The Great Defection and Its Infection

Background

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Romans 5:12

The narrative of Scripture from the Cross of Jesus shows humanity infected with sin — this impulse to act independent of God and His Word. Adam’s defection from the communion of God radically altered the innocence, honour, and trust humanity had enjoyed. The consequence is death — a brokenness permeating everyone and all our relationships: with God, with self, with people, and with the stuff of earth.

Living disconnected from the communion of God has brought death. I hate it. This viral death has spread among us and it takes ugly forms in its rage and its apathy, its blindness and its rebellion, its strange delight in evil and its self-righteousness.

Everyone sinned.

The narrative of the Cross tells us the truth about our brokenness and it tells us of God’s hope and healing for humanity:

15But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

18Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:15-19 NLT

The consequence of separation

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15The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17

To hold the power of life and death in our hands is almost unimaginable. But that power is exactly what God announced to adam. “If you eat [of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] you are sure to die.”

God is the Source of life. To remain connected to Him is to live. To remain in His Word is to live. To remain in Him is to live. The choice to remain in His communion was given freely to adam. It was a choice of life and death.

When I cut a head of lettuce from the garden and leave it on the porch, it will die; it will rot. It is corruptible. So it is with the created ones. Separate from The Source of our life, we rot, we die. Life diminishes and death reigns.

God laid out the consequences of independence from Him. For Adam and Eve the power for life to its fullest was already available to them. The power for life was not in this tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Trust was the currency of their power; They were already truly powerful in the communion of God.

Don’t resist the Holy Spirit’s inconvenient ministry

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7Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  John 16:7-15

Jesus says He will send the Holy Spirit as the Helper for the disciples. That’s great news because their assignment in the world is daunting. Who is going to believe them? But its not all up to them! The Holy Spirit will take on the work of convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment;

of sin because they do not believe Jesus.

of righteousness because Jesus has gone to the Father.

of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.

Conviction is uncomfortable. The application of God’s truth to our lives stirs up the mixture of guilt, shame, and fear that a person may have been managing for years. Conviction goes against our cultural reluctance to “make a person feel uncomfortable.” And thus we may not want to cooperate with the Spirit of God by proclaiming the promise of Jesus. But its the very uncomfortable and inconvenient realization of truth that makes the grace of Jesus timely and amazing.

Life and Death Divergence

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3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:3

Our affections and heart will be drawn to something. The members of our body will be occupied by desires. For the believer in Christ Jesus the spiritual dynamics of our life are explained in aspects of life and of death.

Of death, the believer was dead in their sins.

Of death, the believer is now dead to sin.

This is not a renovation; Jesus has ushered us into a demolition.

But the demolition of the works of sin and death are animated from the interior occupation of the One who loved us and died for us, Jesus Christ the Lord.

Now our life is hidden with Christ, in God.

Hidden: Jesus the Crucified is enough to advocate for us.

Hidden: Jesus the Resurrected is enough to secure our life even in the face of ridicule, accusation, pressure, harassment, loss of wealth, or even death of the body from those who do not yet recognize Him or love Him as Lord.

Blessed are you!

Your life is hidden with Christ in God!

Combobulating the Discombobulated Soul

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1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.    Psalm 32:1-4

Sin discombobulates.

Funny word, but its no joke!

We may not like that reality and so we redefine and create our own coverups to the sometimes vague, sometimes distinct, sense of discomfort accompanying personal responsibility for our attitudes and actions toward God, people, and His Creation.

The Bible reveals God, holy and pure; who does see us and who does judge us. “Silence” (32:3) on the part of David was not about agreeing with God regarding the reality of his sin. David’s silence was an attempt to

void God,

avoid God,

and escape responsibility for his transgressions, iniquities, and deceit.

There was grace from God even in David’s withering soul-health. The heaviness of soul as a product of God’s judgement generated confession:

5I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”

and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.  Psalm 32:5

Thus David’s joyous beginning: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Praise God! “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14