The deception of sin-A A +A
The Good News
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
IN THE very first chapter of Genesis, we see how God created a beautiful world where "everything was very good" (Genesis 1:31). It was a perfect world with joy, peace, love, and prosperity -- no pain, hardship, disease, misery and decay. It was created for man to enjoy, in fellowship with his Creator, with dominion given over everything, provided man remains faithful in keeping one command: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17).
We know the rest of the story. In Genesis 3, we can read how the devil tempted our first parents, deceiving them to disobey God. Adam and Eve ate the fruit God commanded them not to eat, and as such, sin and its dire consequences entered into the world.
What is the consequence? Death, "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). Henceforth, man, in committing sin that becomes full-grown, dies spiritually (see James 1:15). Without exception, all also die physically. "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). And the earth, once perfect, has been cursed. Hence, its fallen state.
Truly, sin is a serious matter. The perfect God cannot and will never tolerate evil. "I am the Lord your God," he says, "consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44).
Indeed a fair instruction demanded even of us, Christians of today. True, Jesus Christ came to redeem us from the curse, shedding his blood on the cross, so that to whoever believes in him, his death becomes an atoning sacrifice. The thief, the devil, came to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, but Jesus has come that we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Nevertheless, for this abundant, full life to become a reality Jesus must not only be the Savior to us; he must be the Lord as well. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus warns, "Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
Sin is deception. It promises happiness, only to bring untold sorrow. It lures one with pleasure, only to draw emptiness and a longing for something that the world can never satisfy. Worst, sin blocks one from God's love, causing all the pains of separation, and opening the door to the devil's oppression. The prophet Isaiah (Chapter 59, Verses 1-2) once wrote, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."
The good news is that forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God are available. One only needs to come to Jesus with a sincerely repentant heart -- to Jesus who said, "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 24, 2013.