I would like to return to a subject that has within its construct something that perhaps few Christians have considered in depth, a topic that some may believe is, as it were, an excuse for their actions. The nature of this subject is sin, not just where it began both in heaven with Lucifer, or only our first parents, though in a form these two are the main subject lessons that we will learn from, how we respond in the beginnings of our actions towards sin in our own lives is the main topic, and who, or what, we blame for these actions against a Holy God.
The occurrences of sin are quite easy to see, one does not need to look far beyond their own house or city, evil is abounding, and no matter whether it is influenced by Satan or acted upon by human beings of their own accord, sin, those incidents and actions against God are prevalent and increasing worldwide. Evil thoughts and desires are also sin, whether or not they are acted upon, one need only to look upon a woman in lust, (Matt. 5:28) evil thoughts proceed from the heart, (Matt: 15:19) these are not the thoughts of temptation, for these we have been given a way out, (1st Cor. 10:13) sin does not always need to be an external action, but it can also be an inaction, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
I have thought long and hard about the very beginnings of sin, the initial thought of Lucifer that brought about the first intentional action against our Lord into existence, it was, I believe, long before he uttered his words, “I will be like the most high,” (Isa. 14:14) there was a conceptual thought process that led him to this false conclusion, but what that very first thought was is still hidden from me, the Lord will lead in this knowledge as he sees fit. When I think also on that moment in the garden of Eden, the instant that the first thought of Adam became one against the Almighty, again, it is hidden from me in the entirety of its understanding, but one defining fact has come into my observance, one that is truth. Adam and Eve sinned before they had a sinful nature.
This brings to our attention a topic of discussion that is more than just a little relevant to our lives, for we have as a whole been blaming our sinful actions upon either our sinful nature or satanic influences for as long as we have been on this planet, and I am not sure that this excuse is viable in the eyes of the Lord. When the millennial period comes about, Satan and all of his influences will be removed, and yet there will still be sin, ergo, man does not and never has needed the sway of Satan to sin, we are capable of these actions ourselves, and if we see what is the truth of the previous statement, that Adam had no sin nature within him before his decision to rebel against the commandment of God in the garden, then it is fact that we do not need a sinful nature to sin.
The excuses are leaving in droves are they not, not one saved child of God will be able to stand before our Lord on that personal day of accounting, (Rom. 14:12) and blame either the devil or their own sinful nature for their actions, our free will in every action that was against our Savior will be shown to be just that, an action of our own design and desire. No assistance was necessary from our adversary, there was no prodding from the old man (Rom. 6:6) inside of us that could not be conquered with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, there will be no excuses. Eve was deceived, a fault within itself, one that concluded that perhaps He who had made them could not be trusted in His entirety, two possible truths were given to her, and she was unable to discern the difference between them, her judgement of who could be trusted was compromised. But Adam made a free will choice, deductive reasoning skills were employed, for the first time the linear path that had been set before him showed a fork in the road, and why he made that decision to choose the path that was not of God is still a mystery to us.
One thing is certain though, he had no sinful nature residing inside of him, there was no discernable thought processes, there was no cognitive recognition of the difference between good and evil, not until the moment that he ate of the fruit of that tree. Think about this for a moment my friends, there was no sinful nature within Adam before he sinned, only the free will to do as he chose to do, the same free will that resided in the angels who fell by the coercing, and accepting by their own free will that coercing from Satan. Neither Adam or Satan were pressured in any way beyond their own thoughts, thoughts that placed God below their own desires, whatever those desires may have been, and when they acquiesced to those desires, they sinned. The action of “I will,” the action of the eating of the fruit was the determining factor for the consequences of their separation from our Lord and all that he had given and offered to them, but both of their initial thoughts were the same, thoughts that placed their desires above those of God.
We do not need a sinful nature to sin, it is within our capacity to choose whether or not to sin, it is never forced upon us, no different than it was not forced upon Adam to eat of the fruit, the choice was completely his own decision, he knew no sin until he ate. Eve was deceived, and sinned, Adam made a conscious decision to disobey, and sinned, in either case, they sinned before they knew consciously of sin, before they had a sinful nature within them, and the consequences of that action have led us to where we are today. Our sinful nature can no longer be blamed for any of our sinful actions, we always make a free will choice to sin, the nature is irrelevant. It is in our ability to override this nature that produces within us sin, and that ability comes from the Holy Spirit of God, we can in no way do it ourselves, but, that is again left entirely up to each individual, our Lord does not force virtue upon anyone.
We do not trust completely, we fail in the continuance of our faith, the circumstances that surround us daily sow seeds of doubt within us, we believe ourselves to be like the Most High, believing the path that we have set before us to be a better choice than the one that He has set for us. The cares of the world crowd us into a corner, the circumstances are more visible than the consequences, we want more than we have, and our lack of satisfaction drives us to sin. “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16) Here is the problem, we cannot in any way stop the continuous flow of that sinful nature within us, you can’t stop it, only the Holy Spirit who dwells within each one of the children of God can, but we are the ones to thwart His work within us, and that impedance needs no sinful nature to help it in its endeavor. Neither Adam or Lucifer needed any previous sinful nature to assist them in their own rebellious actions towards the will of God, and neither do we.
Our Lord made us to love and obey Him, and that obedience cannot come without love, we are not robotic in nature, we have been blessed with free will, and that free will does not need an external, determining force to sin, both our adversary and our first parent needed no coercion beyond that which they envisioned within their own minds. The circles of influence, the ability to sin, is ever before us, which begs the question, is that ability still prevalent within the angels who did not leave their first estate, and will it still be within us when we are in the presence of our Lord for all eternity? I will not dare to answer this question, for it is beyond the knowledge of any human being, much less this humble writer of simple letters.
I will leave you only with this truth then, you do not need your sinful nature to sin, all sin is of our own choice, it is never forced upon us, we make the decision to sin or not to sin, there is no one to blame but ourselves. Consider these words as you prepare for that day that you will give an account to your Lord.