The Sin in Us
Joshua Lowe, Ministry Support Worker for Youth, exhorts us to look deep into our hearts and reflect on our rebellion and relationship with God.
Milk on my shirt
I had just finished feeding and burping my baby son and my wife was putting him down for his morning nap. It was the first time in a while that I had the opportunity to go outside for a meeting and I was anxious to get out. I quickly said my goodbyes and headed for the bus stop. The bus was still a while off so I decided to take a quick bathroom break. As I went into the toilet I took a quick glimpse at myself in the mirror and to my surprise, I had a long milk trail running down the front of my shirt. My baby must have spit up some milk while I was burping him and I was completely unaware that a bunch of it was all over my shirt until I looked into the mirror!
Like looking into a mirror
Reading God’s Word is like looking into a mirror. It shows you aspects of yourself you wouldn’t normally see. For me, the past few sermons on Genesis have helped me see some of the sinful parts of my heart.
The account of the fall in Genesis 3 is very relatable. Just as the woman in Genesis 3 sought to break free from God’s loving rule and be like God herself, I also desire to be the ruler of my own life. Sin is rebellion against God and His Word. Sin happens when we say in our hearts, “I think I know better than God.”
I see this all the time and every day in my life. God says it’s not good for me to speak harshly to my wife, to lust after the things of this world, to be passive in being the head of my family, nor selfishly wanting to waste time for myself. The list goes on and on. However, I seek to justify my sinful actions because my heart desires that I be the rule maker of my own life. My heart does not love God first, I love myself above all.
And just like the woman in Genesis 3, I rebel against God because I forget the good character of God. It is so easy for me to see God as a harsh taskmaster and to doubt that God desires good for me. When I am rude and ungracious to others it is because I have forgotten how gracious and merciful God has been to me. When I act selfishly and unloving it is because I have forgotten that God has been abundantly loving towards me.
The need for a Saviour.
God’s word in Genesis has shown me the sin which resides in my heart, just like a mirror. However, just like I can’t use the mirror to clean my shirt (I can rub my shirt on the mirror as much as I want but it won’t clean my shirt) the Word reveals these things to point us to our need for a saviour. I cannot fix my own heart because it is prone to wander. I need a saviour to heal my rebellious heart that is hard towards God and His good character.
"I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel." (Gen 3:15)
This is why the proto-gospel (first mention of the gospel) in Genesis 3:15 is a great comfort. Even in the earliest part of God’s story, He promises to send a saviour to help man out of the mess he got himself in. This is the greatest news man could receive! And as we find out in the bigger story of the Bible, Jesus Christ is that saviour. Jesus died and rose again so we could be saved from our sins and our rebellion against God. He paid the death penalty and allowed our heart of stone to be melted in exchange for a heart of flesh.
Our youth are also studying the book of Genesis with the church and our coming study will be on Genesis 3. Our youth leaders hope that this study will help them to see the sin in their own lives. We hope that they can see that sin is a heart issue that is separating them from God and to look inwardly, not just at external actions.
Our hope is that as we look into God’s Word together with our youth, we will all look deep into our hearts and reflect on our rebellion and relationship with God. Please pray for our youth as we study Genesis 3 that hearts will be softened and that we will understand our need for Christ.
Reading the Word of God is like looking into a mirror, when was the last time you looked in the mirror? What do you see today?