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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Sin of Being Deceived

1 Tim. 2:12-14 has always troubled me a little.  It reads, "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." (NKJV)

Paul says elsewhere, "the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness" (1 Cor. 11:3 NKJV) which Eve herself admitted in Gen. 3:13 when she said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (NKJV)

I would have thought that sinning with one's eyes wide open (Adam) would be worse than sinning because one was deceived (Eve).  Of course, I understand both suffered the same penalty for sin so in that sense it mattered not but it does seem that Eve was to be blamed in a way Adam was not, and for the worse, not for the better.

Eve's sin was that she was willing to believe one who contradicted what the word of God said and acted on that belief.  That ought to be a lesson for us all, male or female, for that was the road that led to her ruin.  You can read in 1 Kings 13:1-33 about another person who did the same thing, allowed himself to be deceived, a man described as a man of God, and who likewise suffered for it.  God does not give mankind a pass for being honestly deceived.  He does not look with favor on those who will take someone else's word over his own.

This being the case it would behoove the Protestant world to take another look at baptism.  Will the Protestant believe God’s word that baptism is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV), the washing away of one’s sins (Acts 22:16), the “antitype which now saves us, namely baptism” (1 Peter 3:21 NKJV) or will he or she continue to believe a deception of man that it is merely a sign?  The word sign is not once used in the New Testament in association with the word baptism, not once.  It is an invention of man.

But if the reply is we are saved by faith, not by baptism, a false dichotomy is set up for who says it must be one or the other exclusively?  If these are the only two requirements for salvation then repentance from sin is not required.  We know that is not true.  The truth is everything related to salvation begins with faith.  Faith is the motivating factor but it is not the end-all of salvation but merely the starting point from which everything else flows.

As sure as the Bible teaches that faith is a requirement for salvation it just as surely teaches that repentance is (Acts 2:38, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30) and that baptism is.  Who wants to try to explain to God on the Day of Judgment why he believed man rather than God’s own word?  Eve chose to believe another over God.  It did not work out well for her.  Likely, it will not work out any better for anyone who tries it today. 

[To download this article or print it out click here.]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Did God Know Adam and Eve Would Sin

The answer is yes but it is a hard answer to accept for some for they cannot understand how man, make that Adam and Eve, could keep from sinning if God foreknew they would sin.  Did they have free will is the question being asked.  If God knew we were all going to need Jesus and his blood for salvation even before our birth what choice did any of us have but sin?

That question does not bother me.  Why not?  Because God by definition is supernatural.  His understanding is infinite.  What seems impossible with man is possible with God (creating the universe, the virgin birth, raising the dead to life again, walking on water, walking through closed doors, knowing man’s thoughts without being told, disappearing into thin air, etc.).  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14 NKJV)  “Is there anything too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27)  “His understanding no one can fathom.” (Isa. 40:28 NIV)  Because a matter is too deep for my own understanding does not mean it is too deep for God. 

Now for the scriptural truth that God did indeed know Adam and Eve would sin I will just quote the appropriate scriptures and leave it with you.

In 2 Tim. 1:9 the scripture says God has "saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." (NKJV)  You did catch that did you not—"before time began."  John refers to Jesus as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8 NKJV)

In Eph. 1:4 Paul says we Christians were chosen "in him before the foundation of the world." (NKJV)  The prior verse (verse 3) makes it clear Paul is speaking of "in Christ."  In the same book, we read of “the eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:11 NKJV)  If it was eternal it was before the earth was created.

The kingdom was prepared for us “from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34 NKJV)  Paul speaks of “the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” (1 Cor. 2:7 NKJV)  Did this wisdom have anything to do with Jesus and salvation from sin?  Paul says, “Had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:8)  So, yes, this wisdom that was ordained before the ages dealt with the salvation of man.

We read in Titus 1:2 of the “hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (NKJV) but, of course, eternal life depends on Jesus and his sacrifice for man so again the answer is yes, God did indeed know man would sin before creating man.

Finally, we close with Peter who says Christ was "foreordained before the foundation of the world." (1 Peter 1:20 NKJV)

Our duty before God as believers is to believe and not fret about how God can do things that seem impossible to us.  God knew we would sin before we were created.

[To download this article and/or print it out click here.]