Files for Youth Pastors:
“Simon says, ‘Read this blog.’” Yeah, I love playing Simon Says with students. I don’t do it often because it gets old and the students learn all my tricks very quickly. “Simon says, ‘Raise your arms in the air. Now put your arms down.’” Those who raised their arms in the air stay in the game, those who put their arms down are out of the game. My personal favorite is “Simon says, ‘Jump up.” That’s a sure fire way to put everyone out of the game…because Simon never said to come back down! When thinking through the doctrine of sin, we must understand that an unsaved person is a slave to sin and will do whatever sin tells them to do.
As I’m sure you well know, there are many different views when it comes to sin. Some people think that nothing is sin. They would say that all truth is relative and “right and wrong” doesn’t really exist. These people have lost grip on reality. There must be a basis of “right and wrong.” Test them out. Punch them in the face. See whether or not they think that’s wrong. Okay, don’t really do that, but you get the point! The other extreme comes from those who believe everything is sin. These are the people who are very legalistic about sin, so they drive horses and buggies around and live without electricity, or they go and live in monasteries to be protected from a sinful culture. We do need to take sin seriously but enjoy God’s goodness, too.
Genesis 3 is the origin and birth of sin in the Bible. This is the first time sin has come on the scene. Many think that somewhere before this scene, Satan sinned somehow in heaven. I’m not so sure. This passage seems to match up so well with those passages speaking of Satan’s original act of rebellion (Isa 14, Rev 12). The scene is set-up with an innocent man and woman created by God and surrounded by a “very good” creation. Satan disguised as a serpent slithers up to them and begins smooth talking His way around God’s commands. What is Satan’s goal? His goal here is for God’s people to disbelieve and distrust God’s good commands in their lives. So, all sin is rooted is disbelieving, not trusting God, and following Satan instead (Gen 3:1-6).
All sin has also affected humanity’s relationship with God (Gen 3:8-11). Everyone is born a sinner and separated from God (Rom 3:23, 6:23). When believers continue in sin without repentance and confession, their relationship with God is weakened because they are choosing their sin over Him. Note: it doesn’t affect God’s relationship with us…just ours with Him.
On top of that, sin universally affects all people, it hinders our relationships with one another, and it can often distort sexuality (Gen 3:12-21). Not only does sin affect human beings, but the Bible talks about how sin has affected all of the animal life starting with the serpent (3:14-15). Lion’s prey on others. Sharks are blood-hungry. Sin also directly affects the roles of gender: submission and motherhood of a woman; headship and work of a man. On that note, sin has also caused the entire creation (ground, earth, universe) to be cursed (Gen 3:17).
Even in the midst of sin, we can see the grace of God. God promises a Seed to come to destroy Satan (Gen 3:15). Eve still bears children. Adam still feeds his family. God graciously casts them out of the garden so they won’t live in their sin forever by eating of the tree of life. God’s grace allows them to die in hope of them being resurrected and perfected in Christ.
Speaking of Jesus, Paul is obviously reading this passage when he’s writing Romans 5:12-17. He’s saying that just as Adam’s sin has infected the entire world and all humanity – Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection will also make it possible to have eternal life. If you think it’s unfair that God has included you in on Adam’s sin, then you think it’s equally unfair for you to be included in on Jesus’ righteousness. In saying all of this, what do we do with our sin?
1. Be forgiven by God! Believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. Turn from your sin.
2. Confess your sins as often as you do them! Don’t wait till the nighttime or your prayer time.
3. Recognize patterns of sin in your life and kill them! Continually evaluate sin’s strongholds.
4. Tell others about the Gospel of Christ so that they can be His joyful slave with you!