MY SIN: WHO SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR IT?
By Elena & Enrico B. / February 12, 2017
When questions such as “who is the ultimate source of my sin” or “who is responsible for my sin” are raised, our answers inevitably point to Satan aka Devil. It is so easy to superciliously blame Satan or others instead of being honest with God, closely examining ourselves and taking responsibility for our actions (e.g., Eve blaming Satan and Adam blaming Eve). This vicious cycle has perpetuated down to our times and none of us are guiltless when it comes to apportioning blame. It is difficult to assign the blame for our sin to ourselves in our fallen/carnal nature. But we do have this hope that Jesus Christ will help us overcome our fallen nature and be free of sin (Galatians 5:16; Revelation 2:7).
James 1:14-15 states, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” This is a very strong passage regarding blame: our desires lead to sin and then to death. This passage clearly establishes that the origin of our sin is in our own desire: when we pursue, indulge and fully develop our lusts it begets sin. God has no hand in it. Yes, Satan also seems neutral in this passage for he is not mentioned. But do not underestimate him—he lures us into situations where we may give into our own desires. If we continue in our desires, we cultivate our love for this world until it fully develops into sin. And when we love the world, we become an enemy of God (see 1 John 2:14-16; James 4:4). Therefore, we tend to blame Satan to remove our guilt from ourselves, justify our actions and, ignore our responsibility in sinning. The challenge is to decide against nurturing desires/lusts of this world and instead fostering our desires for the spiritual or divine. The ultimate choice to sin rests with us! Through our obedience to God the Father, we are purified through the power of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:1-23; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 8:6-17) thereby crucifying our passions and desires of this world (Galatians 5:24).
What does the Bible identify as our desires or lusts (our fleshly egos)?
According to 1 John 2:16, all sin falls into one or more of these three categories: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Lust is defined as “having a strong desire,” or “inordinate desire,” or “a passionate desire for something” or “a sensuous appetite regarded as sinful” (Oxford Dictionaries).
The Lust of the Flesh: Lust of the flesh is not limited only to sexual lust and as listed in Galatians 5:9-12, the results are the works of flesh (sin),“...adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idoltary, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings...” See also Matthew 12:36 concerning idle words and, the tongue acting as the instrument that may lead to hellfire in James 3:6. Compare these works of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit,“...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...”in Galatians 5:22. Galatians 5:22-25 further states that we can be free from our Lusts. The lust of flesh is addressed in the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:12-17). Jesus goes one step further by stating that we sin when we dwell on our evil desires even if we don’t follow through with action (Matthew 5.28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”). God exhorts us to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).
The Lust of the Eyes: Simply put, it is coveting – the desire to posses what we see and have those things or people. The Ten Commandments address this by prohibiting against coveting (see Exodus 20:17). Part of the reason Eve succumbed to Satan's lure in the Garden of Eden was that she looked at the forbidden fruit and saw that it was “pleasing to the eye” and wanted it for herself, as she desired to gain wisdom (do not confuse this with the wisdom of God, Jesus Christ but rather it is the wisdom of this world, the wisdom of Satan; see John 8:44 and 2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus states in Matthew 6:22-23 that our eyes are closely related to our desires (“...if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness...”).
The Pride of Life: It is part of our ego or human nature and describes arrogance of self-sufficiency and boasting. In other words, we are proud over our self-sufficiency. The word “humble” has no meaning or place here. The sin of pride resulted in Satan being expelled from Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15). Likewise, our pride of life stands in our way if we truly want to follow God, walk in Christ's footsteps or live a life obedient to God. Christ says, “…my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9; see also Philippians 4:13).
The whole conclusion is that we are to live a life free from our worldly lusts to be compatible for Heaven.
We are instructed in 1 Peter 2:11, “to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul” (spirit or life). See also 2 Peter 1:4, “...having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” We are exhorted to keep ourselves unspotted from the world and be perfect as our Father in heaven (see James 1:27, 1 Peter 1:13-16, Matthew 5:48, and Leviticus 19:2). We are to put on “the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14, see also 1 Peter 1:14). We are to safeguard ourselves from giving in to our worldly desires, completely separate from them by following God's word so that we are not lead to sin (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 119:9, Psalm 119:105; James 1:21-22; Luke 11:28; Matthew 7:24; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 2:2) and hiding it in our heart (Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee”).
A simple rule of thumb is: Can and Will Christ participate in this activity? If yes, you are safe; if not, stay away from it.
Unless otherwise stated, KJV is used for Bible texts