The Root Cause of Sin (Part 2)
14 Feb 2018
The root of all sin is unbelief in our identity in Christ. This unbelief can be traced all the way back to the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve did not realize who they were or that they were made to be just like God; therefore, Satan was able to lie to them and deceive them out of their identities. The resulting sin that they committed was born out of that unbelief. This is still true today. The three avenues where we can be tempted are the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. When we forget who we are in Christ, we are susceptible to falling prey to the enemy’s tricks when he tempts us in these areas. Our only hope of successfully resisting temptation is to base our identity in Jesus, who faced the same temptation as Adam and Eve but never for a moment forgot that He was the Son of God.
- The Holy Spirit convinces us of our spiritual identity, without condemning.
- And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:8-11).
- The Holy Spirit came to convince us of the sin of unbelief, not to convict us of any specific things we did wrong.
- The Spirit convinces us not of our own unrighteousness, but of our righteousness in Jesus.
- Our righteousness is part of our identity in Him. This is why Christians confess our faults to one another; not to be condemned, but to be reminded of who we are in Christ.
- Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed…(James 5:16).
- We need to be convinced that Satan no longer has authority; all authority is now in our hands.
- For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).
- Anything involving the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life is worldly. These are the three areas where the devil can tempt us to walk in unbelief.
- Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 3:1-6).
- When Satan attempts to get us to walk in unbelief, he begins by attacking our identity in Christe. We must never allow ourselves to be talked out of who we are in Jesus, no matter what happens.
- Adam and Eve were already just like God, but they did not know who they were in Christ. Consequently, they were deceived out of their identity.
- In the garden of Eden, the lust of the eyes occurred when Eve saw that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was good for food. The lust of the flesh became apparent because Adam and Eve were hungry. The pride of life was that the tree was to be desired to make one wise.
- When we believe who we are in Christ, we will no longer want to sin.
- And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:2, 3).
- “If thou be the son of God” was an attack on Jesus’ identity. The devil was trying to get Jesus to doubt, but the devil failed.
- We must believe that we are the righteousness of God, the redeemed, and all the things God says we are. The devil tries daily to get us to take hold of an evil heart of unbelief.
- To believe in our minds, we must first settle our belief in our heart.
- For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
- “All points” means the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
- As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10, 23).
- We can never be righteous in God’s eyes through our own works. Trying to be right through our own efforts amounts to self-righteousness.
- A transgression is a violation of the law but, before the law, the people were not conscious of their sins. There was sin in the Old Testament before the law was established, but it was not considered a transgression.
- Jesus Christ makes us righteous. Our self-efforts do not make us right.
- Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:10-13).
- The Pharisees worked hard to avoid sinful acts, but they placed their faith in their own works.
- It is significant that this Pharisee prayed within himself, but not to God.
- The Pharisee had faith in himself; the publican had faith in Jesus’ mercy.
- Good actions result in good consequences and bad actions equal bad consequences, but actions cannot make us right with God. We are righteous based on what Christ did, and our faith in Him only.
- For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
- Righteousness is a gift we cannot earn. If we could earn righteousness, it would no longer be a gift, but a payment for our works.
- When we believe this, then our actions will line up with our identity.
- The law makes sin a transgression.
- For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11, 12).
- Grace is not an excuse to remove all self-restraint and freely commit sin. When we believe who we are in Christ, grace will work in us and cause us to do right. We will not want to do the things we did before we were saved.
- And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
- The sins of the whole world have already been paid for by Jesus Christ. People do not go to hell for their actions, but for rejecting the payment.
- “Propitiation” is defined as compensation or payment. Jesus was the peace offering for our sins.
1 John 2:2, 16
Matthew 4:2, 3
Romans 3:10, 23
Titus 2:11, 12