I am ever learning but never coming to know the truth.
I am sampling all the world has to offer but am empty still.
I am ever seeking new experiences but never finding joy.
I am free to do what I please and enslaved by my own choices.
I am the constant critic who is blind to my own shortcomings.
I am the instigator of wrongdoing and the accuser once the deed is done.
What am I?
I am “the paradox of sin.”
I am pleasure and punishment rolled into one.
Sin is pleasurable for a season. When the season passes, sin’s beauty is ravaged; and we are left with its ugly reality.
We’ve all had our conversations with sin, heeded its voice and inevitably encountered its diabolical duality.
Sin promises freedom but everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
Sin twists our desires, compels us to seek fulfillment in self-destructive ways. Sin drives us to run after a nameless something that is always beyond our grasp.
When I survey the landscape of my own soul, I see sin’s stillbirths: dead hopes, dead dreams and dead relationships. Eventually sin turns on us, confronts us with our guilt, reminds us of how we’ve failed, whispers that we deserve to die.
In truth, we’re all sinners. The wages of sin is death. There is none righteous, not even one.
Yet, death was never God’s plan.
Man was created in God’s image, an eternal soul with free will, freedom to choose. God planted a garden and put Adam, this man He created, in it. The garden was filled with pleasant trees, two of which are identified by name: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God gave but one restriction:
Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die. (Gen 2:17)
We know the story: the serpent persuaded Eve to eat of that tree, insisting there was no death in it, that it was the source of godlike wisdom. She gave it to Adam and he ate. Why weren’t they drawn instead to the tree of life?
We human beings are forever tempted to taste a freedom that results in our own bondage. Given a choice, we gravitate toward death not life. Look at your own choices and say it isn’t so.
Fortunately, God has provided a way of escape.
The last Adam, Jesus Christ, has released us from the paradox of sin. His death and resurrection has broken sin’s power over our lives. We don’t have to obey the siren call of our own sin nature. We are free. Sin reigned in death. Grace reigns through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:19-21)
“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.