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The Legacy of One Sin

Romans 5:12-14
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned – To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. (NIVUK)

How did death come into God’s perfect creation (Genesis 1:31)?  It came because of sin.  The first act of rebellion against God started by Satan sowing doubts into Eve’s mind (James 1:13-15).  Doubts about God’s goodness were followed by the devil deliberately contradicting God’s Word - before presenting an attractive reason why the divine command meant nothing, and human feelings meant everything.  Adam was with Eve listening to Satan, and they agreed to defy God (Genesis 3:1-6).  But when they did, the sweet fruit immediately turned sour in their hearts, and they wanted to hide from God: but it was too late (Genesis 3:7-8).  Although Adam unfairly blamed his wife and Eve played the victim of Satan’s truth-scam (Genesis 3:9-13), God had the last word for that day.  Satan was put under a death sentence (Genesis 3:14-15) and the rebels would be cast out to live painfully until they died (Genesis 3:16-24).  

Death became the new normal, and each new generation validates God’s conclusion as everybody continues sinning (Romans 3:23).  Is 'sin' just a legal matter - the breaking of a law?  Is it only Jews who sin if they break the law of Moses?  No!  Before Moses there was no law but there was sin.  The evidence of ongoing sin was the trail of continued death (the punishment for sin) from Adam, through Moses and in every community to the present time.  One sin wrecked the relationship with God for all of us.  And yet we keep adding to that pile of rebellion.

Sin is described as 'reigning'.  It is a commander or controller, a law unto itself - a law which has only one objective: to defy Almighty God (Romans 7:15-20).  That is the problem which lies at the heart of our fallen natures.  We know it is true - because sin so easily arises within us to contradict God's Word, pouring doubt on His promises and cunningly convincing us that our own thoughts and feelings should be obeyed rather than God’s Word.  Jesus experienced the same style of temptation but responded by affirming God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15).

So, how can we 'dethrone' sin?  As the answer to lies is the truth, so the answer to rebelling against God's Word is to submit to it.  We might fool ourselves to think that we are in perfect control of our lives, but do not be deceived: sin is lurking as a 'sleeping' spy within our hearts, waiting to find any weakness and then divert our hearts away from obeying the Lord (James 1:13-15).  Of course, the devil is behind it, but he rarely needs to intervene because the dormant virus of sin will come to life whenever we take our eyes off Jesus.  So, stay close to Him, obeying His Word today (Luke 11:28)!

All knowing God. Thank You for the Bible through which I can understand the truth about myself. I am sorry for giving space for sin to multiply in me, and for imagining that sin is only big social violations, so that I get complacent and fail to notice my rebellions of selfishness and pride. Please help me to be much more vigilant and to start each day aware of my weakness so that I can call on Your strength to help me obey You and not resist Your will in my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams