That was some piece of fruit in the Garden of Eden. The plans of the Almighty God, Creator of Everything that has been created, were undone by a single piece of fruit. Of course, it wasn’t the fruit, it was the rebellious act of Adam eating the fruit that changed everything. Eve was deceived by the serpent, but Adam was not. He simply chose to disobey the Lord for the sake of his wife. To this day, Paul says, married folks are tempted to live to please their spouse more than pleasing God, but we will leave that for another day 😊.
One single bite and the blood of all mankind was poisoned with death. I don’t mean that all mankind died physically because we are still here. Every person has been born with a spiritual blood disease. Sin runs through our veins and as natural as there is blood in our veins, there is sin in our heart. What a piece of fruit!
How powerful is this spirit of death that from one single bit of a piece of forbidden fruit comes hatred, discord, deceit, murder, molestation, divorce, betrayal, abandonment, racism, abortion, child abuse, arrogance, jealousy, gossip, vengeance, rape, wickedness, demon possession, debauchery, perversion, drunkenness, witchcraft, and every kind of evil in this world. In this context, we see the vast influence of the spirit of sin and death. Even the best of us are full of sin. The Bible says that if we claim to have no sin, we are liars. That includes the most holy of holy people. The Spirit of Sin and Death is so massively powerful. We are so easily moved to sin, but we must fight with great effort to resist sin because of its great power to influence and pressure us into those words, thoughts, and deeds that would dishonor our Creator.
The Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The depth of that statement is so easily missed. Yes, we all know that we were sinners and that Christ died for us, but what we have failed to see is the weight of our sin. Jesus died so that whosoever might believe in Him would be rescued from the power of sin. This means that if every soul ever born chose to believe in Him, the punishment He received on the cross would cover every soul. But it also means that if only one person through every age of time chose to put their faith in Him, the punishment He had to endure would have been the same. One tiny little sin of ours, like the small sin of Adam’s bite of forbidden fruit, is so wicked that Christ still would have needed to endure all of the same punishment. And how many little sins have you committed? (I know sin is sin, but I am just trying to prove a point.) One little sin merits total denial into the presence of God for all eternity.
On top of this, the Lord attempts to help us understand how badly it hurts Him when we commit even one little sin. He refers to Himself as our Groom and we are His bride, but we are an adulterous bride. Each tiny, itsy, bitsy, minuscule sin hits his heart as if his brand new bride just cheated on Him. I have never lived through this. My wife has not cheated on me. I can only imagine the feeling of betrayal and pain. Many of you reading this have been cheated on by your spouse. You know deep pain. Imagine if the affair would have taken place at the height of the honeymoon period of the relationship. This is the analogy the Lord has given us that we might understand how deeply He has been hurt by us, yet while we were still sinning, with the knowledge that we would continue to sin, He gave up His life to save us from the punishment we deserved.
Understanding the deep cut into His heart that comes from one single, tiny, little bitty sin is important. It gives us insight into His love. As badly as we have hurt Him, His love for us is greater. And when we finally gather a good understanding of this love, we are filled with the power of God, a power greater than that of the spirit of sin and death. Real Love is the embodiment of the full measure of God’s power, able to overcome and undo all wickedness and evil.
This is how God loves us. This is Real Love. And when we learn to love with His love flowing through us, imagine the power within us to exact transformation in those we give this love to. It is life-changing. I know it is life-changing because this love has changed my life. If I have nothing but the love of Jesus, I have everything.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)
Heavenly Father, I am blown away every time I take time to consider this love that You would die for me. Write this wonderful knowledge on my heart. Speak it to me in Your beautiful whisper into my soul. When the hard times come, speak louder into my spirit. When I try to walk away, remind me of Your love for me. Baptize me in your love daily. Then Lord, as Your love overflows in my heart, let me love as You love. Let me have Your patience, Your kindness, and Your grace. Let this power break the power of sin and death in my life and let me live a life that breaks that same power in the lives of those around me. -Amen.
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