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Insights from Genesis 3 - Part 6

6. Sin is Sin

Genesis 3:6, "She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

Whether you throw a pebble or a rock both will sink into the water, right? It is our tendency to quickly justify ourselves, saying, “What great sin did I commit! It was just a little thing!” Remember, whether small or great, sin is sin. Read these words carefully: "She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it" (Genesis 3:6). And when God asked Adam, "What have you done?" he replied, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it" (3:12).

Eve did not eat the complete fruit. She ate only some and so did Adam. However, her actions were not belittled just because she ate little. There was no way for Eve to justify herself before God, “Lord, I didn’t eat the complete fruit. It was only little that I ate. Don’t take it too serious!” Doesn’t this attitude sound familiar? How often do we consider some sins with ‘take it easy attitude’ simply because we view them as something “small” or “little.” Oh, by the way, do you remember Saul’s mission? God told him to completely destroy the wicked Amalekites. Saul did destroy Amalekites but he spared Agag king of Amalekites and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs-- everything that was good.

When Samuel rebuked Saul of his disobedience are you aware of how he responded? Saul justified himself saying, “But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal" (1 Samuel 15:20-21). Saul didn’t yet understand his sin. He still was under the impression that he obeyed God. He didn’t realize that “half obedience (little obedience) is no obedience at all.” He didn't grasp that little sin is still sin in the sight of God.

Furthermore, when we study the life of King Saul and King David, whose sin appears greater to us? Of course, David’s. He committed an immoral act by sleeping with another man’s wife and worse still, killing that man to take his wife. Saul’s sin seems to be smaller compared to David’s. Yet, Saul received a greater judgment than David. Why is it so? When prophet Samuel rebuked Saul he justified himself before others but when prophet Nathan rebuked David he humbly repented before God. No matter how great or small our sins are, when we honestly admit our sins and repent, God is gracious enough to forgive us.

How often do we take sin lightly or consider sin “little”, only to continue living in sin! The Holy Bible doesn’t weigh sin in terms of great or small; it just addressed sin as sin. May we dare not take sin lightly, saying, “It was just a lie, not a plunder; just a lustful thought or look, not an adulterous action; just an anger, not a violent fight; just hatred, not murder; just an unkind word, not an abominable speech; just unforgiveness, not vengeance; just premarital sex, not prostitution…etc.” Jesus’ exhortations in His Sermon on the Mount are related to what humans consider trivial. May we educate our conscience to see sin from God’s point of view, not from the world’s perspective!

James was straightforward in letting us know, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (Jas 2:10; cf. 1Jn 3:4). Can we live our entire life without stumbling at one law? For this reason, however holy we may seek to live we can never claim of being perfect in this sinful world. We may not commit sins which appear mountainous before people but are we not prone to commit sins which are like anthill? Anyways, sin is sin. We are saved by grace from the penalty of sin and live by grace on earth and enter in heaven by grace alone. Our life on earth is a journey towards perfection. Paul urged the Corinthians, “Aim for perfection” (2 Corinthians 13:11). Therefore, we must constantly seek God’s holiness, always examine ourselves in the light of the Holy Spirit, honestly repent of our sins (great or small) and keep growing in the likeness of Christ.

Well, I am not arguing here that all sins are equal in the intensity of offense or damage and that all sins have the same consequences. My point is—let us stop weighing sin (so to justify our actions) and take responsibility to confess and repent of any sin we commit, whether small or great. One of the great signs of a holy person
he is not flippant in his attitude towards sin. May we understand that sin, whether great or small, is still sin in God’s sight. Therefore, may we humble ourselves and “let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God” (2 Corinthians 7:1, NLT).

(To be continued.....)

(Previous reading - Part 5)

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