Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Sin and Redemption: Romans 5 & 6…Part I

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 31, 2008

“So often when we think we’re rising up on our own power, God is just ‘setting-us-up’ for a bigger fall… in LOVE .” ~ Dr Scott Hahn

Okay, so last week we talked about TRUST, Obedience of Faith, and Concupiscence (the ability to sin).   We know that sin came into the world because of one man (Romans 5:12), and that death is the result of that sin.  Specifically, what kind of sin are we talking about here?

A sin of such originality that never before had it been seen among man: the sin of turning away from the Creator-God who walked with them in the garden at the cool of the day (cf Gen3:8).  An intimate friend who gave man dominion over all the wild beasts of the earth (Gen 1:28), and every possible plant for food that a person could want (Gen 1:29).  See anything that man was lacking?  Any reason thus far for turning away from God?  Hmmm, food, power (dominion), shelter (garden of paradise), Love (Gen 1:26 – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), Life (Gen 2:7b),… anything missing?  Gosh, I can’t think of anything, can you?

We continue… Man turned away from God’s friendship, from God’s care, he decided he could do things on his own without the help of God (Gen 3:6-7).  Now, God could have said, “Be dust!” Because God IS God and He has the right to turn HIS creation back into the NOTHINGNESS as it was in the beginning (refer back to Gen 1… where did God get all that stuff to make light, night, water, etc…?).  But that’s not what God did.

God knew that man had chosen to follow his own path, to make his own way in the world and to do so without Him.  Still, God gave man that chance to “come clean” about what he (referring to both the male and female here) did – i.e. disobeying God and eating of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  But instead, both Adam and Eve just sort of  “past the buck”, you might say.

Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed… God … what?!  It’s true, read it: The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree and I ate.”

(Just so you know, I had to be reminded of this little known fact myself at that retreat I went to 2 weeks ago… and this after having just completed and exegetical class in Gen 1-11!  Oh the humiliation!!! But I digress… 🙂 )

So Adam is saying, “It’s Your fault, God!  You’re the one who put her here.  She’s Your responsibility, not mine.”  This from the guy who just a chapter earlier said, “At last!  This (Eve) is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” (cf. Gen 2:23).  Oh what a wounded race we are!  To be praising one minute and cursing the next.

And, wait a second, didn’t God put the man in charge of the garden – Gen 2:15?  That being the case, Adam has no caseAdam is responsible here.  He’s responsible for all that goes on in the garden.  He was the one put in charge.  Eve is just a culpable for eating the fruit, but she wasn’t put in charge, Adam was.

See how quickly conflict arose in man’s life?  Conflict that until the moment we ate of the fruit, DID NOT EXIST.  This is the first part of what is meant by death ( You shall die, Gen 2:17b) – the death of peace, tranquility, and harmony with all of creation AND with our Creator.  There is a second part, but we’ll get to that a little later.  (Btw, the Hebrew translation says “death death”, signifying the importance of the meaning.)

As we know, man doesn’t repent and “come-clean” admitting our sin, so what is God to do?  If we were God we might say, “Punish them! Dust, ye are dust!”  Thank heavens we are NOT God.

God did not destroy us, no.  God instead gave us MERCY.  How?  He makes us a promise as He’s cursing the snake, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise (crush) your head and you shall bruise (bite) his heel” (Gen 3:15).

One day, sin will be destroyed (crushing of the head of the serpent – Satan), and it shall come about from the “seed of a woman” – the New Eve – who will bear a Son, and this New Adam will bring about Life (Romans 5:18).

Side note: He will crush your head: All translations that say “she” are incorrect according to the Latin and Hebrew texts, PERIOD.

Adam’s not “off the hook”, he receives his own fair share of justice.  God responds to Adam in Gen 2:17-19, giving him the life Adam chose: not to live in the garden of paradise, not to have God’s intimate friendship, not to have a life of passion and purpose with right understanding.  Nope.  Instead he’ll work a “cursed ground” by the “sweat of his brow”, plowing and sowing, eating what he reaps.

But the worst part of this whole deal, he’ll return to dust – you are dust and to dust you shall return (Gen 2:19b).  God said, “You may freely eat of every tree in the garden; but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Gen2:16-17)  – You are dust and to dust you shall return… This is the second half of that death death (Hebrew translation), that I had mentioned earlier.  So we have both a physical death AND a spiritual death.  BOTH/AND – GOOD THEOLOGY… And remember, there is a promise… Gen 3:15…

“We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Forged in the fires of human passion, choking on the fumes of selfish rage.  And with these are ‘hells’ and our ‘heavens’, so few inches apart, we must be awfully small, and not as strong as we think we are.” ~Rich Mullins, “Songs”, 1996.

Next week- Part II … getting into that promise – Gen 3:15

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