Facing Our Addiction Head-On

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For the past few postings, we have done a deep dive into the two contrasting ways we know truth: 1.) external, observational, intellectual truth (eido) and 2.) internal, personal, experiential truth (ginosko)  These are both, as in law and grace, absolutely essential to comprehending The Truth of the Word of God.

I believe that a keen observer will  notice that eido is much more prevalent as an acceptable way to know biblical truth than ginosko. The prominence of biblical, academic education, given to pursuing exclusively eido knowledge as opposed to ginoso s testimony to this fact.

This leads us to the second foundational idea (The first was “How we now truth”). It is that these “bodies of sin,” in which we live while on this earth, are permanently and incurably inflicted with an unrecognized, all-consuming  ADDICTION to trying to be “good” and not “evil; ”right” and not “wrong.”

At the Tree in the Garden of Eden, the table for this all-consuming addiction was set. Eve, who had been created to be Adam’s “helper” (Genesis 2:18), decided to act independently of her husband. She listened to Satan’s appeal to her ambition to “be like God, knowing good and evil” for herself (Genesis 2:5). She ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of God and Evil, in direct contradiction to the command God had given her husband for them both.

It would appear from the text in Genesis 3 (although we don’t know for sure) that Adam was on site watching this happen, because she immediately, after her first bite on the fruit of the Tree, gave the fruit to Adam: “… she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6).

This is amazing! Portending the actions of countless men over the centuries to follow, Adam watched Satan’s deception of Eve, and then docilely obeyed his wife’s wishes, in direct contradiction to God’s command. Paul makes an interesting observation of this incident in 1 Timothy 2:14: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” Adam knew what was happening all along!

This means it was Adam’s sin, of failing to lead his wife away from what he knew to be sin, that was the sin that caused the fall of mankind, not eating the fruit! If Adam had said to Eve, after she had eaten of it, and offered it to him, “Eve, put that down! God told us not to ever eat of the fruit of that tree,” mankind would not have fallen! 

“For as in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22), not “in Eve,” even though she disobeyed first. “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Romans 5:14),  not “from Eve to Moses.” 

So, Eve’s deception by Satan, and Adam’s failure to lead his “helper,” plunged mankind into total depravity. For the first time, Adam (and all mankind that was “in him”), rather than continuing to simply live and do what God told him, now “decided for himself,” “made good choices” independently, and determined “right from wrong” for himself. 

That is now a part of who we all are, as our DNA has been altered, and as a result, we automatically, without thinking, try to do what we consider to be “good” and not “evil,” For Christians, that means striving to be obedient to God’s law in the Bible. We are unknowingly, as we do so, giving ourselves enthusiastically to our addiction, thinking we are “pleasing God!”

As long as we live in these “bodies of sin,” this compulsion remains. No amount of information, study, or acquiring of intellectual, arms-length knowledge will reverse this effect of the Fall in our lives. Only a relationship of complete trust in our Daddy as a four-year-old “little child” will do so. 

This does not mean that we should not keep God’s law; it’s that we can’t! The Scriptures tell us, “No one is acceptable to God! Not one of them understands or even searches for God. They have all turned away and are worthless. There isn’t one person who does right” (Romans 3:10-12).

My obedience to God’s law is the responsibility of my Heavenly Father, not me: ” When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13)  Any obedience to God’s law in my life is exclusively the natural, spontaneous, unconscious result of His work. My job is exclusively to trust that He is, right now, doing His job, by His Holy Spirit Who lives within me!  “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).“

We, as little children, never need to ask Daddy, “Why, Daddy?” How can we ever know what He is doing? We simply say, in response to all He does in our lives and in the world, “Yes, Daddy!” 

This is the gradual, incomplete, imperfect, but inexorable CURE for our addiction to trying to be “good.” I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that, yes, I am addicted. As a result, I am slowly learning to eagerly repent, rejoicing that God is opening my eyes to that addiction. Then I simply remember again my “little child status,” and that, “Daddy’s got it!”  I have nothing to fear! Hallelujah!

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