Soul Searching

This has been a really difficult blog to write as it covers the subject of sin.  This is a huge topic and I wanted to be faithful to God’s view of sin however, it will take a lifetime for us to fully grasp the power that sin has on our lives.  We need to keep in mind that only God himself fully comprehends all that sin is so I suggest we pray as we consider this aspect of who we are over the next few weeks.  

Our Western culture not only encourages self-focus but provides ways for self to flourish. We are persuaded that getting what we want when we want it is our right, a sense of entitlement.  We are also becoming a much more individualistic society where one is more important than many.  This makes no sense on any level.  Surely our strength is in our ability to care and provide for one another.  Isn’t community better than individualism; can’t we achieve more together?

The bible paints a different picture to that of our human efforts to mould society into the shape we think it should fit.  God has a different plan and purpose for mankind.  Genesis 1 tells us we were birthed from a relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be both in a relationship with God and with one another.

The reason we are drawn to the ‘dog eat dog’ mentality is because at the heart of each of us is sin, the desire to demand self-glorification rather than a submissive love relationship with our Creator.  It is our sin that drives us forward without us even being aware of it, we have an inner drive to perfect self, to promote self, to make self number one, not only in our own lives but also in the lives of others. In our sin, we manage to persuade ourselves that we are not that bad really, after all ‘I give to charity’ which is providing for others, or we list off all our achievements that justify our existence.  Or we compare ourselves to others ‘I haven’t murdered anyone’ or my little misdemeanours ‘haven’t done anyone else any harm’; ‘I don’t need to worry I can carry on trying my best’.

Unfortunately for us God’s standard is much higher than our own; God knows the power sin has and he demands its destruction because he knows that sin always brings us into darkness, this is an absolute truth that will never change.

God and sin is never compatible, sin cannot exist where God resides, sin is darkness and God is light, light will always extinguish the darkness it is what light does; it is what the character of God is, fortunately for us God cannot and will not change because light, life and love is the essence of who he is.  We all need God to be God for our very existence to be compatible with life rather than death, we all need the light to survive just as plants need light to grow and be healthy.  The world will not exist without God, He is the source of all that was and is and is to come.

No-one will ever be like God as Genesis 1 shows us; the power and majesty of God in speaking into being all of creation, he also breathed life into Adam and created Eve from a rib.  No other being or creature has this power because there was nothing before God.

In fact, there is no comparison, we are and will always be the ones who were created whether we accept this or not.  Just because we don’t believe something is true doesn’t mean it isn’t. Mankind will never be the measure of what is absolute truth so all mankind has left is the desire to prove there is no absolute truth.

Let us consider some lessons from Genesis 1-3.

In the beginning, we see the beauty of God’s creation and the provision for man to help God rule his world.  However, we read in Genesis 3 the ability of man to destroy all that God had planned. Satan spoke to the pride of mankind so that Adam and Eve believed they could be just like God knowing all there is to know.  However, this was never possible because only God is all knowing, only God is all powerful and only God can be in all places at all times therefore he alone understands how all things work together for his glory and to fulfil his purposes.

As we consider Genesis 3  that describes the fall of mankind, the desire to be like God, the desire to be in control of their own destiny, the desire to be independent of their creator we are shocked by what comes next. Surely we are expecting retribution, anger and wrath, surely this is what God’s character demands.

As we continue to read through Genesis we see God seeking Adam and Eve, even though they had committed such a world changing sin which ruined all that God had planned for them, it was God who looked for them, not in revenge or anger but in seeking them out as he had always done.

This was God’s response to their sin, he absolutely knew what they had done before he even asked the question.  So why did God ask them why they were hiding?  Was God trying to trick them, was he trying to catch them out? In God’s initial response to Adam and Eve we begin to understand that God never ignores sin he seeks it out and calls us to deal with it because it is God’s desire for us to live in his light not in the darkness and eternal damnation of sin.

There were still consequences to their sin that had to be dealt with, God’s justice had to respond to the sin of all involved, as we continue to read Genesis 3 we will see God’s wrath against sin. But for the time being we need to consider that it was Adam and Eve who hid, hid from their Creator, their provider, their source of life.

When God seeks Adam and Eve in the garden we see God’s love and grace for his children, if we look closely we will see a Father who must judge justly but also provide completely.

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