The cost of one sin is . . . . ?
Who knows? But I suspect we underestimate the impact of our disobedience. I think Adam and Eve might have thought too little of the potential consequences of their sin, don’t you, especially given their perfectly lush living conditions? One might also say that God’s response to the “first couple’s”first sin was “over the top” and too far reaching in its collateral damage. In fact, it appears that way to me, but . . . . I don’t create the rules that govern His creation. He does. I don’t understand the magnitude of sin the way God does. This collision of sin in the face of perfect holiness ought to give us cause to ponder.
The Genesis 1 account records the satisfaction God had with his creation as good, good, good, good, good, very good. Not a bad start. Then one sin, one refusal to honor God’s direction, and the earth was cursed from that day on and like the account of Pandora in Greek mythology, sin, evil, sickness, death, misery and all things bad were now on the playing field. The rebellion of Adam and Eve gave birth to sin and unveiled for the first time what can be the magnitude and gravity of the consequences of disobedience to God.
We may judge God’s response to this first sin as overly severe. Overkill. How can we gauge the response of God to our sin which runs contrary to his sovereign order? Is it possible that God’s patience, grace and mercy towards us has conditioned us to minimize the impact of our rebellion and offense against God? God’s grace gives us a lot of room between the guardrails. And even when we bump against the guardrails we are met with compassionate encouragement to pay closer attention to the track. I much prefer that to legalism, where every “bump” invites condemnation and a growing sense of guilt . . . potentially inviting me to abandon my efforts in faith completely.
The effect of Adam’s sin was the cancerous spread of rebellion to all mankind going forward. As do you, I now have his spiritual DNA and am sadly a repeat offender in the eyes of a holy God. Romans 5:19 instructs us that “For as by the one man’s disobedience (Adam’s) the many were made sinners (all of us), so by the one man’s obedience (Jesus) the many will be made righteous (that’s us)” The cost for one man’s (Adam’s) sin was extremely high, and the price that was paid to cover that offense was a payment that bundled in my sins and yours for all time. Do you get that? All of your sins, past, present and future were paid for at the cross and God’s forgiveness was extended to you as a gift. Because of that truth, we can live as forgiven children, not perfect, but filled with thanksgiving.
We still live in a fallen world that is burdened by the curse that came from Adam’s one sin, and as such we navigate this life through pain, suffering, disease, evil and physical death. At times we participate in the creation of the miseries this world carries. Our sins are still costly and are still an offense against the grace of God. Do they surprise an omnipotent God? No. Do they disappoint Him? Probably so. To what extent would require more speculation than I care to venture. He wants the best life for us and continues to point the pathway to it. His compassion must make him grieve when we suffer or cause others to, wouldn’t you think?
Through our faith in Christ we are saved from the fate of what sin buys us. (Rom. 6:23) Do we then choose to run our race and disregard the guardrails and compassionate admonitions that God provides us and carelessly live as Bonhoeffer describes as “cheap grace?” Instead, let us marvel at the quality of grace and express the proper gratitude for it and the forgiveness granted us by the One who experienced the cost of sin. Think About It.