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What Is Sin Anyway? Part I

"And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."1

A man who calls himself a free thinker wrote to me saying: "Sorry folks, you have to learn a totally new way of seeing if you want to help this earth. According to your teachings your God has sinned. He created everything good and evil. And whoever creates evil is evil. Enough preaching. Enough fairy tales. Santa Claus is OK for children. Jesus Christ was most likely a nice, loving man who tried to help others. He might have even been crazy, with fanatical visions. But he was only a man."

Quite a judgment—but also very interesting in that it pinpoints that which is at the very core of sin and evil. Note that he has put himself in the position of judging both Jesus and God which means he has put himself above God. Keep this in mind as you read this series.

First, God didn't create evil. However, He allowed it to happen for the simple reason that He created both angels and mankind not as puppets, but with a free will so they could choose to go God's way or "create" their own.

Second, keep in mind that the fall of Satan, the instigator of sin and evil, said, "I will become as the most high." In other words he wanted to dethrone God and set himself up above God and become “god” himself.

Third, God told the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, that they could eat of every tree in the Garden of Eden except for the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.2 This was their free-will test to choose for themselves whether to obey God or go their own way. However, God warned them of the serious consequences should they disregard his warning and eat from the forbidden tree—the consequences would be death—both spiritual and physical.3

Enter Satan, the devil, who, sowing a seed of doubt in Eve's mind, said to her, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"4 Then came the part-truth-lie: "You will not surely die.... For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."5

True, they would know good and evil, but what Satan didn't tell them was that if they disobeyed God, ate of the forbidden tree, and then ate of the Tree of Life they would be forever confirmed in a state of evil and sin—which, or course, was Satan's goal.

So when did Adam and Eve sin? Was it before or when they ate the forbidden fruit? Stay “tuned” for we will answer this question tomorrow in Part II.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open the eyes of my understanding so that I will be able to see clearly what sin is from Your perspective, and why it is so totally destructive of human personality and those whom You love—us! Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV).
2. Ibid.
3. Genesis 2:17 (NIV).
4. Genesis 3:1 (NIV).
5. Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.