The “Benefits” of Sin

Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Sin separates one from God and will ultimately cause one to be eternally lost (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23). Yet Satan tries anyway to convince us to continue in sin to the jeopardy of our souls. He extols the benefits (or perceived benefits) of sin, too often causing even the strong to fall for his temptations.

He has employed this tactic from the beginning. In the garden, Eve was tempted to sin and eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Despite the fact that she understood that this had been prohibited, she still gave in to the temptation.

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”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 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, or you will die.”’

The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! 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.’

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” (Genesis 3:1-6).

Satan highlighted the benefits of this sin – your eyes will be opened, you will be like God, and you will know good and evil. This caused Eve to take another look at the fruit. Rather than simply being forbidden, she now saw it as being a source of wisdom. Satan had piqued her curiosity. This was enough – she ate of the tree which had been prohibited.

Notice that Satan did not argue with Eve about the origin of the command. The instruction to not eat of the tree came from God. Eve knew this. Satan did not object – he did not have to. All he needed to do was arouse her curiosity and eventually she would violate a command she had already learned.

We must constantly be on guard. Even if we know something is a sin, we can still be tempted to commit that sin. Sometimes we will be deceived, but often we will be shown the “benefits” of sin and will forced to make a choice – resist the temptation or experiment with the sin.

If you know something is sinful, do not engage in it. Whatever “benefits” there may be, it is not worth risking your soul and becoming entangled again in sin. If you know what is right, do it. Do not willfully transgress God’s law in order to gain some worldly benefit from your action.

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