This chapter was very difficult to write, because once again Iím on scriptural thin ice. Not that I could not find the existence of sin. My goodness, sin has been around since the beginning of time. The problem I had was not admitting thereís sin, but in placing an S on the end. I believe there is only one sin, with the definition of that word sin meaning, being isolated, and separated or apart from God. Everything else like fornication; lying; cheating; stealing; murder; and on and on, is just a manifestation of that one sin.

The picture from scripture I wish you to concentrate on, is that of Adam and Eve in the garden. After they both ate from the tree of good and evil they heard the Lord in the garden, and they hid themselves. God, here, asks a rhetorical question, "Where are you?"

When I was a babe in the faith, I often wondered what this question meant. How could an omniscient God not know where Adam and Eve were? It wasnít like today where there are billions of people walking around, there was just the two of them. I questioned the power of God. Lord, I am truly sorry for that! But as I prayed about this passage, God revealed a most stunning revelation. God knew where Adam and Eve were. He was asking them "where now is your heart?" You see, God and man were connected, and when sin appeared it removed that closeness. It made me think about the time I lived in sin, separated from God. I heard Godís voice ask that same question. It wasnít until I came out into the light and said, "Here I am Lord," that we once again, had fellowship.

Another thing I found amusing in this encounter, in Genesis, was the inability of Adam or Eve to own up to their sin. The first thing out of Adamís mouth is, "well, you know that women you put here with me? She gave me the fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (I can almost hear Adam whisper those final words). And what does Eve say? (Not to be outdone) "Well, the serpent deceived me... (Thinking to self - good come back girl. Wait until I get that man alone. Iíll give him "that women you put here with me."  Who does he think he is?)

Thatís where the little i comes from. You see, we have a hard time owning up to things we do or did wrong. Iím amazed at how young this affliction begins. Iíll give you an example. My youngest daughter. I mean, she just learned to talk and already she was blaming her brother and sister for the things she was doing. Dad catching Caitlyn, "Caitlyn, what are you doing in the cookie jar? Didnít I say no more?" Caitlynís response, "nothing daddy. Iím not doing nothing." Dad trying not to laugh, "Caitlyn" (sternly)! Caitlynís response, (tears start to flow) "It was Chris, he made me do it. He wanted another cookie and he sent me." (Crumbs falling out of her mouth as she cries....) Dadís response, ---- "CHRIS????"----.

Itís funny, but true. You see Caitlyn was too young to have picked this response up, out in the hood. I believe it shows how we are born with a sinful nature. As we get older, we just learn to do it better, until we actually fool ourselves into believing our own lies. Fortunately, we have that little nagging voice, inside, that makes you feel terrible each time you sin. That, my friends, is the Holy Spirit that dwells within. God stands at the door knocking, we just need to let Him in. We have to consciously make that decision. We need to accept the fact that Christ died for our sin(s) and live appropriately. If we donít come to that conclusion, then we ourselves will have to live with the fact that we must/will die for our sin(s). The consequences of that are not appealing to me at all.

I'd like to digress somewhat now, and try to defend the belief I have. There are other scriptural references that I can use, but I chose to use these three. In Romans, chapter 5, starting at verse 12 we read, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." Hebrews, 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." 1 Peter 2:22, "He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth." Why, or better yet how did Jesus survive this world and yet did not sin. I believe this possible because, except for the time on the cross, He, meaning Jesus, was never separated from His Father. He was in the Father and the Father in Him, or as stated in John 10:31, "I and the Father are one."

I made one exception to the closeness Jesus had with his heavenly Father, that being the time when He took on the sin of all man-kind. You see, God the Father cannot look upon sin, so he turned His back on His son during the time Jesus needed Him most. When He hung upon the tree of despair! This time, in my opinion, showed the strength and greatness of Jesus Christ. This act of love is now the filter with which the Father views this world, and the reason Godís patience is so great. For when God views this sin filled world, He sees the blood of His son and not the continuous evil perpetrated by man.

The final piece of our chapterís title may be a bit of a misnomer, because sin will find an end when Godís plan is realized. Jesusí victory on the cross was over sin. Unfortunately, we refuse to claim this victory and continue to struggle with this nature during our earthly lifetime. The spirit is willing, but truly the flesh is weak. We know that to live for Christ is gain, but self-satisfaction has a way of interfering with this life. When we seek to satisfy our own self-interests we separate ourselves from our heavenly Father, and thus we sin. Usually, we justify our action(s) with an explanation; "Iíve been so good for so long, I deserve this little sin. Who am I hurting?"

Hardly do we just accept the fact that we are human, and ask God to forgive us. If we would just ask for that forgiveness our relationship with Him would be back on track. You see, God holds no grudge. He knows your humanness. He experienced it when he hung on the cross. But if you donít seek forgiveness, if you believe that for every 10 "that a boys" youíre allowed one "oh no" these sin(s) will cause a definite rift in your relationship with your Heavenly Father. For as it says in Johnís letter, "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because Godís seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God."

To summarize this chapter let me close by saying that our mission as people seeking holiness is to strive not to sin. But if we do sin we have an advocate who is Jesus Christ. The same Christ who became human in order to lead us home to our heavenly Father. The same Christ who was tempted by sin, but unlike us, kept His oneness with his Father, and did not sin. The same Christ who died for your sin, so you would not have too!

I am a sinner, and when I sin I ask my heavenly Father to forgive me. I own my sin, whilst God owns my forgiveness. I cause the rift in my relationship with God. God, through His Spirit that dwells in me, causes a longing for that relationship to return to where it was. God chose me, and it is when I remember that, that our relationship is at its best. Next time you hear His call harden not your heart and say, "Hear I am Lord."