen.
It is happening NOW:
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (CJB)
3 For the time is coming
when people will not have patience for sound teaching,
but will cater to their passions
and gather around themselves teachers
who say whatever their ears itch to hear.
4 Yes, they will stop listening to the truth,
but will turn aside to follow myths.
I see this every single day. With those I work with. Those I worship with. Friends. Family. Bloggers. Facebook. Newspapers. Emails. Private messages. Phone calls. Pastors. Rabbis. Teachers. Religions . . .
People . . .
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (CJB)
9 What has been is what will be,
what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Whether it is in teachings like the “little gods” teaching by some of these word of faith preachers or the enticement in the garden by the serpent, the following is sure to follow if you start rationalizing that it is true: a lack of trust in God’s word, God’s provision, and God’s promises. Whether it was the serpent then or the serpents now, there is nothing new under the sun. So some more simple questions beg to be asked:
Are you going to accept His commands or reject His commands?
Are you going to cater to your passions or listen to His truth?
Are you going to believe the serpent or the one that created the serpent?
Are you going to rationalize?
Are you bold enough to call God a liar?