Drinking Deeply

Thursday, April 19, 2007 at 10:30 PM

The heart of sin

Something that came to mind as I was discussing sin with a friend.

We were discussing original sin and I remembered that someone said that the root of all sin is pride, and I brought it up and we were talking about it and it sounded reasonable right. Like the serpent tells Eve that she'll be like God. And she buys that and all.

But then I had this amazing thought, which I suspect was derived from either Vos' treatment of original sin in Biblical Theology or Calvin's commentary on Genesis (or maybe both). No, the root of all sin isn't pride, it's unbelief.

After all, the serpent begins not by appealing to self-worth, but questions God's words.

Genesis 3:1
"Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
From this, Eve doubt's God's Word and disbelieves His promises and there we have sin.

Don't get me wrong, pride is a huge source of sin, for myself personally, and I'm sure for others. But I don't think it's the root of all sin. At the root of all sin is unbelief (and this is almost a tautology... maybe). We doubt God's promises, we ignore His warnings, we think His plan is not good, we look elsewhere for food and drink.

At the root of it all? Unbelief.

It isn't written, "The righteous will live by humility," but it's written "The righteous will live by faith."

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Blogger Hannah Grace said...

sounds like a Piper idea to me...  

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Blogger Matthew said...

I will do my best to put this into words... hopefully it comes out...

The conclusion that you and your bud have arrived at are wholly correct, Mick.

"Pride" is a sinful tendency/response that is rooted in a proclivity toward sin. It is an internal reaction or pull when faced with a "crossroad" of decision. It is this inherent bent toward sin that James so deeply discusses in James 1:14-15.

The temptation that Adam and Eve (and Christ!) faced was one wholly external. Therefore, there was nothing inside of Adam or Eve that would entice them to sin. So, "pride" could not be the root of their sin, while it was the root of Satan's sin (Is. 14).

This leaves the only temptation to be to doubt God and His Word.

So, though Adam and Eve did not have a natural bent toward sin, they were still fully tempted from without. This is the same full temptation that Christ experienced in Matthew 4, though He was incapable of sinning. Understanding this element helps us to make sense of Hebrews 4:15.

I believe, though, that at the root of every sin of humanity from Cain to the present (save Christ) lies a deadly combination of pride and unbelief. Where Eve required Satan's pride to entice her to doubt, we, as fallen humans, are "blessed" (sarcasm) with our own prideful tendency, so that our own wicked hearts lead us to doubt the very Words of Christ, Words that lead to life.

Your thoughts, brother (and other readers)...  

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Blogger mxu said...

Matthew -

Thanks for your thoughts digging deeper into the fall of Adam and Satan's fall. Cool beans!  

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