Every one of us is where we are today because of choices made yesterday. We are successful in business because of decisions made previously. We are, likewise impoverished because of choices made in the past. No one stands where he is solely because of another. We have made choices which produce amazing blessings or profound consequences. It is the law of sowing and reaping as found in Galatians 6:7:
“Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
Every action carries with it a set of consequences or blessings. There are no neutral actions. Sometimes the consequence is slight. For example, a man caught speeding might receive only a warning. No penalty, just good advice to slow down. Other times the result might be catastrophic, like when the same man, failing to heed the warning, speeds headlong into stalled traffic killing himself and others. We do not choose our consequences; only the path toward those results.
There is a consequence more catastrophic than death; worse than causing the death of others. That is the consequence of sin.
Like billions today, Adam and Eve probably saw little harm in tasting the delicious looking fruit hanging from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They had been warned. Still, the fruit looked so good. Maybe they thought, “could it really be that bad? It’s just a piece of fruit!” It was that bad. The first couple stood at the precipice of the greatest consequence of all: The consequence of sin.
Mankind suffered immeasurably for their “no big deal” decision. Genesis 3:16-19 announces the following consequences of their sin.
- Women would now suffer in childbirth,
- Women would be subjected to the authority of their husbands,
- Man would struggle to bring forth his crops from the good soil of the earth,
- Man would no longer keep the garden; he would labor in it all the days of his life.
- Man and woman, the entirety of humanity, would be banished from God’s garden and from before his presence.
- An innocent man, Christ Jesus, would have to suffer and die in consequence of their actions.
The greatest consequence was death which entered the world on that dark day. God banished mankind from the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22-24). That is why you stand before the open grave of loved ones. It is why we keep watch over loved ones as they breathe their last. It is why we all fear that 2:00 AM telephone call or knock on the door. Death is now among us.
Actions have consequences. The consequence of sin was and is, death.
Jesus came to bring us out of the dread of sin. “For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). And again, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
There is not that much you can do about a speeding ticket. But you can set aside the greatest consequence which is sin. You can know the lifegiving love of the Savior. He who suffered death himself, brings life to his people.
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