Yes, this is the good news we find in the book of Genesis. A look at this book can help us understand, not only the origin of sin but also how we can overcome it.
This post comes out of the study of Genesis, the first book in the Bible.
In this reflection, we will look at the origin of sin and how you can triumph over sin.
Sin is at the root of our brokenness. It is the reason why we have so much evil in society.
All this started right from the very beginning of human existence. The book of Genesis tells us more about that.
Before discussing the origin of sin, let us keep in mind that God created life to be perfect and complete.
We talked about that in my previous posts; You can conquer darkness in your life and The Life you were made to have.
One thing is that the kind of life, God created you to have, should be:
1)fruit-bearing, 2)abundant, 3)increase-full, 4)productive, and 5)rewarding.
To me, that’s the original purpose of God’s creation!
When you read the first two chapters of Genesis, they are about God’s creation. They both present in two different stories. You can read them on your own.
But, what’s common in chapters one and two of Genesis is the repetitive use of the phrase: “And God saw that it was good.”
But, in Genesis 1: 31, the phrase changes into “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”
Pay attention to the word, everything, in this verse. It implies completeness and fulfillment.
Both chapters, one and two, talk about God’s creation. They also emphasize the fact that humans are to be extraordinary creatures. Two reasons why people are special compared to other creatures:
- First, God created people in His likeness and image (Genesis 1: 26). They are to reflect who God is.
- Second, God placed humans here on Earth to work and cultivate (keep) it. (Genesis 2: 15).
Look at the second reason that makes us unique among God’s creation.
God placed you and me here on Earth with the goal to work and cultivate it.
If you think for a moment about that, what comes to mind is like farming, etc.
Yes, you’re right, but there is more to that.
You need to look at Earth, as I described it in one of my previous posts in the study of Genesis. Earth represents many things, which include:
- The physical world, as we see it: ground (soil), plants, animals, insects, etc.
- The environment: atmosphere, etc.
- Life of any kind.
- Other people: soul, mind, spirit, and body.
- Culture, society, and more.
Read Genesis 2:25,
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. ESV.
Adam and Eve were happy about everything and who they were. They never cared about how they looked. They were perfect in God’s eyes and theirs.
But, all will soon change as we read Genesis 3.
A lot of people have referred to this section of the book of Genesis as one that describes the fall of humankind.
In other words, Genesis 3 talks about the time when sin entered the world and the cosmos.
Four things to know about Sin
Sin is the work of the Devil
- The Devil is identified here in the form of a serpent.
- The Devil also tempted Jesus Christ when He was in the wilderness for forty days and nights. See Matthew 4, Mark 1 and Luke 4. You read about Jesus’ temptation in the desert with more details in Matthew 4 and Luke 4.
- Sin comes out of questioning our obedience to God’s Word or Commandments
Read verses 2 and 3 in Genesis 3.
You’re tempted based on what you know. In other words, temptation often happens in connection with your relationship with God.
Remember it’s not about how much knowledge of God’s Word you have, but how obedient and faithful you are to God’s Word.
Sin is choosing to listen to other voices rather than God’s
- The tempter wants to win you over him and away from God.
- The tempter tends to make God a liar and Someone who tells you half truths.
- The tempter makes you believe something different than what you ought to understand. Read Genesis 3: 4, 5.
Sin changes your perception of God’s truth
- Sin is a change in the way you relate to God.
- Sin is a change in the way you see things.
- Sin turns your self-perception, not for the better. Go back to Genesis 2: 15. Both Adam and Eve were not ashamed of who they looked like before the fall. Read verses 6 and 7 in Genesis 3.
But, now and because of Sin, their self-perception has changed.
Sin led them to hide from each other (verse 7) and also from God’s Presence (verse 8).
Sin damages relationships
As you continue reading the rest of Genesis 3, you discover the following:
- Sin broke the relationship between humankind and God. As a result, God kicked humans from the garden of Eden. The place where God appointed both Adam and Eve to work and keep.
- Sin broke the relationship among people. The blame story: “It is the woman You gave me.” “It is the serpent…” “It is…”
- Sin broke the relationship between humans and other creature. The snake will bite humans. The woman and her descendants will crush the snake’s head.
Where do we see God’s grace in Genesis?
First, we see it soon after Adam and Eve’s sin.
God’s grace seeks out Adam and Eve. See Genesis 3: 9, But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
God’s grace provides for Adam and Eve even in spite of their brokenness.
And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Genesis 3: 21.
But, after God had kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, Sin spread and hope of redemption was almost gone.
God, yet, never gives up on God’s creation, especially humankind.
Second, we see it through God’s calling to Abraham.
You find the story about Abraham’s calling in Genesis 12: 2-3,
I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. ESV.
Pay attention to the very last part of verse 3, in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
What this means is that the blessing applies to the following:
- The physical world, as we see it: ground, plants, animals, insects, etc.
- The environment: atmosphere, etc.
- Life of any kind.
- People: soul, mind, spirit, and body.
- Culture: values, beliefs, customs, and more.
In truth, Abraham was not to be the one to redeem people. But, it was through him that salvation and redemption would come to all human kind.
Salvation and redemption happened through God coming to us as Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Way to God’s Grace and the only Means to Redemption
Where Jesus fits in Genesis
- Jesus is a descendant of Abraham.
- Jesus is greater than Abraham. Before Abraham was, I am (John 8: 53).
- Jesus is the sacrificial lamb that took our place for atonement.
We read about it when God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the only son God has given him. At the location of sacrifice and as Abraham was about to do it, God asks him to stop.
Abraham looks around, and there is a ram caught in the thicket (bush) by his horns (Genesis 22: 13).
Through faith in Jesus Christ, anyone from anywhere around the world can now receive God’s grace. Through Jesus Christ, God saves us from sin by faith in Jesus.
Jesus restores us to who God wants us to be
Through the first Adam death came into the world, but through Jesus, we now have received life (1 Corinthians 15: 21-22, ESV),
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
In Jesus, we’ve become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5: 17. ESV)*,
In anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away.
Through Jesus Christ, God gives us back the life. What we’ve lost, as a result of sin, we get it back. What we lost through the original sin, God gives it back to us.
Everyone who believes may have eternal life in him (Jesus). John 3: 15. ESV.
Jesus gives us victory over sin
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8: 1. ESV.
Through Jesus God welcomes us back into God’s Presence.
Bringing it together
What to remember about sin
Sin a choice, which can become a dangerous habit. It breaks God’s command: love of God and neighbor.
This choice (habit) will affect your relationships: God, self, people, and nature. It can also corrupt your perception of life, people and the world around you.
What to remember about grace
- Grace is what God offers to help us live at our best.
- Grace is a gift we can only receive through faith in Jesus Christ.
What to remember about redemption
- Redemption is what God has already done on our behalf.
It is what God’s grace can do in us and through us.
- Redemption is what’s best for us.
- Redemption helps us overcome sin.
Our brokenness, as humans, results from our sinful nature. But, by God’s grace, we are now saved from sin to live as the new creation through Jesus Christ. Therefore, and even as sinful people, we can still overcome sin!
Click below to listen to the full audio sermon.