Christ has paid the consequence for our sin. Those who trust in Him are freed from sin’s power. Yet even though it has no dominion over us eternally, we still struggle on this earth. Our desire to live a life that pleases and honors the Lord and the fact that Christ’s substitution is complete should give us motivation to keep up the fight against the sin that still seeps into our lives. Genesis 3, the description of the very first sin, gives us some observations about sin that can help us fight more effectively–with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
1. Sinful actions begin with deception in our minds.
When Adam and Eve were first created, God their Creator was their only voice of authority. And they didn’t question Him…until another voice–the voice of deception–entered.
Genesis 3:1-6 reads: Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.
Notice that verse 6 is a cause and effect. Eve listened to the serpent’s deception and believed it, which resulted in her sinful action of taking the fruit and eating it. This shows how sin comes in different forms: internal (in our minds) and external (actions). They are often linked together–sinful thoughts, if they are not caught, will lead to sinful actions.
- Principle for application: What lies am I believing that could lead me to sinful actions? As believers we need to saturate our minds with the truth of Scripture daily. Not only will it help us to identify the lies to which we so easily cling, but reading the truth consistently also helps us to train our minds and refocus when we are tempted to believe lies.
2. Sin wants to hide.
The second noticeable observation about sin is that it wants to hide. When Adam and Eve had both sinned, their first response was to hide from the presence of God. This is described in verse 8 of Genesis 3: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
I think one version of “hiding” our sin from God is often simply the fact that we don’t confess it regularly. We know we are forgiven, and we don’t take the time to come humbly before the Lord to confess our weak and sinful hearts. Ignoring our sin in this way actually causes us to miss out on rich blessings that the gospel can have in our daily lives.
In addition to hiding our sins from the Lord, we hide our sins from others. We put up a false front to avoid letting other people see our mistakes. On the outside, we make it so that we appear to be doing just fine, living a godly life. But sin that stays hidden, stays a habit.
- Principle for application: Am I regularly confessing my sin to the Lord in prayer? Am I transparent in accountable relationships with fellow believers? Sin wants to hide; so in fighting sin, we need to actively expose it. We need not be ashamed, because Christ has covered our every sin. All of us will continue to fail; that is what makes Christ’s sacrifice on the cross so precious.