Monday, June 6, 2016

Genesis 3:11-13 comments: passing the blame

11 ¶  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Adam and Eve, before this, knew no significance to being naked. There was nothing shocking or shameful about their natural state. The first couple not only knew no shame but walking around naked was not remarkable at all. The realization that there was some importance about their state of undress did not come about until they had disobeyed God. Sin might make a person more knowledgeable, even though it won’t make them wiser until they suffer its dreadful consequences.

Then God requires an honest answer from Adam, which He does not get. There is no falling on the knees pleading for forgiveness here. There is only passing the blame to Eve and then even to God Himself. Here is a prime example of not taking responsibility for your actions, a choice mankind will suffer from for thousands of years afterward.

The woman also plays the pass the blame game and there is a clear warning here for us. I cannot blame Satan for my sin. I know what is wrong so my being tricked into something is not an excuse. As an example, many people are scammed by a desire to get rich without expending any effort or thought. Their own wickedness brings them down as the person or persons who deceived them merely reveal their sinful state.

Clearly, Adam and Eve had free will. The capacity to sin was always there because they had free will but the willingness to sin was only revealed when Satan exposed a human desire for certain things, mainly the three things mentioned earlier; the lust of flesh and eyes, and pride. We desire to see certain things, to experience certain things, and to boast of certain things, all of which destroy us in the end.

Were Adam and Eve created sinners or sinless? Clearly, Satan didn’t impart sin to them as he only revealed the capacity in them. We are sinners when we are able to be held accountable for our sin. It is not when we know that mom or dad doesn’t like something and we do it anyway that we are sinners. It is when we know in our heart that God has commanded us to honor our Father and our Mother and we choose to disobey regardless, whether tempted by another or not, that we cross that line.

Christian fundamentalist leaders like to add layer upon layer on what sin is in order to control their congregations; to serve them and to follow their convictions. But, they often take us away from God’s clearer messages. The fact that we, like Adam and Eve because of free will, are born with the capacity to sin does not condemn us. The fact that, at some point, all of us willingly choose to disobey God does.

Before a person hears of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to satisfy God’s wrath against sin and trusts in His resurrection for salvation here are the conditions God lays out as spoken by Peter referring to a Roman who had not yet heard of redemption through Christ.

Acts 10:34 ¶  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

These will hear Christ. God will somehow provide them with some level of truth by which their belief will be tested. If they reject what Jesus said about Himself, and the following verse defines what it means to believe on by way of parallel phrasing, while the verse after it reveals what Jesus said about Himself;

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me….9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

….or if they believe what Christ said and in His resurrection;

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

…their salvation is predicated upon belief in Christ, what He said and what He did. Damnation is predicated upon rejecting Christ, thereby disobeying God. God loved you at the cross and He loves you now if you will believe Him and be given faith. He is furious if you reject the offer of amnesty He presented to you out of that love. This has nothing to do with what branch of Christianity you are in, your denomination, any creed, or your church attendance, your giving, or how pious and spiritual you pretend to be.

The moment you, knowing there is a God and that He has claims on you, choose to reject the free gift of salvation you have chosen disobedience and are condemned until or unless you are given the opportunity again to believe.

The moment you receive Christ you are forever beyond condemnation. Praying a 1-2-3 prayer in an emotionally charged church meeting is not proof of your salvation. Proof of the Holy Ghost’s indwelling is clearly stated.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

And your religion is not simply how many people you have gotten to repeat the prayer because they feel terribly guilty for letting their mother down, or their family, or depressed because their lives are trashed by sin, a feeling which can leave at the next good time or happy feeling. This has been the dogma of fundamentalism since Dwight L. Moody and Billy Sunday.  But your religion, the expression of your faith is;

James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

And you are called to a specific attitude and hope;

Titus 2:11 ¶  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Do not commit the fundamentalist and Eve’s error by adding to God’s commands or Satan’s and the religious liberal’s error by denying it is true;

Deuteronomy 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

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