The Undercurrent of Our Natures

January 26, 2011

Christianity, Meditation

Diary:  Forrest Gump was at our door again this morning.  He was apparently down on his luck and seeking food.  He often does that.  I believe he views the entire neighborhood as his own domain and feels rightfully justified to enter all our homes.  Of course, he’s quite pleasant about it.  Being quick with friendly overtures, I don’t think he’s ever met a person he didn’t know.  But quaint disposition aside, the motivating force behind Forrest is an overwelming desire for self-satisfaction.  Though cute, he’s quite passive aggressive.  The only way to dissuade his convictions is to close the door.  Of course you may be thinking what’s the harm in sharing a little food with a neighbor?   Well, unfortunately for Forrest, we can’t let him into our house.  Our dog is afraid of little yellow tabbies.

Musings:  God is in the process of turning open the shades and letting light fall upon the nature of our beings.  The American Dream is fading and the nightmare of a Christless world is ever tormenting our slumbering souls.  The Church has largely always been seen as existing as an island in a sea of trouble, but now, it is more like a boat off the shores of Malta, enduring the battering waves of unbelief.  The Ozone is depleting and the Son is ever hardening the hearts of stone and giving them over to wantonness, vain imaging, and gods of their own making (usually ones that include themselves).   Of course, we’ve been here before.  As in the days of Noah,….the waves will buffet and the winds will howl, but none inside will be lost. 

If we can, we must view our disquieted lives as a great blessing: the waking of a slumbering Church; one at ease with temporal blessings.  While the rationality of man continues to dissolve into a pool of relativism, we who are in Christ are being given great gains.  As we think upon all the evils around us, we have to consider our own natures and deal with the inconsistencies I believe we all find within ourselves.  Below is a work by Thomas Watson.  It details the depth of Adam’s first sin, original sin, and I believe can add insight to the sins we see within ourselves on a daily basis.  Not to beat us down as under a whip of legalism, this self-reflection affords us an opportunity to correctly see more clearly our own natures and how desperately we need to flee to the safety of our saviour; to throw ourselves at God and to serve Him wholly as He rightly desires.  These stormy seas we live in are meant, in part, to bring us into right standing with Him.  And right standing is recognizing Him as a sovereign and Holy God and that without Him we are utterly and totally lost.  It is only He that can hold us up with His hand of righteousness.

Why is Adam’s sin so great? It was but the seizing of an apple! Was it such a great sin—to pluck an apple? “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Genesis 3:6.

It was sin against an infinite God. It was a voluminous sin, there were many sins twisted together in it. As Cicero says of parricide, “He who is guilty of it, he commits many sins in one;” so there were many sins in this one sin of Adam. It was a big-bellied sin, a chain with many links. Ten sins were in it.

(1.) Unbelief.  Our first parents did not believe what God had spoken was truth. God said, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” They did not believe that they would die; they could not be persuaded that such fair fruit had death at the door. Thus, by unbelief they called God a liar; nay, which was worse, they believed the devil rather than God!
(2.) Unthankfulness, which is the epitome of all sin. Adam’s sin was committed in the midst of Paradise. God had enriched him with variety of mercies; he had stamped his own image upon him; he had made him lord of the world; gave him of all the trees of the garden to eat (one only excepted). And now to take of that tree! This was high ingratitude; it was like the dye to the wool, which makes it crimson. When Adam’s eyes were opened, and he saw what he had done—well might he be ashamed, and hide himself. How could he who sinned in the midst of Paradise, look God in the face without blushing!
(3.) In Adam’s sin was discontent.  Had he not been discontented, he would never have sought to have altered his condition. Adam, one would think, had enough; he differed but little from the angels, he had the robe of innocence to clothe him, and the glory of Paradise to crown him. Yet he was not content, he would have more; he would be above the ordinary rank of creatures. How wide was Adam’s heart, that a whole world could not fill it!
(4.) Pride, in that he would be like God. This worm, which was but newly crept out of the dust, now aspired after Deity! “You will be like God,” said Satan, and Adam hoped to have been so indeed; he supposed the tree of knowledge would have anointed his eyes, and made him omniscient. But, by climbing too high, he got a dreadful fall!
(5.) Disobedience.  God said, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;” but he would eat of it, though it cost him his life! Disobedience is a sin against equity. It is right we should serve him from whom we have our existence. God gave Adam his allowance, therefore it was but right he should give God his allegiance. How could God endure to see his laws trampled on before his face? This made him place a flaming sword at the end of the garden.
(6.) Curiosity.  He meddled with that which was out of his sphere, and did not belong to him. God smote the men of Bethshemesh for looking into the ark. I Sam 6:19. Adam would be prying into God’s secrets, and tasting what was forbidden.
(7.) Wantonness.  Though Adam had a choice of all the other trees—yet his palate grew wanton, and he must have this tree. Like Israel, God sent them manna, angels’ food, ay—but they had a hankering after quails. It was not enough that God supplied their needs, unless he should satisfy their lusts! Adam had not only everything for necessity—but for delight; yet his wanton palate lusted after forbidden fruit.
(8.) Sacrilege.  The tree of knowledge did not belong to Adam—yet he took of it, and did sacrilegiously rob God of his due. It was counted a great crime in Harpalus to rob the temple, and steal the silver vessels; so it was a great crime in Adam, to steal fruit from that tree which God had peculiarly enclosed for himself. Sacrilege is double theft.
(9.) Murder.  Adam was a public person, and all his posterity were involved and wrapped up in him; and he, by sinning, at once destroyed all his posterity! (if free grace did not interpose.) If Abel’s blood cried so loud in God’s ears, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground,” how loud did the blood of all Adam’s posterity cry against him for vengeance!
(10.) Presumption.  Adam presumed of God’s mercy; he blessed himself, saying he would have peace; he thought, though he did transgress, he would not die; that God would sooner reverse his decree, than punish him. This was great presumption. What a heinous sin, was Adam’s breach of covenant!

One sin may have many sins in it. We are apt to have slight thoughts of sin, and say “it is but a little one.” How many sins were in Adam’s sin! Oh take heed of any sin! As in one volume there may be many works bound up, so there may be many sins in one sin.

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