Audio: 1A & 1B
Part 2 / Lesson 1A & 1B – SIN
Answer these questions: Are you a Born Again in Jesus’ name member of the kingdom of God? Are you a “sinner that is saved by God’s grace”? Those who answered, “yes” to both of these questions will find in this second series that such a notion is not compatible.
WHAT IS SIN?
Biblically the term, “sin” means “an offense” (see Strong’s H2403 and G266). The Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary says is a “missing of the mark.” This is akin to an archer’s arrow missing its intended target. In contrast, the term “Torah” (Old Testament) refers to “aim straight,” as in hitting the bullseye. Hence, when a person sins, they miss God’s intended will for their life; but if they walk “in the Word,” their life is properly aligned to God’s will.
James wrote of a consequence that comes from not aligning one’s life with God’s Word (see James 4:17). The key to this passage is found in the phrase, “For ‘him’ it is sin.” As such, James is not speaking simply of being saved or lost, but is instead focusing on the feeling a person experiences when they disobey God.
Part of what gives a believer a “clean conscience” is if they “do” what the Bible states is “right” (see James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 3:16-17). This is why a “just man shall live by his faith” (see Romans 1:17). Such “faith” isn’t what a man believes, but is instead what his actions say about his beliefs. Consequently, James was pointing out that when a man does the opposite of what he knows he should do to live in Christlikeness, the regret that failure creates becomes a weight and hindrance to his conscience. Or, in other words, he feels guilt or regret for “missing the mark” God set before him.
Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:1-17
The Ten Commandments begins and ends dealing with what a man thinks. In between, God describes His will for what a man does. As such the pattern is our action begins in thought, is displayed in action from thought, and culminates in how we see ourselves.
“Covet means ‘to desire’ or ‘to take delight in beyond God’s acceptable bounds.’ It indicates ‘to long after a property that belongs to another in order to enjoy it.’ It is covetousness to allow oneself to indulge in thoughts that lead to actions named in the other nine commandments. They are grasping thoughts that lead to grasping deeds” (Forerunner Commentary; “Sin Begins as a Thought” Deu 5:21; John W. Ritenbaugh;).
Concerning how one’s lust can lead to sin and death, see James 1:12-15.
THE FIRST FAMILY’S SINS
- Genesis 2:16-17 – eat anything except one fruit, because that action brings death.
- Genesis 3:1-6 – the day you eat….not the day you think about eating.
The devil tested Adam and Eve through the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of possessions (1 John 2:16).
Jesus’ temptations after fasting 40 days in the wilderness are the same temptations as those of Adam and Eve (see Matthew 4:1-11).
- Lust of the flesh – tree good for food: Jesus to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger – Only God’s Word can satisfy a man’s true hunger.
- Lust of the eyes – tree pleasant to the eyes: Jesus to receive glory unto Himself from the kingdoms of earth—The Father is the one to receive all service and worship.
- Pride of possessions – desired to make one wise: Jesus to throw Himself from a pinnacle of the Temple, so angels could save Him, to make crowds below see He is their long expected Messiah – we are not to “test” God (see Exodus 17:7 – “Massa/testing” “Meribah/complaining”).
All these started as a thought, and were to be carried out in an action. It was not the thought that was judged, but the action. We see this same pattern in the next verses:
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
Compare what was just said in Leviticus 18:5 with what Paul wrote in Roman 1:17.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
It is clear that Paul was referring to what is said in Leviticus. Thus, it is not what a man thinks—but what he does that reveals his standing in the righteousness of God. This same instruction is found in Habakkuk 2:4.
So, the righteous mentioned in Leviticus 18 is not what they thought about Egypt, but what their thoughts led them to do. Not what they thought about Canaan, but actions their thoughts led them to take. So, the righteous in God includes godly thoughts, but that righteousness is seen when a man or woman acts faithfully toward God.
Does Romans 5:12 fault Adam or Eve or the serpent? I cannot see where Romans 5:12 faults Adam for Eve’s sin. “Man” in Romans 5:12 is “anthrōpos.” That Greek term represents both “male” and “female,” aka, “human being.” Unless a person believes only males are sinners, the latter part of Romans 5:12 confirms this by using “anthrōpos.” There it says, “…so death passed upon ALL MEN….” “All men” would be both sexes. Eve was also called, “man.” Remember, Genesis describes Adam and Eve as follows: “So God CREATED MAN in his own image, in the image of God created he him; MALE AND FEMALE CREATED HE THEM” (Genesis 1:27). Eve was the “womb-MAN” (woman). Was she different than her husband? Yes; Adam was a male and Eve was a “feMALE.” However, the two sexes are commonly called “man” and “mankind.” Through Eve’s rebellion, sin was introduced to the human race (1 Timothy 2:14; Genesis 3:6, Genesis 3:12; 2 Corinthians 11:3). But her sin was her own…just as Adam’s sin was his own. They tried blaming others for their sin. God instead judged each for the sin they committed through their free choice.
No Old Testament type and shadow is perfect since they all only represented what was to come in Jesus’ New Testament. That said, comparing these Old and New Testament passages help explain why Adam ate the ‘forbidden fruit’ with his bride:
- Eve was the “mother of all life” (Genesis 3:20). The Church became the “mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26).
- Eve was Adam’s bride. The Church is Jesus’ bride.
- Adam was Eve’s husband. Jesus is the Church’s husband.
- Adam willingly ate of the same fruit that made Eve guilty of sin. Jesus willingly took to Himself the same sin that made mankind guilty of sin.
- Eve brought death into the world. Eve’s daughter brought life into the world.
- Eve’s sin came from a tree in the Garden of Eden. Eve’s salvation came from a tree on Calvary.
- Adam was the “first Adam.” Jesus is the “last Adam.”
- First Adam was a “living spirit.” The “last Adam” is a quickening (life giving) Spirit.”
- Adam chose to die with his bride. Jesus chose to die for His bride.
From these types and shadows we find that Adam could not have been the serpent because Jesus was not the serpent.
The “One ‘Man'” is the “one anthrōpos,” the woMAN, the feMALE, Eve. She introduced “the forbidden fruit” to her husband, whom the Bible says was with her (see Genesis 3:6; Genesis 3:12, Genesis 3:17). As a result, Eve introduced sin to all mankind (see Romans 5:12-19). However, sin isn’t like DNA. It isn’t something that can be found with medical testing. It isn’t a genetic disease that’s inherited through a blood relation. The Bible makes clear that no one is judged for another man’s sin, for it is “the soul ‘who sins’’’ that “shall die” (see Ezekiel 18:2-20; Jeremiah 31:29-34; Deuteronomy 24:16; 1 Kings 14:13; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4). As a consequence, a man has “to sin” before he can be judged for being “a sinner.” There will be more about this point in lesson 2.
As far as with whom Eve conversed; James lets us know that temptation does not originate from God, from another person, or even from satan; instead, James said, “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his ‘own lust,’ and enticed” (see James 1:13-15). Thus, Eve wasn’t drawn to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil by satan, or even by a serpent. Instead, Eve was led there by the lust that lay within her. Once there, Eve was led to believe she was above God’s judgment, and that if she succumbed to her lusts, her eyes would be opened making her like a god “knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). James stated that “when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). This is what happened to Eve, for the promise given her about being free to live as her own god instead developed into spiritual bondage and death (see “death” in Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:5-6). The Bible says a ‘crafty serpent’ enticed Eve into acting on her lust. Thus, it was that beast with which Eve conversed (see Genesis 3:1-15).
Review: Adam & Eve
- Adam knew about sin: “the day you eat thereof” (thought)
- “Eat” means: not the thought of but the action of
- The serpent told Eve to eat (thought)
- She ate (action)
- She gave her husband the fruit and he did eat (action)
- Once the action took place they saw they were undone (naked)
- God then asked them if they ate what He told them not to eat
- Not if they thought about eating, but if they did the action of eating.
- So, the sin they experienced began as a thought and did not become sin until Eve first ate
- Scripture Eve was the transgressor, not Adam. He, like Jesus, partook of the sin of His bride (Eve/the Church)
Cain and Abel: Genesis 4:3-10
Cain thought about killing Abel and God offered him the right choice. God said that sin was at Cain’s door. Cain’s action was his sin.
Obedience is always at the core one’s experience with God. God told Cain that sin was at his door, crouched and waiting to see whether he would obey God or his own sin nature (Genesis 4:7). Cain’s temptation had to be stopped if he was to enjoy freedom in God. Cain instead opened the door allowing sin into his life, and with it came death. Not only did this lead Cain to physically kill Abel his brother, it also left Cain spiritually dead and in anguish for the rest of his days. What if Cain had instead obeyed God? What if he had not allowed sin to cross over his life’s threshold? What would the end of Cain’s life have looked like then?
For a man or woman to stop sin’s temptations at their threshold, they must receive a nature change. Such change is only available through the power of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that we do not battle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:11-18). This is because flesh and blood issues die when a person is born again in Jesus’ name. Instead a Born Again Christian’s struggle is with spirits and powers of darkness whose aim is to cross over a believer’s threshold. If a Christian surrenders their authority over to these spirits, these spirits will enter the believer’s life and will bring with them sin and death. On the other hand, if a Born Again Child of Jesus Christ exercises the authority they have in Jesus Christ, these evil spirits must surrender their power and flee. This is why Paul said, “at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess He is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11)!
The Ten Commandments describes God’s will for what a man does from what he thinks. Also, Jesus equates our love for Him with the degree to which we keep His commandments (see John 14:23-24). John further said we were to keep Jesus’ commands without feeling grievous (see 1 John 5:2-3).
Review: Cain and Abel
- No mention of them committing sin until the action of Cain killing Abel
- Cain was jealous of Abel’s sacrifice
- From that thought, God told him that thought was like a lion waiting at the door ready to control him if he acted in sin.
- The mark of Cain is that no man can deliver him—only God
CHANGE YOUR MIND
The Bible declares that Jesus had no sins. His birth was unique to man since He was born not from an earthly Adam-father, but from an overshadowing of His mother, Mary, by the Holy Ghost. From this was a man brought forth who knew no sin, and because so, would have to be made sin to save His people from their sins. How the Holy Ghost and Mary made such a child I could not even begin to profess to know, any more than I could explain how a heap of dirt receiving breath from God became a living soul. I do know that through Mary was birthed the fulfillment of the following Messianic promise first given to Adam and Eve after their fall:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The Contemporary English Version translates “her SEED” very clearly to refer to one of the woman’s descendants, which we now know refers to Jesus Christ.
Genesis 3:15 CEV
(15) You and this woman will hate each other; your descendants and hers will always be enemies. ONE OF HERS will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel.”
Sin is overcome when a person is Born Again in the name of Jesus. They chose when they sinned, and they chose whom they would serve (see Joshua 24:15). As saints grow into the knowledge and stature of Jesus Christ, they proportionately mature away from their habits to sin (Ephesians 4:11-15). This is similar to a child maturing into adulthood. The more they mature, the less they act as they did when first born. Once a person is Born Again, they then become “more than conquerors” through Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:37). This is not a ‘coming promise,’ but one that’s available right now.
What must be remembered is that Paul said, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Paul indicated in this that these men were “MADE sinners” and were “MADE righteous.” Each of these describes a process whereby the men or women involved make the choice to become sinners or to become righteous.
This implies a process of changing your thoughts (changing your stinkin’ thinkin’). This process is spoken of in Romans 12:2.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 (AMP)
2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [ fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs ], but be transformed (changed) by the [ entire ] renewal of your mind [ by its new ideals and its new attitude ], so that you may prove [ for yourselves ] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [ in His sight for you ].
So, right living begins with right thinking. This right thinking readies your mind for right action (see 1 Peter 1:13).
1 Peter 1:13-15
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1 Peter 1:13-15 (NLT)
13 So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
Jesus said the same about the need for such change in the next verses:
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
How you arrange your thoughts will have a bearing on the outcome of your day, thus victory begins in your mind.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (AMP)
3 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [ weapons of flesh and blood ], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
5 [ Inasmuch as we ] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [ true ] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
You are THREE different people whether you liked it or not.
- Who you are.
- Who you think you are.
- Who others think you are.
In other words, no matter how hard you try to convince people of who you are, or how pure your true intentions are, another person’s perception of you will always be something that you have no power to change.
David’s first giant was to battle his thoughts of himself as well as those of other people.
1 Samuel 17:25-29
25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
26 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
David had to deal with his family and Saul. Jesus had His Judas. Paul had his Alexander the coppersmith. We are no different.
2 Timothy 2:9-13
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Never confuse another person’s opinion of you with Jesus’ opinion of you. Remember I said, “Who you are”. Others may see who you’ve been, or who they think you are, but Jesus sees who you’ll be. You may suffer these same bad opinions of yourself. Overcoming this battle of “stickin’ thinkin’” is done by going to God in prayer (remember again what is said in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Philippians 4:6-8 MSG
6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
7 Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are a fact. But those facts do not change people unless they move a person’s thoughts to lead them to act in Christlikeness.
Next Class: Part 2/Lesson 2 – Sinners
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