Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 3 March 2014
Page 7

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

If You Have Any,
You Have Too Many!

Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeWe were very poor growing up. Having enough food all the time was not always our reality. I remember mama saying to me in regards to food and other things that were sometimes very sparse, “If you’ve got any, you’ve got enough.” All of us children knew exactly what that meant. That was over 50 years ago; I was in my teens, but that statement still resonates with me. We had no questions about what she had said or why. When she would say that, complaining was a total unknown.

Unlike what mama had said to us, God gave His first two children a command that they were to obey without question. When He gave them that command, He also gave them the reason why. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). If they committed just this one sin, it would be one sin too many!

When the serpent talked to Eve, he first asked her a question. “And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1b). Eve’s answer would have been golden, had she not added something that God never said. “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:2-3). God never said, “nor shall you touch it,” in His warning of the consequences of disobedience.

Genesis Chapter 5 records the book of the genealogy of Adam. Verse 5 tells us all the days that Adam lived were 930 years; and he died. Speaking of the lives of Adam’s descendants, the phrase “and he died” is repeated 7 times in the chapter. It should be noted that despite the long years these men lived, their lives still culminated in death! The only requirement for death is to be alive. Why did they all die? They all died because of sin! Whether they had committed one sin or a trillion zillion, in the eyes of God the number did not matter. How many sins did Adam and Eve commit? Initially, they had committed only one. With God the actual number of sins committed carries no weight. The result is still separation from Him. If you have any, you have too many!

In the final analysis, what has sin, any sin, ever done for anybody? Sin ultimately leads to eternal damnation. Who in their right mind wants that? Paul made this soul-searching statement and asked a most piercing question in Romans 6:20-21. “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.” Lives lived outside of Christ lead to spiritual death. Slavery to sin is the most depraved condition that the human race faces!

We are warned repeatedly throughout the Bible, and especially in the Old Testament how God dealt with wayward Israel when He had enough of their stubbornness and unfaithfulness. He commissioned Isaiah to tell Judah and Jerusalem how far they had fallen. In Isaiah 1:14-15 God said, “Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me. I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands [pray], I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of bloodshed.” In the first two verses of Isaiah 59, we read how the sins and iniquities of His backsliding people had separated them from Him, and He would not hear.

Sin is not just a bad character trait! Romans 1:18-30 details the revolting and ghastly picture of the ravages of sin. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” First Corinthians 15:56 echoes the same heart-wrenching message. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” First John 3:4 makes it very plain that sin is lawlessness. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

When God questioned Adam about their disobedience, and Adam began to state his so-called reasons, did God accept them? When God asked Eve what was this she had done, did He accept her answer? With God, their attempts to rationalize that one sin, as one good sister put it, didn’t “spell” nothing. If you have any, you have too many!

The Bible is plain in telling us that sin brings death – our physical death, which is the first death. We are all worthy of death because our sins have separated us from God! Yet, thanks be to God that we can and will be delivered from this body of death through Jesus Christ. Obedience to the Gospel and a life of faithfulness will ensure that none of us needs to face the second death, which is spiritual and eternal.

The second death is the lake of fire. The apostle John described judgment at the throne of God in Revelation 20:11-15. John said he saw a great, white throne and Him who sat on it. He said he saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. He said the sea gave up the dead who were in it. In verses 14 and 15 he said, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Judgment will be final and irrevocable for those who will experience the second death.

Wayne Jackson wrote Bible Words and Theological Terms Made Easy. On “The Fall,” he wrote, “This expression generally refers to the apostasy of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, whereby the human family was introduced to heartache, disease, and ultimately death (Genesis 2:17; 3:16ff; Romans 5:12).” Another of his books is The Book of Job. Chapter 10 is entitled, “Satan: His Origin, Mission, and Destiny.” He makes this statement: “Disease, infirmity and death are ultimately the responsibility of Satan, for by his introduction of sin into the world, he brought about such woes and hence he is really the murderer of the human family (John 8:44)” (105-106).

We must give God access to our minds in order to break our slavery to sin. Sin corrupts our minds. If we have any, we have too many. We must become slaves of righteousness with a fervent desire and commitment to God and Christ as Lord and Master of our lives. Romans 6:22 is the promise. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

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