I've recently begun my yearly read through of the Bible, though this time I've invited others to read it with me. It's amazing what we can lead one another to do. Adam was led by Eve in to breaking God's command, Abram was led by Sarai to sleeping with her handmaiden to move God's plan along, Reuben was led along by his brothers to waylay Joseph (though he stopped them from killing him). I could go on, but Genesis has enough examples for us to go on. What does this have to do with anything? Consider it a lesson in Original Sin. The tree was the object of sin in the Garden, but it set the precedent for every single sin after it: to decide for one's self what was good instead of following God's definition of Good. Today, we're still making the same choice as our ancestors; we still attempt for ourselves to define good and evil. To the Rich young Ruler Jesus had much to say on this subject: And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do so that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. -Matthew 19:16-22 NASB The man wasn't sinful because he owned great wealth. He was in rebellion because his wealth was his definition of right and wrong. He kept all of the commandments, but he was still his own priority. Jesus attempted to reason with him, to wrestle from his heart that which held him back, his property, but the man was too caught up in his wealth to hear the cure for his heartsickness, the command of Jesus Christ, "Follow Me." When we try and make it on our own, even as we follow "God's Rules," we're trying to have God on our terms. There is only one cure for our rebellion, and that is complete submission to Jesus Christ. Are we still sinners? Yes! Do we still stray and fall? Yes. But in our sin, we seek to be reconciled to God by confessing and growing closer to Christ in the process. Seek Jesus. He is the only cure for sin, the One sure pathway to the Father, and the only true peace. Matthew 19:23-29 NASB - And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them, Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Then Peter responded and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms on account of My name, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life."