Journey in the Word: Denying God’s Otherness

Week 3

Read:  Genesis 3:5-6

I appreciate John Stott’s blending of “likeness” and “otherness” in the God-human relationship.  I also believe, as Stott does, that “the very essence of sin” (Stott’s words) is revealed—Adam and Eve’s thinking that if they ate the fruit, they could live independently of God.  They could be self-centered, self-referent, and self-reliant.  Egotism is the Fall.

But what I want to add to today’s meditation is my feeling that satan’s temptation was to offer them something they already had.  Satan said they could be “like God.”  But that, in fact, was the way God made them in creation (see Genesis 1:26-27).

Temptation is being offered something we already have—or at least being offered it in a deviant form.  So, money becomes materialism, sexuality becomes pornography, and power becomes domination.

Satan tries to convince us that we can be “like God,” when the truth of the matter is that we already are.  The Fall is taking our God-likeness and then living like the devil!


About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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