Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Are Sinful Thoughts Sinful? (part 3)

Psalms 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

In the former parts of this series, we delved into the depth of man’s depravity & found it sinful to the core while also discovering that God justly desires to deal with every bit of it. Man made religion relentlessly seeks to reduce his degeneracy so as to increase his comfort level in the company of a holy & almighty God. We do not feel at ease being so utterly bad in the presence of One so utterly good. But true religion seeks only truth. It never mitigates reality in pursuit of spiritual solace. The unmitigated reality is that the seed of Adam dwells within all, that we do not do right because we neither think nor desire right, & we are accordingly due swift justice for every such deviation from the nature of Christ. Grasp that. It was not merely Christ’s actions that set forth the standard for mankind, but His innermost nature. He alone was outwardly perfect because He alone was inwardly perfect...

Luke 6:43-45 For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, (44) for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. (45) The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

In pursuit of a concordant, systematic theology that aligns with Scripture, we must embrace the idea that Christ’s outward perfection stemmed from His inward perfection. Just as the tangible evidence of good fruit evidences the goodness of the tree, wholly perfect fruit evidences the wholly perfect Tree. And that Tree alone rises above all others as mankind’s model, his upward call (Phil. 3:14).

The question is often posed “Why did God even allow that cursed tree of evil knowledge within Adam’s purview?” as if all our eons of evil could have been avoided if only Adam had not opportunity to overtly display the desire of his heart. As if we would all be still be abiding in the Garden, blissfully at peace with God, if only we never needlessly tarried with that temptatious, tempestuous tree. But Christ’s words strike home here also, as we accept Luke 6:45 pointing to God’s purpose for that tree; it was as nothing more than a metaphorical marker for a mind that had already wandered outside its proper boundaries, away from the “image & likeness of God”, akin to the 12 stone monument at Gilgal (Josh. 4:20). The 12 stones of the river Jordan gave tangible testimony to an entering in, while the Garden’s tree evidenced an exiting out. Both only symbolized events of the past. Adam’s sinfulness did not begin with his grasping of that fruit, not with Eve, nay, not even with the appearance of the serpent; his sin began as pride had erstwhile developed deep within heart & mind. Adam, like his tempter, arrogantly despised his blessed portion under God, desiring instead to be as God. It is akin to a man, when presented with a gift of a perfect filet mignon, laid upon a bed of crisp asparagus, conspiring to secretly possess the farm & kitchen that gave forth such blessing, instead of rightly honoring his benefactor. Was he sinful as he first conceived his evil, or only as it was hatched? The judgment of man cannot peer into a man’s thoughts, & so cannot rightly judge thoughts, but God does know our thoughts, & therefore does rightly judge them.

The Devil made me do it”…

Satan is not as he commonly represented by the na├»ve, as one who instills evil within an individual; rather, the much more ugly reality is as Job 1-2 & Luke 22:31-32 attest- his role is more often to “sift”, or draw out into the open our true, but obfuscated nature. Adam, Job, & Peter all failed Satan’s testing, as would we in their stead; in Scripture it is Christ alone who continues bearing perfect fruit in course of suffering all of the slings of Satan (Luke 4). Therefore, comprehend that Adam’s consumption of the bad fruit was simply indicative of the nature of his tree. Bad trees desire fruit that is accord with themselves; simply put, sin begets sin.

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