(2 Corinthians 5:10-21, Genesis 3:1-21, Romans 14:12)
In this week point of focus the Holy Spirit is expounding to us the reality of falling into sin i.e. the steps taken before the eventual fall into the sin and may our understanding be opened in Jesus name. Falling into sin is not something that happens once. It happens progressively; it can either be slow or fast. It may be liken to going down the stairs, with a conscious treading. It can also be liken to the sinking of ship as sinking of ship is not spontaneous but progressive either fast or slow. Please beloved, this is not to trouble us with the sense/ burden of guilt rather He is lighting up our path so as to see clearly and know where we tread. It is like demystifying the secret of the deceit the devil uses against us everytime. His same strategy but different ideas!
Here, in this passage, the woman SAW that the seed is good, pleasant to the eyes, a tree to be desired, she reached out for it and eventually ate it. Just the same way we see fornication and further see that it is pleasurable. It is the same way one sees the nature of sins and further “sees” the benefit of the sins before falling into it. No one falls into any sins without first conceiving it, followed by pondering about it. That conception is same as recognizing the (nature of the) sin as you see it. The second step is “seeing” the “benefit” of the sin, this is same as pondering on how bad or pleasurable it is. To be able to see how good or how bad there must have been “some thinking” about it. Truly, SEEING is something we cannot really close our eyes to. But second SEEING is what happens when we start accommodating thought (consideration) about it. This is when we really give the sins a thought. But because we cannot see the devil, that is why we do not know how much available he is at these times. Anyway, the Spirit of God does not leave us at this time, only that we ignore Him because He is not speaking WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR-BECAUSE HE IS SPEAKING AGAINST OUR WISH. WE LEAVE HIM, SHUT HIM OUT OF OUR MIND AND OPEN OUR HEART TO THE ONE THAT SPEAK WHAT WE WISH (DESIRE) TO HEAR.
“… a tree to be desired to make one wise”. In all engagement we have with sins before falling into it we must have conceived it and concluded on the benefit before we plug into it. Eve passed through these different stages:
1) Stage of suggestion: The suggestions of sin Sin can be suggested to us on any way by sight, hearing,
Our role: Keep away from all appearances of evil. (1Thessalonians 5:22)
God’s role: He always prepares us ahead of this time.
Devil’s role: He bombards with all possible suggestions almost giving no chance to our free (unmanipulated) thinking.
2) Stage of pondering: After we must have had enough suggestions then comes our pondering stage of weighing the benefit of sin against the punishment. The devil comes with the thought of the so called benefit of (pleasure) sin while the Holy Spirit comes with the thought of punishment of sinning
Our role: We should not accommodate evil or negative thought because it could grow like weed.
God’s role: The Holy Spirit keeps whispering the truth to us at this time.
Devil’s role: He comes with the thought of the so called pleasure of sin.
3) Stage of conclusion / decision: Stage of deliberate reaching out to that sin. Either doing so with the mind of giving it a try or not, “she took of the fruit thereof”. Can we see how this happens to us as well. We will realize that the the serpent did not plucked the fruit for Eve. She did pluck it by herself. That is the same way it works, one only get deceived but the actual falling into sins is now one’s decision and Responsibility.
Our role: Always conclude and decide to be on the Lord’s side (Exodus 32:26).
God’s role: He keeps telling us to choose life but He respect out sense of responsibility (volition).
Devil’s role: He gives us sense of achievement for making such choice.
4) Stage of eventual/deliberate plunging into sin: This is the stage of conscious “eating” of the sin. It is the time one does the sinful activity. How many sins… and how many times have we stretched forth our hands and taken the sins into our life and into our souls. And the Bible says, “…and did eat, ”
Our role: Stop it!!! Yes, please at this critical stage what is worth doing is to stop sinning.
God’s role: He still puts some roadblocks but we most time ignore such.
Devil’s role: He assist to make the sining noticeably easier and pleasurable
5) The stage of eyes opening : This is the stage of consciousness of the shame of sinning and the fear of punishment.
“… and they knew that they were naked”. This is the reality that comes after sins when all that clouded or blindfolded the eyes are cleared. It is just the same way one’s eyes clear after he or she must have committed the offence, the evil or the wrongdoing. No matter how we are so bold committing sin, after the deed is done one’s eyes is opened (as the Bible puts it “the eyes open”). The stage of shame of fornication, stealing, doing evil/ wickedness, lying etc. and the fear of their respective punishment.
“…and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons”. This is the stage that follows the stage of cover-up. After realizing how shameful it is to have done the sinful thing one then results to covering up. They had to sew fig leaves together for aprons and cover themselves. Why? Who was looking at them? Nobody! But this is shame. Filled with shame even when no one is close to you- what a burden. Without sins, there is really nothing to cover up. It is when the shameful thing has been done that we spend fortune on covering up.
Shame also brings about restlessness – fleeing when no one pursues, hiding when no one is seeing one.
However, this is not the greater burden. The greater burden is seeing the impending judgment that comes after. Again, this is not the greatest, the greatest burden is the one that awaits all unrepentant souls on the last day – the judgment day. The day of…
Our role: Admit your sin, confess it to the Lord Jesus and be reconciled to God. Do not deny, shift blame or cover up your sins before Him.
God’s role : He becomes sorrowful for our sake.
Devil’s role: He leaves to proceed to the next victim
6) Stage of redemption/ condemnation: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them”. Our God giving them a new cloth! What a great love (John 3:16, 17).
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
What a great love! A love that did not come to us in order to condemn us. Instead this love came to save us. No sin is too great for our Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. Once we have faithfully reconciled to Him, He faithfully redeems us. It is a stage of condemnation only to sinners that refuses to repent! Of course, the devil will try to emphasize that God condemns you but the Bible says whoever the Son (Jesus Christ) has set free is free indeed. So, it is our right to reply him with this Bible passage, John 8:36.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Our role: Once you have faithfully reconciled to the Lord, believe and claim this work of redemption that was done for our sake and by grace.
God’s role: He is not just coming up with the plan of redemption, He has perfected the work of redemption already at Calvary.
Devil’s role: He gains shame if we reconcile to the Lord but rejoices for victory if the unrepentant sinner is condemned.
7) Stage of restoration of the joy of salvation: This is the time the Lord restores our peace (feeling of guilt is removed) in the Lord. Once we repent of our sins never to do them again, a time of renewal and refreshing comes from the Lord. It is a stage of restoration of every lost blessing. (Psalms 51:8, 12, 14,15, 18)
Our role: We must rejoice in the Lord, giving all glory to His name and also teach sinners (Psalms 51:13, 19).
God’s role: Our Father also rejoices, not only Him but with all His host (Luke 15:10).
Devil’s role: He counts his loss.
It is important to remember this and also encourage others with it. Having being forgiven, justified and freed by the Lord, if the devil wants to rubbish the work of our Lord Jesus on the cross by tormenting us with feelings or sense of guilt. Talk back to him boldly in the name of Jesus, “YOU CANNOT RUBBISH THE WORK OF MY LORD JESUS ON THE CROSS. WITH HIS WORK OF GRACE HE HAS TAKEN ME BACK TO HIMSELF AND WHOEVER THE SON OF GOD HAS SET FREE IS NO LONGER BOUND, SO I AM FREE… FREE INDEED. HALLELUJAH! To finally shut the devil down begin to praise the Son and the Lamb of God for saving you. As one of our choruses says, “thank You for saving me, thank Jesus, thank You for saving me thank You my Lord”.
1) Every deceit of the devil blindfolding me from the truth of God catch fire, in Jesus name.
2) Every power bent on making me go down in shame of sins receive the judgment of God, in Jesus name (Luke 17:1-2).
3) Everywhere the devil has made me his captive, Lord Jesus delivered me completely (Luke 4:18).
4) Oh Lord, everywhere I have been used to sin, Holy Spirit, deliver me completely, in Jesus name.
5) Oh Lord, release Your spirit of righteousness and joy of salvation into me, in Jesus name.