The Genesis Connection: What do we do with our sin and wrong motivations?
An area of my property was densely packed with briars, thorns, vines, and unkept trees. Day after day I would work to clear a few feet, removing things so I could see ahead. Then I began to find offending roots and removed them. After a week, a path was finally clear. This is a picture of what God does in a person’s life if that person repents and walks with God. God restores a life in a person and makes it beautiful.
How can we receive life from God if our lives look impossibly broken? Our sinful nature shows the results of our pursuits of pleasures, cares of many kinds, power, and wealth when they are pursued first instead of God. It is not a surprise to God that we come to Him a mess. The Bible says that not one person is justified before Him. In essence, each one goes his own way until something changes. It has been that way since Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3). This happened shortly after God created everything and made the assessment that everything was good (Genesis 1:31). The entrance of sin, which is not a myth, is referenced in other places (like Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). How can the problem of sin be fixed? The Bible says that it is through Jesus Christ, who is called the “last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 14:45. He is the only one that can repair the breech caused by sin that began in Genesis 3 with the first Adam and continues through humankind.
Just as we cannot live right without God, we cannot clean ourselves up before coming to Him. The brokenness is too deep, too much a part of us. That is why the account of Genesis 3 is often referenced and is so important. Regardless of what form sin takes, we can only turn to Him with our whole heart and repent. How big or small the sin might seem is not the issue. For example, one who steals pencils is the same as the murderer because the root of the sin is the same. That is why a rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-31) or Nicodemus (John 3), who were both seemingly good, needed to repent. So, our part is to repent, but God does the cleaning of our darkened heart when we turn to Him. Our tendency to sin cannot be fixed without Christ. In essence, He buys us back by His sacrifice for us. His resurrection is the guarantee of His authority to be able to redeem us. We cannot do it.
Once redeemed or born again, He empowers us to walk forward and become more like Him. For some, the change is fast. For others, who might have deep-seated habit patterns or resist the process, it can take longer, but He does accomplish it if we stay engaged with Him. In the process, He gives us peace, which is not like anything the world can give (John 14:27).
Some sin may seem so heinous and wrong motivations so strong that having a clean and peaceful life seems impossible, even after becoming a believer. However, think of a heart like the path that was clogged by brush and briars. It seemed impenetrable. As we stay engaged with God, having made a commitment to Him, He will untangle what is tangled, remove the debris, and make a way for us. Truly, He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). His lovingkindness is extended in very personal ways through the Holy Spirit to assist us as we walk down the road with Him.
I can testify that these things are true. He came to me when I was a mess. He birthed me by His power. He patiently walked with me through decades, even when I stumbled. 2 Peter 1 eloquently speaks of the process of becoming fruitful as a believer. In Him, relationships have hope of being healed and motivations are purified.
As the Bible explains: the person who thinks he gains life without God ultimately loses it. But losing our life for His sake, we gain it (Luke 9-23-25).
To examine other connections with Genesis and the rest of the Bible, see the other posts on Roland’s Blog with titles beginning with “The Genesis Connection” or the symbol shown at the top of this post.
To examine Genesis issues or topics connected with biblical creation (including things such as the Genesis Flood, dinosaurs, aliens, fossils, human behavior problems, and why it all matters), download the free Apps for cell phones or watch the CreationStudyHelps channel on Youtube.