I think most of the readers of this article are at least somewhat familiar with the theological concept known as "Original Sin." While I'm not, at the time of this writing, disposed to do all the research into the many variations of this doctrine as found in Roman Catholicism and in mainline churches dating to the Reformation, suffice it to say that generally the doctrine declares that by (dis)virtue of Adam's original sin, all mankind has been made to share in the consequence of his disobedience, even before the individual has, himself, acted in any way in reaction or response to God.
Under its general heading, the idea has been pushed to such an extreme as to insist that from birth, and by virtue of being sequentially born of Adam, even a little baby, fresh from mother's womb, stands condemned before God, looked upon by God with only the most vehement disfavor, reckoned by Him as deserving the full out-pouring of divine, retributive and retaliatory wrath, God's love being withheld from the child awaiting only the possibility that God might have reason to change His mind.
While the idea of original sin has had more than enough treatment by theologians, teachers, and preachers, by comparison, very little has been said about original temptation. It was, after all, original temptation that resulted in that original sin. It would seem important to understand just how the serpent seduced Eve, with Adam choosing to join her in her disobedience. (Interestingly, it was only by Adam's disobedience that sin entered into the world, but we won't pursue that subject in this article.) Just what was the nature of that seduction? What was the serpent's method of operation? How was it that Eve was
Having had considerable experience as a salesman for much of my adult life, I can easily recognize a "pitch" that leads to that crisis moment of "closing the sale." I see it clearly in the serpent's approach to Eve. In his initial question,
He draws Eve out. He gets her to put into words a growing feeling in her heart. She answers,
The serpent has his hook in Eve by this time. Having drawn out her resentment toward the Lord's prohibition, he now goes on in a way that suggests he's on God's side, and knows that the prohibition is not about denying Eve any pleasure, it's about getting her to act like God would act -- with sovereign independence, and with that, be assured that
So what are we to come away with from this analysis of original temptation? Look out for that line of thought that would lead you to conclude God is leading you to, and expecting from you -- in some sense, and by some definition -- to reach down into yourself to do that thing that God is dependent upon you to do. Look out for the idea that, at some point, God backs off hoping that you'll make the decision to become like God. Look out for that powerful suggestion to take aim, and shoot for the target, for sin is missing the mark. The only way you
"Sin is the transgression of the law," and "sin is not reckoned where there is no law." The law always puts before you the goal of hitting the mark. You pick up your bow, slip an arrow in, draw, release, and SIN. YOU always miss the mark, because you're TRYING to hit it. Hitting the mark has nothing to do with trying to do so. Trying belongs to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Only Christ in you, always hits the mark, and He never tries to. He just does it, by the Father who lives in Him. Now you have Him and the Father indwelling you, and by Them, you will hit the mark, because YOU are God's mark.
You are the bulls-eye of God's aim, His never-failing aim. It goes together, i.e., being the mark of God's aim, and He, in you, hitting God's mark. We hit the mark as those who are God's mark. The mark is truly being who we are in Christ, in whose hands all the pleasure of God shall prosper. Watch out for that anxiety that the sales pitch of the serpent leads to.
In closing, isn't it noteworthy, that the record of Eve's deception has her referring to
YET, as it turns out, that's how God planned it. Magnificent success through failure. Finally hitting the mark with absolute perfection through missing it with such humiliating failure, and that by being so humiliatingly duped.