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Monday, October 1, 2012

The Blame Game

By David R. Ferguson

     Man has had to deal with sin and its consequences since the beginning of time. When sin first entered the world in the Garden of Eden the initial reaction was for those who sinned to blame others.
"And the man said, `The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.' And Jehovah God said unto the woman, `What is this you have done?' And the woman said, `The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.'" (Genesis 3:12-13)
     When others are confronted with the sin in their lives they, too, wish to play the blame game, and sometimes they point their finger at God. But James disagreed with this tactic, for he wrote, "Let no man say when he is tempted, `I am tempted of God'; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no man: but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin: and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death." (James 1:13-15)
     Other issues start to come into play when we try blaming others for our own behavior. Suddenly, we recognize the reality of sin. Even before God approached Adam and Eve they knew they had done wrong for they tried to hide from the Lord. Their relationship with the Creator had already changed due to their choice to defy the Father. They felt shame for what they had done and what their sin had brought to them.
God confronted Adam and Even when they sinned in the Garden, and He will still confront us today. His word confronts and condemns us, according to Jesus in John 12:46-49: "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on Me may not abide in the darkness. And if any man hear My saying, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not My sayings, has one that judges him: the word that I spoke, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I spoke not from Myself; but the Father that sent Me, he has given Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak."
     Paul let it be known that all are condemned and fall short of the glory of God because of our own sin in Romans 3:23, but in the very next two verses he tells us that those of us who are in Christ are justified through the grace of God and the redemption that comes through His Son: "…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in His blood…." (Romans 3:24-25) And being justified by God's grace we become joint heirs of Christ: "…that, being justified by His grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:7)

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:
http://lakelandchurchofchrist.web.officelive.com/default.aspx

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