Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some thoughts on a teaching about sin…

Bill has been teaching in Sunday School about sin. The church here in Valley Forge is a small one, however just about everyone involved are very well versed in the Word, so some good discussions come about during this hour. One of the things I love about adult Sunday School classes! I have spent a good bit of time pondering the lessons, and pondering the matter of sin and it’s outworkings. Possibly, this is due to my years of teaching in a prison setting, where the “fruit” of sins (with an s) is only too evident. In that setting, the question always becomes what do we do about it! We cannot just say “don’t do it”…it doesn’t work that way. So, where does that leave us?

Interesting question and once again, worth pondering and/or thinking about. We all should…we have to first give thought to it’s origins which is with Satan and his revolt against God in defiance of God’s authority over him and all the other angels, all created beings and responsible to God for everything. We know Lucifer didn’t like that and wanted to be independent of God’s authority over him, so he rebelled and we are told many, many of the angelic host rebelled with him and they were expelled from the presence of God as a regular thing. Following that rebellion, Lucifer watched God create, and when he saw Adam and Eve, he saw his opportunity to ruin what God was doing. He took an opportunity to talk with Eve, nice words we can read in Genesis…and she listened to his idea of being “like God” and followed Satan’s counsel with the fruit of the tree, she ate a piece of it. Sin had now come into God’s new creation.

The outworking of this seemingly  “small” infraction  were of course monumental…the first created human and her partner now had a whole new set of things to think about…and because of the curse God had to put on the rebellious pair, what we call “ORIGINAL SIN” was now a fact. God would not create any more humans, instead Adam and Eve would procreate, but in doing so would pass sin on to the next generation in their genes. And worse yet, as generations passed, the genes were more and more twisted and sin grew even worse. Original sin…do we really understand what that means? In general, I think not…I have been teaching in a prison setting for 30+  years now, and have watched “the church” for 40, and I truly do not think most people get it! What do I mean? Just this: what does original sin mess up? Well, how about everything…if original sin is present from conception on, we are rebellious from the same point. Rebellious against whom? Ultimately God Himself but early on it is rebellion against everyone we come in contact with starting with our parents. And here is where the trouble begins. If and when God’s Word is not used as the standard for human behavior, it is impossible to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. “  Why? Because if God’s instruction is not followed, we use our own judgment and that is faulty unless we have been brought up under God’s law and rule by godly parents…and on and on it goes from generation after generation.

We think of sin as the biggies…drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, murder, etc. Not so, those are sins, with an s. They are the outworkings of the original sin in us when it is uncorrected and let to grow and fester. Understand here that I am talking “in general.” There are certainly exceptions. However, I have carefully looked at some of these exceptions and they really are not…back up far enough in the family life and you will find the flaw…the sin…that was uncorrected, and what appears to be an exception is not. In the Old Testament there is a rule, called the rule of the unrepentant/unruly son…a child who has come of age, and is out of control from his parents perspective goes before the elders, case presented and ruled on. If the elders agree with the parents, the son is stoned to death, and God says “and so shall you keep sin from Israel.” I will put the reference for that portion at the end. What that does is exactly what it says, children know that law is valid, and I dare say it is a determining factor in better behavior. And, there are fewer adults that rebel. Truth is, it is rebellion that is the problem all along. Rebellion against family, later friends and employers, but ultimately against God Himself and that is what He is fighting…and why He immediately in Genesis provides a solution, in chapter 3, He would send a savior to deal with the sin issue once and for all. Next time we will breakdown just what the sins coming out of original sin are…


reference to unruly son: Deut 21:18

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