“…but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” Genesis 2:17.
It is important to know that unless we understand that we deserve death for our sins, there is no way that the salvation of God through Christ Jesus will make any sense to us. God’s love, mercy, goodness, kindness, protection, help will all be meaningless for us unless we understand that we messed up and are responsible for our sins and that our sins have consequence.
In order to understand that we are sinners, we need to understand the law of God. The law of God is summed up into love, namely love God and love your neighbor. Therefore, when God made the law, He was not creating it to keep others under control or to rule over them with limitations to their freedom. Rather, all the laws of God are perfect, they are the perfect standard of love. Laws that nations make are not perfect, even though they are intended for the well-being of people because some of them are made through ignorance of the truth and still others out of wrong motive or to control people.
God’s law was made not for the good of God, He already is who He is. Our obedience or disobedience to His Word does not change Him a little. All the laws of God were made for our benefits so that we would live happily, joyfully, peacefully, and lovingly with our neighbors. Therefore when we sin, we are actually not hurting God but ourselves. When we sin we actually are separated from the life of God. We become corrupt and increase into more and more lawlessness until we eventually are destroyed by our own sin.
Just like a worker has wages sin also has wages or consequences. You don’t curse someone and expect a blessing from them. You don’t kill someone and expect to live at peace with people. Sin has consequences! Sin means missing the mark. It means missing the mark of perfection, missing the mark of love. God is love and the mark of perfection is love. Anything we do that is not love is sin. So what God did is He explained to us what love means because we reduced love it to emotions, feelings, and immorality; He defined love in the law of God, and gave us His perfect laws so that we may abide by them.
However, we fall short, we sinned willingly! We were guilty because no one forced us to sin! We were drawn by our own desires and gave ourselves to sin because it felt so good, it deceived us even though we knew the truth! We wanted to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin rather than obey the truth which is based upon God’s holy law. We were impatient and could not wait for the genuine blessing and we tried to cheat, lie, murder, hate, and do all evil to get momentary pleasures! We loved sin more than God.
We broke the first commandment which was to love God, or to love Love, to love righteousness, to love truth, and loved lies, hatred, immorality, unrighteousness, which are the characters of satan. Little did we know that what we loved actually does not love us because sin can never be love. Sin had its wages and we were brought into bondage under sin. Sin became our master and controlled us until we were filled with hopelessness, shame, guilt, depression, confusion, more and more wickedness, more troubles, more distractions, sickness that would never, heal, more curses, more enemies, more hurt, more murders, more rape, more and more unrighteousness because we were far from righteousness bound by sin.
We found out that we could not come out from sin and that we were already dead internally, and waiting for our death externally because our ways were the path of death. The things which we thought would give us pleasure, we found out that they gave us more and more pain, and they actually tied us down with heaviness of heart. They bound us so that we could never go free. We cried day and night looking for someone to get us out of this mess. We knew that our ways were wrong, and that they were destructive. We knew that we were wrong! But we thought that it was late! We knew that we deserved death and that we were waiting for our death anytime! Just like Paul who said, “Who shall deliver me from this body of death”.
It was at that moment that we knew that you needed help. But who was going to pay for all that mess we were into? Because we deserved death! We are certainly guilty since we got ourselves into this mess we were in! We chose wickedness rather than righteousness, and now who will pay for our sins because sin will not let us go unless someone pays a restitution! It’s not possible to go to a court with a lot of criminal record and expect a judge to dismiss your case just because the judge is nice! Even if the judge was an angel he cannot let you go because there is a law and there has to be a restitution! What is going to happen to the criminal record of yours? The price is very high because sin demands only death! Why death? Because there is no other way that what you have done could ever be reversed? You have caused a damage! When you break the law of love, you have caused hurt, destruction, enticed others to practice evil, increased the work of evil in the society by placing a demand in the society. If you look at your sins from the perspective of perfection, there is nothing that could replace what you have done wrong. If you cannot replace it back then you must perish or someone else perishes for you so that the law of love would be sustained and corruption would decrease in the society!
You may say why can’t we get punishment other than death? Well, no pain, no sickness, no affliction, no hunger, no torment, or trials can ever pay up for sin because people never learn from them! There are those that became poor while sinning and still continued in sin while they were in poverty! If poverty could cure sin then certainly it could have cured these people! The only cure is therefore death! There is no other way! Sin is such a dangerous pollution that only death can get rid of it. So then who can save us from this sin which you are bound by? Is there anyone who does not have sin in himself who is willing to die for us? NO, because everyone is paying up for their own sins because no one is perfect!
Now you may say OK if everyone is dying I don’t care i’ll die also, are you not ashamed that even after you have done all this wrong that you have a mouth to say that you can die however way you want to? It’s your sin that’s killing you don’t you know! Your sin who hates you! So when you die, your soul is actually going down with your sin, who is your enemy! With your rebellious heart, you are looking for eternal torment because you will live eternally with your enemy. How can you live with what you hate for eternity? How can you live with what has been hurting, tormenting, and destroying your life forever? No, you must seek some other option. You cannot allow yourself to die! Do you not know that when you are sleeping, your consciousness is still awake and your enemies are tormenting you with night terror and horrible dreams? Would you allow that to happen to you every day after you die because your consciousness never dies?
Therefore, you need someone to redeem you of your sins so that you are free from pain, guilt, shame, condemnation. So who is able to deliver you? It must be someone who never sinned, and who always loves his neighbor and his God. It must be a perfect and blameless person. And you say who else can that be but God himself? Now you came to your sense. You realize that you need to ask mercy and forgiveness. And God in His mercy gives you the perfect sacrifice who can get you out of your mess. Your God dies for you so that He can redeem you since He sees you helpless and hopeless, even though He knows that it’s your fault, He is willing to pay the sacrifice because He loves you! Then you begin to thank Him, to honor Him, and sing to Him with gratitude in your heart because you know that you were once lost, but now you have been found, was blind but now can see! You are truly redeemed by the precious blood of the lamb.
When you truly understand yourself, you truly understand the consequence of sin, and when you know that you are a sinner, you will understand God’s love and salvation that He has given you!