Monday, September 02, 2013

The Genesis of Judgement Part 2

A couple days after listening to that sermon, I ran across this text in Romans 7...

"The law code started out as an excellent piece of work.  What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out of it.  The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me."

-Paul, Romans 7: (circa) 8-10

Immediately my thoughts went to Genesis 3 and then to Jonathan Martin's sermon.  There seems to be a real connection between The Fall in Genesis 3, playing God by exercising our knowledge of good and evil (a privilege that is ultimately reserved for God), and sin perverting the law by making it a piece of "forbidden fruit".   But it feels incredibly foggy, so I'm gonna try to get this down on 'paper' and see if it all makes sense... 

Again, reading in Romans 7... "sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of 'forbidden fruit' out of it".   Jonathan Martin's sermon completely testifies to this in the setting of the garden... God's command to Adam and Eve that they can eat of all the trees, except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then sin (Satan) finding a way to seduce Eve by tempting her to question the motive behind God's command.  That connection is made fairly easily.

It starts to get really murky when I try to make the connection to Paul's journey, the situation of the early Christians, and then to my own life.

In Paul's situation, "sin [finding] a way to pervert the command into a temptation and making a piece of 'forbidden fruit' out of it", would have been that sin crept into his life (as Saul) by tempting him with the idea that he could be like God (knowing good and evil) by keeping all the OT commandments.  This led him to pride, self-righteousness, and over-confidence in his ability to judge and mete out 'proper' punishment.

Could a similar application can be made to the early church and to my own life?  When I make Christ's teaching into OT-like commandments, I put myself in a position for my sinful flesh to pervert Christ's commands (promises?!) into a temptation to be like God by thinking I have the ability to know good and evil.  I can say from experience this the same effect on me as it had on Saul... pride, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, harsh criticism and judgement of others, and other generally unChristlike behaviour.  

Self-sufficiency was and is still a biggie for me.  If I base my ability to know good and evil on how well I understand or how 'accurately' I interpret a set of commands, the focus is on me.  I am unspeakably thankful that God is teaching me to discern good and evil through the person of Jesus and through my growing relationship with Him.  It is encouraging and freeing to know that God is the first, last and only accurate authority and also to know that my ability to discern can be trained through practice by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So this is me trying to connect the dots.  In a lot of ways sounds like a bunch of gibberish (and maybe it is), but on the other hand I can't shake the feeling that it is important and potentially monumental in my spiritual journey.  If so, I know the Lord will bring me to a fuller understanding and if not, I trust Him to lead me on to something better.

ps.  I've never really made the connection that one reason (maybe the main reason?!) the OT law 'failed' is because Satan infiltrated it with the same temptation he did in the Garden ("Wanna be like God?").  We certainly can't fault Eve for giving in.  Who in their right mind would say "no" to that?!  Lol.   My understanding has pretty much always stopped at the fact that it's humanly impossible to fulfill the law and that Christ proved that and fulfilled it for me. Which is true for sure, but is maybe only one small corner of the picture.

I'd love to hear your thoughts... please share!

1 comment:

  1. This is definately an awesome thought - much to think about and i hope to listen to that sermon soon. Studying Genesis last year brought several clarifying answers and this helped all the more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and connecting the passage with Paul and our personal lives. God's word becomes real when I can 'relate' to people in the bible. Blessings.


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