Did you know that Genesis reveals to us the three main categories of our sins, and that Jesus reveals to us three antidotes to help us overcome them? Jeff explains how we can discern the roots of sin in our lives, and how we frequently make idols out of created things instead of putting our Creator first. Jeff then reminds us of the three keys Jesus gives us to help us put God first in our lives.
Why do we end up going down the same path over and over?
- The sins we struggle with are not new.
- People have struggled with the same sins for all of history.
- Fighting sin is not easy, it’s a war.
The Origins of Sin
- Genesis 3:1-5 – “1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
- The enemy is trying to stop them from trusting God and introducing an element of fear.
- Genesis 3:6-8 – “6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
- Remember its not just as simple as it being the eating of the fruit that caused the fall.
- St Augustine Confessions
- We sin because we are seeking happiness.
- We sin because we put creation above the creator.
Three Main Categories of Sin
- Good for consumption (over indulging)
- Delight to the eyes (lust)
- Makes one wise (building up ourselves)
- 1 John 2:15-16 – 15 “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Before We Can Fight Sin
- Recognize your patterns and understand you are searching for happiness.
- We need to acknowledge happiness comes from the Creator not from the creation.
3 Weapons to Stop Sin
- You cannot do these for other people – you must do them for the Father.
- Matthew 6 – the three forms of piety
- Matthew 6:16-18 – “16 And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
- Use this to fight lust of the flesh.
- Do not try to just will yourself through it.
- Spend the time instead praying, go to adoration.
- You need to fill in the void with the Creator instead of creation.
- Matthew 6:1:1-4 – “1 Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
- Use this to fight lust of the eyes
- Access to creation is even easier than ever before (ex: Amazon)
- Give things away
- Alms to the poor
- Give away things you obsess over
- Matthew 6:5-6 – “5 And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
- Use this to fight the desire to be wise (pride)
- The foundation of prayer is humility
- It shows the proper relation to God and others around you.
- Use these with tenacity and faithfulness
- Expect the serpent to tempt you
More Great Resources from Jeff
Find free blogs, videos, and resources about Scripture and the Catholic faith at http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/.
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For an easy way to transform your approach to reading Scripture, check out Jeff’s Bible Timeline Chart.
For an illustrated resource introducing God’s love story to children while helping them to understand how the Catholic Church is the body of Christ on Earth try The Great Adventure Storybook
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