Genesis 3 tells the story of sin entering the world through man. Let's look at how the enemy tempts us based on this first sin and temptation.
First, note that the chapter does not speak of evil invading the garden or the world, full responsibility is placed on man, so this is the story of creatures rebelling.
Instead of arguing, the serpent begins with suggestion, even a flattering one - "Has God really said?" - implying that what God says is up to our own judgment. With his exaggeration -you shall not eat of any tree - a favorite device of the world and the enemy, the ground is now set for Eve to debate him on his terms. As if to over-correct she adds, "And neither shall you touch it", adding even more strictness than was originally intended. Sound familiar?
The first doctrine to be denied in the Bible is that of the judgment. The serpent, in the first flat out contradiction says, "You shall not surely die". And then in vs. 5 comes the next lie. "You can be like God"! And this should sound very familiar to us, for it is what many in our Western society believe of ourselves. In believing it, one reinterprets life as well as aims his affections and ambitions in the wrong direction. So from here on out til the end of the ages God will be regarded (though perhaps not consciously) as both rival and enemy. Think of all the passages that refer to Jesus being our peace and ending the hostility between us and God - this hostility is what he came to end. In the garden we became not merely cut off but his enemies. Due to the work of Jesus we are now children of God and heirs.
So, in short, here is the way of sin:
We listen to a creature (created thing) and not the creator.
We follow our impressions vs. our instructions.
We make self-fulfillment our goal.
Derek Kidner says, "This prospect of mateiral, aesthetic and mental enrichment seemed to add up to life istself; the world still offers it (I John 2:16). But man's lifeline is spiritual, namely God's word and the response of faith; to break it is death.
She took...and ate: so simple the act, so hard its undoing. God will taste poverty and death before 'take and eat' become verbs of salvation."
How can we avoid this? We can't avoid all sin in this life but we can take steps to curb the enemy's influence. Based on the sequence above:
1) Listen to the Creator - spend ample time in the Word and in prayer.
2) Ignore false restrictions, extraneous commands, etc. that aren't a part of the Bible, especially those impressions and "rules for living" or behavior that come from the world.
3) Instead of making self-fulfillment your goal, aim to single-mindedly glorify God by enjoying Him forever.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Today the Atlanta Journal Constitution published a letter I recently sent in:
In “Without a decent wage, standard of living suffers” (“Readers write”, Opinion, Aug. 10), Mr. Poirier states, “We have had a zombie economy for decades,” and “My question is, how is the economy ever to get better until we start making a living wage again — so we can really afford stuff?”
Zombies are, or appear to be, lifeless, apathetic or totally lacking in independent judgment. Unlike our economy, this sounds like virtually any communist state last century. While our economy may not be booming right now, it certainly can’t be compared with the killing fields of Cambodia or the deathly gulags of the Soviet Union.
The concept of “a living wage” is virtually meaningless, since every person desires different amounts and kinds of compensation to most enjoy the blessings of life. More importantly, it is not higher wages which produce economic growth (otherwise simply inflating the money supply would make us all better off). The best way to allow individuals to “really afford stuff” is to drastically reduce burdensome regulations on business and taxes on individuals.