“Sin,” in its most foundational depiction is anything opposed to that which is good (“Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” ~ 3 John 1:11), and the ultimate depiction of what is good, is God Himself (the old English word “good,” in its non-Germanic masculine form of the noun is thought by some to be derived from the root word “God;” though some Etymologist disagree with this – what is a fact is that the expression “good-bye,” is an contraction of “God be with ye” used in the late 14th century); and a reflection of who God is (“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” ~ Mark 10:18), is seen in the law, which is the reflection of God’s principles, which are good (“If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.” ~ Romans 7:16).
Therefore, sin is anything that is opposed to God, His Will, or the law.
Observationally speaking, an old-time preacher once said that sin is selfishness; that there’s never been a sin committed for the truly good of others that isn’t upon further observation determined to be the act of a selfish person – a fallen human being.
The Meaning of the Word “Sin”
The Greek word for sin is Hamartia, which means: “missing the mark.” There is only one right way of doing anything, only one purpose in all of existence that is good, anything except for this perfect Will of God is “missing the mark,” and therefore sin.
It is a word that was originally utilized within archery, wherein except for the perfect center, the bull’s-eye, which was the size of an arrow; anything outside of this perfect mark, was missing the mark (SIDE NOTE: This is where we get the Christian teaching that all sin is the same to God, rather you miss the mark by an inch or by a mile, it is still sin – however, to say that all sin is the same to God is actually incorrect. We should say that sin is sin; it all is missing the mark. God treats sin according to His perfect Will, wherein there is righteousness; but also justice. And the idea that someone lying to keep from supposedly hurting someone’s feelings would receive the same punishment as murder is unjust. Example: God blessed the Egyptian midwives that lied to Pharaoh when they protected the Hebrew babies from slaughter; yet God killed millions of people in the Valley of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Or take the lies and deception of the Germans that hid the Jews from slaughter during World War II. And please don’t attempt to preach the fallacy of “The Greater Good” philosophy which has been used by every evil king and despots to rationalize mass genocide since the beginning of time. The ends never justify the means; man does not have the ability to rationalize what sin is acceptable and what is not. The believer must walk daily with God, and the Holy Spirit will display God’s Will when situations such as the above are encountered. God is the only pure and righteous One that can differentiate the above types of situations, and what reward or punishment should incur – never forget the lesson of the potter and the clay, see Romans 9:21-23), complete perfection is what is demanded to be on the mark; and anything else, no matter how large or small is to miss the mark, and is thus hamartia – sin.
Vines Greek Dictionary States:
1. hamartia (G266) is, lit., “a missing of the mark,” but this etymological meaning is largely lost sight of in the NT. It is the most comprehensive term for moral obliquity. It is used of “sin” as (a) a principle or source of action, or an inward element producing acts, e.g., Rom. 3:9; Rom. 5:12, Rom. 5:13, Rom. 5:20; Rom. 6:1, Rom. 6:2; Rom. 7:7 (abstract for concrete); Rom. 7:8 (twice), Rom. 7:9, Rom. 7:11, Rom. 7:13, “sin, that it might be shown to be sin,” i.e., “sin became death to me, that it might be exposed in its heinous character“: in the last clause, “sin might become exceeding sinful,” i.e., through the holiness of the Law, the true nature of sin was designed to be manifested to the conscience.1
We shall examine 4 areas in regard to the subject of sin:
1) The 3 Categories of Sin
2) The 5 Stages to Sin
3) A Strategy used by Satan to Entice Sin
4) The Threefold Progression of the Power of Sin
The 3 Categories of Sin
Categories or Types of Sin
In the world there are three types or categories of sin as seen in 1 John 2:16, which states:
“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.”
We understand that the Greek word for “lust” (epithumia) more correctly alliance with our English idea of strong desire (especially for what is forbidden), rather there is the sexual aspect or not. Over the last 4 centuries the English word for “lust” has encapsulated the Anglo idea of sexual desire, which may or may not be the case. However, to only classify the word lust concerning sexual desire is incorrect and has allowed many to lust after money and property without ever realizing that this word describes their desire to sin as well (which is to condemn the sin of greed). In defining the above verse, a simplistic breakdown is:
“the lust of the flesh” summarizes the strong desire for (forbidden) comfort or pleasure
“the lust of the eyes” summarizes the strong desire for (forbidden) possessions & power
“the pride of life” summarizes the strong desire for (forbidden) standing & appearance – pride
The desire of the flesh is our urges for comfort and pleasure: sex, food, drink, shelter, relief of discomfort.2 When it becomes sin, it manifests itself in gluttony, unlawful sex, drunkenness, laziness and uncontrolled unrighteous pleasure, to name only a few. It is when we become all-consumed in desire due to our selfishness to gain greater comfort, pleasure and happiness (happiness is defined by those good things that happen to us and is an external condition; as opposed to joy which is an internal condition in regards contentment and well-being), in solely satisfying self; rather than Gods glory. (Its key word is urge in regards to pleasure).
The desire of the eyes is our ever wanting covertness to have3 more, and more. It is never content in trusting that God has provided us with what we need or where we are in life. (Its key word is more in regard to possessions).
The pride of life is our pride in who we are4, what we have, and what we have done. It always focuses back on self, rather than God. (its key words are me and mine, concerning appearance as manifested in pride – which is simply preoccupation with self).
The 5 Stages to Sin
Sin has a progression it follows:
Å Sinful Contemplation5
Å Sinful Resolve6
Å Sinful Act7
Å Sinful Consequences8
Å Sinful Habit… the 5th stage
II Kings 5:15-27 tells a story of the prophet Elisha, his servant Gehazi, and Naaman, a military Captain of Syria. God healed Naaman through the hand of Elisha. Elisha refused to be paid or to receive a gift in return for the healing. Elisa’s servant, Gehazi lied to steal payment for himself. He was cursed of God through Elisha; to receive the very disease Naaman had been cured.
“But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “ALook, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; Bbut as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him. So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is all well?” And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, `Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. CPlease give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’ …he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house. … Elisha said to him, “Where did you go, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere. Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you?” … “DTherefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.”
A. Sinful Contemplation.
B. Sinful Resolve.
We can see sin’s progress though this tragic display of disobedience based upon a lack of faith (a lack of faith can be seen when a person does not believe that God will punish them for evil committed, as well as trusting God to supply their needs rather than sinning in an attempt to meet their own needs in their own efforts). Sin always involves both these elements; we will disobey God when we don’t believe or trust Him.
Faith involves the aspect of fearing God’s righteousness; and His ability to punish as much as it does His ability to protect (Psalms 2:11; 5:7; 19:9; 22:23,25; 25:14; 33:18; 34:9,11 for only a few).
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7:1)
If the sin is not arrested and dealt with, but continues, then the 5th stage; that of a sinful habit is sure to follow. This is where sin gains power and control over the individual, it predominates the life of the person (see below) and habituation is the result; yet normally not merely in this particular sin – but leads to many other types of sin as well.
These stages are repetitively seen in God’s Word. Yet, this is not to say that this is the only pattern of progression into sin, though it is repetitively seen; such as in the first sin of man, as noted in Genesis 3:6-7, which states:
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyesA., and a tree desirable to make one wiseB, she took of its fruit and ateC. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were nakedD; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:6-7)
Yet, for every problem, God has created an answer; if you are a child of His. We must remember that the only forgiveness levied towards man from God is to His children which become such according to grace through faith in the atoning death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. The only pure sacrifice not deserving of death, who covered our sins by taking the punishment upon Himself at the cross. All others who reject this amazing grace of son-ship and forgiveness of sin are doomed to hell; and will pay for their sins themselves throughout eternity.
For the Believer9 only, there is a way to deal with sin:
* Godly sorrow10
* Godly Confession & Repentance (turn from the sin toward God)11
* God’s Forgiveness12
* God’s Peace13
* God’s Strength to overcome the sin14
A Strategy used by Satan to Entice Sin
There are two obvious texts within the Bible that deal with the personage of Satan in the act of attempting to entice individuals to sin; the Garden of Eden, and the desert temptations of Christ.
The Garden of Eden – Sin’s Origins
When it comes to examining sin and the strategies Satan uses to entice sin, perhaps it is best to start at the beginning, concerning man’s mortal fall into sin (the hermeneutical principle of the “Law of First Mention,” wherein a word is best defined at its original point of origin), as found in Genesis chapter 3.
(SIDE NOTE: The first place that sin is seen in all of existence, would be Lucifer’s fall as recorded in Isaiah 14:12-20; which presents the foundation of sin, which is pride. Pride is more than what is displayed in arrogant behavior. Pride takes place in the heart – the internal makeup of the being. Pride is preoccupation with self, rather as seen in grandiosity, or even in self-loathing; the issue is the point of focus; which must be on self. Pride in its most elementary form is Self-Centeredness.)
Genesis, Chapter Three, Verse 1 reads:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, `You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (2) And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; (3) but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.” (4) And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! (5) “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (6) 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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
The Attack of Satan
In verse one, Satan attempts to create doubt (the opposite of faith in the mind of a person), by indirectly questioning what God has said.
In the second part of verse one, Satan attempts to distort by misquoting what God has said. Genesis 2:16, says: “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” Yet Satan only recites the first part of God said, leaving off the (deadly) Exception to the rule. In verse 4, Satan states that God is a liar, then Satan states the logical reason why God would lie, He is afraid, and therefore God is unjust because he does not want man to be like Him.
There is Satan’s (“A liar and the father of lies,” ~ John 8:44) subtle attack.
1) He indirectly questions, and then.
2) He Distorts by misquoting, then.
3) He openly says God is a liar, and then.
4) He uses logic about fear to prove his case.
Satan’s attacks are basically simple; he attempts to slyly introduce doubt, misquotes God’s Word just enough that the distortion feeds into his premise. Then once the individual has taken the bait, he openly attacks God, and uses what appears to be a logical rationale.
When attempting to understand Satan’s end run, all we must do is look at what is our crowning mandate from God unto salvation and son-ship, it is grace; but grace is accessed through faith – faith is our vulnerability. It is not a lack of sin that will get you to heaven, because all have sinned and all deserve hell (Romans 3:23), and we will all continue to sin until we depart from this flesh (“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:8 – the phase: “we have” (Greek: echo) is in the present tense, meaning it is a Continuous Action – It Never stops; and indicative mood, meaning it is a FACT). What will get you to heaven is faith and trust in God. True Biblical faith will always lead to obedience, because when one believes and trusts what God has said in His Word to do or not do; faith displays reliance upon that to obey for one’s own well-being; as well as that of pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6-8).
Faith – it is the thing that Adam violated when he did not trust that God could take care of the situation. This is Satan’s greatest desire, not just to have man sin, but that the sin is based upon a lack of trust in God – going the opposite direction of faith. One of the Greek words for “faith” is pistis. In Greek when a “a” is added as a prefix to a word (in front of the word, such as asymptomatic, or atypical) it means the opposite of the word. The Greek word: apistos – means “no faith,” “it is a negative particle – actively disbelieving” ~ an active act of continually disbelieving. Faith is never stagnant it either increases (pistis) or decreases (apistos), as in this form which is decreasing continually. It is your faith that Satan will attack, and to do so he must impugn the Word of God and the nature of God, displaying that God is not worthy of your trust – this is what you must keep in mind when you are tempted to sin. Satan is trying to create apistos in us.
On some level every sin is the lack of faith in God. If you are hungry and have not eaten food in a few days and steal, you are not trusting that God can use that painful situation for your betterment. If you covet your neighbor’s possessions to the extent that you become preoccupied with it, you have not trusted that God is giving you what you need. If you murder (which is not killing in self-defense or the protection of life or limb), by taking the life of another based upon your own justification, you are not trusting that God is the one that will vindicate you and work all things out – you usurp His authority and will.
We’re not to simply obey for the sake of obeying, we are to obey for the sake of faith because God is trustworthy and therefore what He says is trustworthy to do. It is in understanding that Satan is always attacking your faith, your faith in God’s Word, your faith in the personage of God; yet always attacking your faith wherein sin will be manifest.
Christ understood sin, in all its forms and devices and the many cloaks it uses to perpetuate itself. He not only knew the Word of God, He was the Word of God. Every time He was faced with sin he relied upon Scripture15, this is what we must do.
The New Testament displays two accounts concerning the temptation of Christ as found in the 4th chapter of Matthew, and in the 4th chapter of Luke. What is notable concerning these two accounts is that the sequences of temptations are not exactly the same between the two accounts. It is notable to remember that Matthew was a tax collector which mandated that he was also a stenographer to the extent that the book of Matthew displays the verbatim quotes of Jesus due to Matthew’s ability to write out in real time what was said.
Why a Difference in the Two Accounts of Jesus Temptation
If we remember from our previous articles concerning the diversity of the 4 Gospels, wherein God displayed four different aspects of the Messiah; the book of Matthew was written from Jerusalem to the Jew concerning the Messiah, the lion of the tribe of Judah. It was concerned with what Jesus said (the word “said” is used 151 times ~ which is the phrase that is used more than any other). The Matthew genealogy focuses on “Jesus Christ, the son of David,” as is seen in the 1st verse; and starts with the father of the Hebrew faith Abraham; and centers on His royal bloodline. The book of Mark displays Jesus as the suffering servant of Isaiah 52-53. There is no genealogy because slaves do not maintain a pedigree, and is the shortest book. It was written from Rome to Romans, and focuses on what Jesus did. The book of Luke presents Jesus as the perfect man (what Adam was meant to continuously be), written by a Gentile physician, Luke a follower of Paul. It was written to the Greek world and emphasis what Jesus felt, and speaks more about the universal salvation which included Gentiles, than the other Gospels. The genealogy starts with Jesus and goes back to the 1st perfect man, Adam; and focuses on his natural bloodline through Heli, Mary’s father. The book of John was written from Ephesus to the church, and focuses on the deity of Jesus Christ; as seen in the genealogy in verse 1, “in the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God.”
Many people point out the differences concerning the chronological order presented in the first 3 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke; which make up the synoptic Gospels – the word synoptic means forming a general summary or synopsis: “a synoptic outline of the contents” – these 3 Gospels follow a basic chronological narrative), not recognizing that certain events our singular to other events that occur in other gospels, and that not all singular events are reference to the same event. Such as more than one feeding of the 5000, even within the same locality. There are many events which appear similar but are separate that occurred during the 3 and half years of Christ ministry. Many books written about this and not the Gospels which tried to parallel these events do or great disservice to faith not recognizing that many events that appear very similar are yet different. I spent years following the fallacy of attempting to explain the differences rather than walking in the faith already established based upon the infallibility of God’s word, to the extent that the effort undermined faith rather than build, and displays the vanity and pride of certain scholars who attempt to prove of God. This is the fallacy of attempting to understand something diverse according to our own presuppositions rather than taking it at face value. What we negate is that within the Hebrew mindset chronology was not as important as purpose. And wherein according to the logic of our Western way of thinking, presenting events out of their chronological order is an assault against the truth; this is not true within the mindset of the middle and Far East thinking and rationality. This is what is seen in the book of John which is not chronological concerning the individual events, nor is it ever meant to be; but groups things according to their greater purpose. The book of John is spiritual because it deals with the divinity of Christ, which many times appears to be almost mystical. Yet, what is more mystical than finite man attempting to understand an infinite God. To see more on the differances in the 4 Gospels – click here.
Therefore it is in understanding that the diversity between the sequences concerning Christ temptation as found in the 4th chapters of Matthew and the 4th chapter of Luke are presented as such in order to emphasize certain characteristics that the book is meant to display, and does not display a lack of integrity; but is used to either present Christ according to him being the Messiah, King of the Jews; lion of the tribe of Judah as found in the book of Matthew; or as presenting Christ as the perfect man as found in the book of Luke.
The Book of Matthew Account
The shorter of the two versions, the book of Matthew states:
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” (Mat 4:1-11)
The 3 temptations can be broken down in the following way:
“If thou be the son of God” (tempting in the “pride of life“) “command that’s the stones be made bread” (tempting in the desire / “lust of the flesh“)
“If thou be the son of God” (tempting in the “pride of life“) “cast thyself down: for it is written, he shall give his angels charge concerning the: and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou shalt dash thy foot against the stone” (a misquote of Scripture – tempting in the “pride of life“)
“All these things I will give the, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (tempting in the desire / “lust of the eyes“)
Each time Christ retorts using Scripture only, not philosophy, not ideology, not logic, nor even common sense; He only uses God’s word.
The Threefold Progression of Sin
The Progression of Sin ~ The 3 P’s
Sin can be seen to move in a progressive manner. Some have wisely said that sin is like cancer in that it never stays stagnant, but always must grow overtaking its host in the same way that cancer does, until finally it has caused death through decay.
One of the deceptions of sin is that it can lay dormant and benign, with little interruption in one’s spiritual life; innocent and nonthreatening. However, there is a progression; in a manner in which if left unchecked will always grow.
Sin first preempts, then preoccupies, then finally it predominates its host. This marked progression is notable; though it may function extremely fast, or rigidly slow; but it will occur.
Preempt ~ “to take the place of,” “displace,” “to make something first,” primarily a singular activity – may not be habitual behavior.
“Thou shalt have no other gods [“anything!”] before [“prior to” – “preempt”] me. (Exodus 20:3)
“But seek ye first [“before everything else”] the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mat 6:33)
Preoccupy ~ “to take possession of, you live in, to occupy,” repetitious singular activities – habitual behavior.
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1)
Predominate ~ “to have control over,” “gain power over,” “to prevail,” habitual behavior that totally controls all other areas, and rules anything else”
“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Tim. 2:25-26)
In the garden eve fixed her eyes (Concerning: “fixing our eyes” see below “Our Example”) on the object of sin, she studied it, she watched it – it preempted her life. She became obsessed with it, even concerned about touching it. Her eyes got fussy about it, when Lucifer questioned her (he realized her fascination with it, this was his “in”) she seemed to get confused about exactly what sin was. She said she couldn’t eat it or touch it, indicating the confusion that came from being preoccupied with it. The first lesson we should learn is to not stare, fix our eyes on, or think upon sin this is preoccupation with sin, and leads to playing with it. We try to figure it out, how it affects us, why it is so pretty; we even try to move it from view rather than running from it. At this point we are ready to be predominated by it.
So the question is, how do we handle sin; the answer is we don’t – Christ did 2000 years ago when He was nailed upon that tree. Though that is a curt answer, is actually the correct theological answer in that we are not supposed to attempt to handle sin on our own, this is where we seek God.
What We Do
First, we should pray. Pray for God’s protection and direction. But pray to get out of the temptation. In the disciple’s prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus states:
“…And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
However, this is not to suggest that God leads us into temptation. God is not the tempter, Satan is.
Warren Wiersbe says concerning this passage:
“It is right to pray for daily physical needs, for forgiveness, and for guidance and protection from evil. “Lead us not into temptation” does not mean that God tempts His children (James 1:13-17). In this petition we are asking God to guide us so that we will not get out of His will and get involved in a situation of temptation (1 John 5:18), or even in a situation of tempting God so that He must miraculously rescue us (Matt. 4:5-7).”
This stance has more to do with being plugged in with God, and not placing ourselves into her position of being tempted, as seen in the following suggestions.
Next, we are to RUN, if at all possible (1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22; James 4:7), run.
And if we cannot run from the temptation to sin, we are to STAND (Rom. 5:2; 14:4; 1 Cor. 2:5; 16:13; 2 Cor. 1:24; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 6:11, 13, 14; Philip. 1:27; 4:1; Colo. 4:12; 1 Thess. 3:8; 2 Thess. 2:15; James 2:3; 1 Peter 5:12). But not in our own strength, but in His; according to the armament He has prepared for us.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph. 6:10-18)
There is much here which should be studied on its own concerning equipping ourselves for the battle which we are in; a battle that occurs each and every day of our life after having become the child of God.
We are NOT to fix their eyes on sin; we are to fix our eyes on Christ.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
The word: “Looking” (aphorao) [G872] means: “to consider attentively” and the grammar is:
Tense-Present ~ A continuous action (it never stops)
Voice-Active ~ The subject (person) causes the action (keeps looking at…) the object receives the action
The verb here, “looking,” is in the present tense, indicating it is a continuous action that never stops. This is not as some have stated in singular examination of Christ in order to be saved. This is the continual decision to fix our eyes upon Christ, who is the author and finisher of faith. The original Greek does not have the word “our,” this is the presumption made by the original translators and not in the original text whatsoever. The reason for this is because of the Greek words which are translated into the English “author” and “finisher.”
This passage states indisputably that we are to look unto Jesus as our example (this is the context that this set-up according to the prior verse, v. 1), as Jesus is the author and finisher of faith, not our faith, but of faith! This is not speaking of faith in the sense of: “the faith,” concerning Christianity as an institution or of Christian doctrine (please review our teaching website “FaithBibleMinistries.com,” the “Faith – Part 1” page (Link); the section entitled: “Faith Applications,” which emphatically proves that this is not speaking about the faith in the generic sense, but in a denotative sense, as in the exercise of faith); because the article (“the”) is missing.
Concerning the subject of faith; the word for “author” (Greek: archēgon) more specifically is translated “the originator and first to utilize;” and the word “finisher“ (Greek: teleiōtēn) more specifically means “to completely have done and finished what was started and works in unison with“ (Greek: archēgon), both describing Jesus being the originator and best example to have thoroughly demonstrated faith.
The reason that we keep our eyes constantly fixed on Christ as displayed in God’s Word, is He is our perfect example of one that exercised total faith in God. This is why He did no miracles prior to being baptized with the Holy Spirit in preparation for His ministry (Luke 3:22). This is why He claimed to have limited knowledge (Mark 13:32). Jesus repetitively stated that He could do nothing of Himself (John 5:19; 5:30; 8:28), outside of the power of the Holy Spirit or the Father. Plus, if He had all this power in hand, why was there a necessity for the Holy Spirit to indwell Him (Luke 3:22), empowering Him for His ministry. While some have said this was for display purposes only; this is ridiculous concerning God. God may do something and then display it so we can see it, but God never acts, nor does He need to make excuses or prove Himself to man. What God does or says is either real; and choses to display it; or it is real and is hidden. God does not act or do things simply to be seen.
While I am aware that this may sound like heresy to some, it is only because of the traditions of the church where those that cannot accept that Jesus while maintaining the essence of divinity, disrobed Himself of those attributes of Omniscient (Latin: “All Knowing”), and Omnipotence (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”); without maintaining His deity. My next blog shall be an outline of this doctrine which is far more complete and compelling than this very small tidbit (please review the blog that is set to auto publish on 04/27/2012, entitled: “Jesus ~ The Ultimate Example of Faith” which emphatically proves this teaching). Jesus was not a faker, an actor or a liar when He displayed His humanity and the necessity that He too would be limited and have to exercise faith as our great example – are author and finisher of faith. Would Jesus demand of us that which He would not do Himself?
We are instructed in God’s word that if we had the opportunity we are to run away from temptation. Many believers based upon their own pride have attempted to stand and fight temptation on their own, only to be taught the lesson of humility and dependence upon God.
However, there are those situations where we cannot run away from the temptation; and in these situations are protection is the full armor of God as seen in Ephesians chapter 6 wherein we are to stand. Notice how it doesn’t say that we are to go forward, that we are to march in the battle. We are to put on the armament of God, his protection and power and stand and watch him fight the battle for us. When we attempt to go into the battle ourselves we are setting ourselves up for failure. This is why we are to stay, and having done all – STAND.
The Positive Side of the 3 P’s
If we put on the full armor of God, our life will become preempted by the preeminence of Jesus Christ. We will become preoccupied with Him and His word, and we will therefore be predominated by doing the will of the Father.
A Last Consideration ~ Please Read and Study Romans 6, which states:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:1-23)
1. VINE’S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT WORDS, W.E. Vine, Ellis Enterprises Inc., Oklahoma City, OK 73120, USA, 1988, Electronic Media
2. James 1:14 (Luke 4:3)
3. Luke 12:16-20 (Luke 4:7)
4. James 4:16 (Luke 4:9)
5. James 1:14
6. James 1:15a
7. James 1:15b
8. James 1:15c
9. Romans 6:12
10. II Corinthians 7:9-10
11. I John 1:9; Matthew 3:2, 9:13, 21:28-32; Mark 6:12; Luke 3:3; 15:7; II Peter 3:9
12. Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14
13. Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1, 8:6, 14:17, 15:13; II Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 4:7
14. I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 16:25
15. Mark 7:6; Luke 4:4-12, 10:26; John 6:41-45, 8:15-17, 10:33, 34