The Myth of Falling into SinHere’s where I am going with this. We often will throw around the phrase, “I fell into sin” but rarely is that the case. Adam and Eve’s teeth didn’t just “fall into the piece of fruit.” Those choppers were guided into that piece of fruit. The Fall was not a product of an accident, but intentional rebellion against a holy God. And that is most often how we sin too. We aren’t victims; we are culprits. We aren’t the prey of sin most often, but rather predators, seeking after sin.
We War Against Sin Inside UsWe have to come to terms with this so that we can deal with sin as it deserves, by dealing with ourselves as we deserve. The antidote to sin is not completely wrapping ourselves in toilet paper (remember those commercials?) to keep us safe from that which is outside of us, but rather to recognize that death resides within is—in our hearts. That is where we must go to war. But even then, only after recognizing that we lack the military might to win that war, or even a single battle. We need Christ to war on our behalf and to put to death the sinful impulses and desires of our hearts. Because when He does—when He rips the heart of stone out of our chest and replaces it with a heart of flesh and when He puts the phantom desires of those dead hearts to death as well—we find victory over sin. When our hearts don’t want the forbidden fruit, but rather our faithful Father, our incisors will remain clean and white. This is the key to defeating sin: it’s more of a matter of who we love than what we do. Our hands are merely our heart’s accomplices.
There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” — Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) Preschool Tip: Be careful to remember this week that sin is a “church word.” Rarely, if ever, will you hear this word in our culture, so with all “church words,” we need to be careful to supply definitions, especially for our preschoolers. As you define sin this week, I want to encourage you to use the phrase “wrong” choices instead of “bad” choices. I am prone to use this example as a reason why: Choosing the fish entrée over the chicken or steak entrées at a wedding is a bad choice. Rebelling against a holy God is a wrong choice. While that is slightly tongue-in-cheek, it hopefully illustrates an important point. Our preschoolers will hear the word “bad” used in a multitude of settings that might confuse their understanding of sin. But generally, “wrong” is used the way we want them to come to understand sin—any rebellious action or posture of the heart against God. Kids Tip: We don’t know how long it took Adam and Eve to rebel against God, but we can see how quickly and deeply sin wreaked its sinister havoc after they did. In the chapter after this one, we see Adam and Eve’s son kill their other son. From perfection to fratricide in one generation. Then later in that chapter we see Lamech bragging about killing a young man for injuring him. Turn the page to Genesis 5 and we see a genealogy with the refrain “then he died” over and over again. God was not a liar, as He had said, when sin entered the world, death reigned. Then, in Genesis 6 we read of the wickedness of humanity that was so pervasive that God flooded the world. As we read these early chapters of God’s story, we ought to feel a heaviness of heart. We ought to read with a sense of despair, and this is what we want our kids to feel in this session. We want them to understand the true and full consequences of sin and their inability to do anything about it. Because when they do, they are primed to understand the grace-filled work of Christ on their behalf.  Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed (First Rate Publishers, 2014), 6.