Sin Enters In
I don’t think I am alone in not liking this section of Genesis.
I don’t want to affirm sin; I want exclaim blessing. The bible begins not with sin, but with God creating a good universe full of blessing making man in his image. Man wrecks havoc, the eating the fruit of the tree is not a factual event in history, but a symbol of all the times we miss the mark. Our curse is not due to a distant relative biting an apple, but from succumbing to our selfish inclinations. Original sin as I understand it is man’s inherited desire to be the center of the universe and all the ways he goes about doing this. Violence, denigration, abuse, misuse, arrogance, hatred are all aspects of sin and when we chose to live in these ways we choose sin over grace. We are born in a world that too often values sin over grace and makes it too easy to submit to sin’s power.
Sin makes me uncomfortable. It is not fun to consider. I try not to mention it. Yet, sin is our harsh reality and it won’t go away. It is the present, pervading condition of the universe. We can ignore it until the cows come home, but that will not lessen its impact on our lives. Yes, we are images of God and made to reflect God. Too often, our lives do not reflect God, but our own selfish inclinations more than our divine inner spark.
John Calvin said, “Original sin seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature.”
Bonheoffer says we live between the curse and the promise, the curse of sin and the promise of grace found in the cross of Jesus.
Sin is present in our condition and colors everything. It is a fundamental, inexhaustible, inescapable reality that everything—the good and bad—we do is east of Eden. We say we are sinners and are forgiven, but often live as if we were perfect without blemish. We look for shortcuts to heaven. We search out ways of happiness and are satisfied with momentary bliss. We’d rather be happy than transformed. We’d rather point fingers at others than accepting our brokenness.
Sin is wrong. It is not how life should be. It deceives us into doing the things we don’t want to do. Sin is life gone wrong and creates wickedness in our hearts and souls.
Jesus has defeated sin and he offers healing and redemption.
I don’t want to go on too long about sin. I think it’s enough for us acknowledge our sin and that God’s grace is sufficient to renounce our sin. We also need to realize that sin is not God’s first word about man or creation. God’s first word, a word that echoes down the years to us today is that it is very good. Goodness and blessing is our natural state, sin entered the picture from our doing and skews the picture God has painted. Through, Jesus dying on the cross we are reconciled back to God to live our real life in the Kingdom of God. Our future hope lies not in anything of this world but in a person, in Jesus Christ our hope lives eternal.
Love is the key to overcoming our sin. The love God has for us and our love for God will have the final word and sin will be no more. We live between the curse and the promise. Our life should not be defined by the curse, but living towards the promise.
Bad news: sin is real, we often miss the mark, and sometimes we do and say things that go against who we really are.
Good news: we are loved not for anything we’ve done, forgiveness is possible, and our wrongdoing, illness, and shortcomings do not and will not have the final word.
Even better news: redemption, healing, love, and grace will have the final word.