I'm Not A Sinner
This is an excerpt taken from, Prone To Love
There were two trees in the garden of Eden. Well, there were probably thousands of trees in the garden, but there were two particular trees God went out of His way to acknowledge.
First, the tree of life. It was the good tree; the one that represents the fulfillment of our deepest longing as Psalm 13:2 states.
Then there was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was the one with the bad apples. God gave some simple instructions about these two trees, “Help yourself to the tree of life but stay away from them bad apples.”
The reason for the two trees? It was about love, it was about freedom. God, Love, is always about our freedom. He will not compromise even a fraction when it comes to protecting it. In Galatians 5:1, Paul made a rather obvious statement about this. “It was for freedom Christ has set us free.” Jesus died for our freedom. And through Him, we are set free to choose: Love or Need.
Freedom, it’s about choice. It’s the atmosphere in which love can exist. It’s the soil in which love can grow. The fact is, if you can’t choose not to love, you can’t choose to love.
That’s why He gave Adam and Eve two trees – a choice: love or need…
I don’t think Adam and Eve truly knew what need was while living in the garden. At least, not the overwhelming-heartache-insecurity need that all of us face. In fact, they were so clueless about need that they walked around naked.
So while I don’t know what their daily conversations entailed, I’d imagine they were more focused on all the dreams and potential a perfect God, a perfect son, and daughter, and a perfect relationship with love would have to offer.
Can you imagine it: no insecurity, no overwhelming need, no sickness, hopelessness, heartache; just the Father’s love perfectly encountered, embraced, revealed, and experienced in every relationship you know, every interaction, every thought?
My guess is that Adam and Eve dreamed together and it was all good, it was the very heart of God. They dreamed of all the things they could do in a world designed just for the two of them. And their dreams didn’t include need or lack, they didn’t know need or lack, they only knew LOVE.
These two people were made in the image of God. Without spot or blemish. Adam and Eve were in perfect alignment with God. Their relationship did not even have a hint of a lie in it. It was pure and beautiful. It was whole, absolutely transparent. It was flawless in mind, heart, and soul. Because they were made in Gods image, they were sinless. They were like God – perfect.
Perfect, that’s the word.
They weren’t prone to wander. They loved God.
I believe that when your mind is pure and your heart is full of love, sinning isn’t something you want to do. It’s not even really that tempting. Therefore, I really don’t think the bad fruit was all that enticing.
My point: I don’t think they spent much time, if any at all, thinking or talking about the bad apples. I honestly don’t believe it was even on their radar. I’m not saying that they weren’t capable of thinking about it, I simply don’t believe they did.
When Maddy was two and a half she discovered the TV “on” button, which was tragically, and not for long, within her reach. One afternoon when we had company, and after she had turned the TV on 25 times, and after Karen or I had turned it off 25 times, we decided to try our hand at parenting. “No touch honey,” we said, and we meant it.
Now, Maddy wasn’t happy about this and she let us know. For the next ten minutes, she would wobble up to the TV, point at the on button and say, “no, no, no.” Then she’d take a stroll through the family room crying as if her heart couldn’t bear the sorrow of not being able to push the button. Before long she was back in front of the TV letting us know her pain. Finally, when she couldn’t take it anymore, and as we sat dumbfound and bemused, she looked at us and wailed “no, no, no, no” as she reached her hand out and touched it…
I think everyone who has taken a breath has felt this; the desire to do something you’ve been told you shouldn’t. And because we can all relate, I think it’s easy to project that same desire on Adam and Eve. Our theology is too often constructed to support our personal experiences instead of being determined by the Word – perfect love. The Tree of Knowledge was not like the TV button: an all-consuming thought, an agonizing battle. And yet many of us view it that way. But there is no evidence in the Bible to support it. Quite the contrary.
Adam wasn’t plagued with thoughts of bad apples. He didn’t walk around trying to be good while battling the urge to defy God.
“Name the animals, don’t eat the apples. Go for a walk with Eve, don’t eat the apples. Build a tree fort, don’t eat the apples. Make orange juice, don’t eat the apples…”
I would like to suggest that neither Adam nor Eve spent their days battling with sinful thoughts. Perfect people, designed for and living in God’s perfect love, don’t naturally want to sin. I don’t think they ever desired to eat the bad apple, nor was the thought even intriguing. They didn’t spend their days trying not to sin. Their DNA was holy, just like their Dad’s. You see, humanity was originally designed and created in His image: prone to love.
So let me ask you a question, and its a big one.
Whose idea was it to disobey God? Eve’s? Adam’s?
Here is a crazy thought; original sin didn’t originate in the mind of man.
I am not saying Adam and Eve didn’t have the capacity to think of defying God. But the fact is that’s just not how it happened. And it makes sense. Adam and Eve were sure, secure, and whole in His always-good love.
Adam & Eve: Original Value
There was a snake. He could talk. He made a suggestion. It was a lie. Like all of his lies, it perverted the true nature of God. Eve believed the lie.
The lie? God is in control; He is keeping something from you. His love isn’t perfect. He isn’t always good. He is not enough. He is withholding, uncaring, disinterested, an egomaniac, a liar… You have heard the lie; it has many adjectives but only one objective, to separate us from the truth of our heavenly Father’s always-good love.
When we lose track of Gods nature, we become deceived about our own. That’s what happens when a lie is believed; it separates us from His love nature and the fullness of our identity as sons and daughters.
And that’s just what happened to Eve and then Adam. They made a choice to believe a lie regarding Gods always-good love.
Whenever we discuss this great tragedy, we tend to focus on the choice, the sinful decision. But for a moment, I want to focus on who supplied the lie.
The thought to disobey God, and worse, to actually trade gods; the idea to step away from Love, didn’t originate with Eve. It was the serpent’s idea whispered into Eve’s ear. Neither was it Adam’s idea when he joined her in rebellion. Eve simply passed the lie along.
Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not absolving Adam and Eve. They made a choice to walk away from a perfect love relationship; they chose to give their God-given authority to Satan. It was a big deal. I am simply pointing out that the idea to sin didn’t originate with them, which I also think is a big deal. Why? Well, I think it says a lot about our original value – how God designed and created us.
You see, most of my life I have been told that I had a proclivity to sin, that it was actually a part of my DNA. However, in the last several years I have come to understand that the moment I said yes to Love I was redeemed and restored to my original value. And when I look at the story of Adam and Eve I realize that my original value is not “sinner.”
Sin didn’t first enter the world through the hearts or minds of a man. It came from a lie provided by Satan and agreed upon by Eva and Adam. It wasn’t Adam or Eve’s nature to sin that led them to sin. It was a lie believed that distorted the perfect Love nature of their heavenly Father and more, the perfect love nature they already possessed. This is groundbreaking revelation. Why? Because many Christians walk around this planet beating themselves over the head while battling a nature that, through Christ’s death and resurrection, doesn’t even exist!
We are no longer sinners!
Original sin didn’t originate in the mind of man. This is huge! Maybe it means that when Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again, He became our access back to our Father and our original DNA. Maybe when He said “it is finished” He meant it. Maybe those who are in Christ Jesus are no longer prone to sin. Maybe we have been redeemed and restored to our original value.
And maybe we are again like our Dad: prone to love.
Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children.
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