Generational Sin is a big topic. As an overview here is what Wikipedia says:
The Bible speaks of generational sin in Exodus 20:5, which states that "the iniquities of the fathers are visited upon the sons and daughters — unto the third and fourth generation." This concept implicates that "unresolved issues get handed down from generation to generation," but that "Jesus is the bondage breaker...[and] He is able to break the cycle of this curse, but only if we want Him to." James Owolagba says that in addition to prayer, frequent church attendance including regular reception of the sacraments, especially Holy Communion, aids in delivering an individual from generational sin.
The formalized Christian doctrine of original sin is a direct extension of the concept of ancestral sin (imagined as inflicted on a number of succeeding generations), arguing that the sin of Adam and Eve is inflicted on all their descendants indefinitely, i.e. on the entire human race. It was first developed in the 2nd century by Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lyons, in his struggle against Gnosticism. Irenaeus contrasted their doctrine with the view that the Fall was a step in the wrong direction by Adam, with whom, Irenaeus believed, his descendants had some solidarity or identity.
Ancestral sin is the object of a Christian doctrine taught by the Orthodox Church as well as other Eastern Christians. Some identify it as "inclination towards sin, a heritage from the sin of our progenitors." But most distinguish it from this tendency that remains even in baptized persons, since ancestral sin "is removed through baptism."
St. Gregory Palamas taught that, as a result of ancestral sin (called "original sin" in the West), man's image was tarnished, disfigured, as a consequence of Adam's disobedience. The Greek theologian John Karmiris writes that "the sin of the first man, together with all of its consequences and penalties, is transferred by means of natural heredity to the entire human race. Since every human being is a descendant of the first man, 'no one of us is free from the spot of sin, even if he should manage to live a completely sinless day.' ...Original Sin not only constitutes 'an accident' of the soul; but its results, together with its penalties, are transplanted by natural heredity to the generations to come ...And thus, from the one historical event of the first sin of the first-born man, came the present situation of sin being imparted, together with all of the consequences thereof, to all natural descendants of Adam."
With regard to breaking generational curses, clergy of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal have developed prayers for healing. Roman Catholic priest James Owolagba teaches that novenas and the reception of the sacraments are indispensable in delivering one from generational sin.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Greek translation of which uses "προπατορική αμαρτία" (literally, "ancestral sin") where the Latin text has "peccatum originale," states: "Original sin is called 'sin' only in an analogical sense: it is a sin 'contracted' and not 'committed' – a state and not an act. Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants." Eastern Orthodox teaching likewise says: "It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity, we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. 'The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: "Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption" (St. Cyril of Alexandria).'"
The Hebrew Bible provides two passages of scripture regarding generational curses:
The Talmud rejects the idea that people can be justly punished for another person's sins and Judaism in general upholds the idea of individual responsibility. One interpretation is that, even there is no moral guilt for descendants, they may be negatively impacted as a consequence of their forebear's actions.
Some holy writing in Hinduism states,
Hinduism has family curses, elsewhere.
Family curses occur, in Japanese Shinto.
In Greek mythology, the Erinyes exacted family curses. Certain dynasties have had tragic occurrences happen upon them.
The House of Cadmus, who established and ruled over the city of Thebes, was one such house. After slaying the dragon and establishing Thebes upon the earth that the dragon terrorized, Ares cursed Cadmus and his descendants because of the dragon's sacredness to Ares. Similarly, after Hephaestus discovered his wife, Aphrodite, having a sexual affair with Ares, he became enraged and vowed to avenge himself for Aphrodite's infidelity by cursing the lineage of any children that resulted from the affair. Aphrodite later bore a daughter, Harmonia, the wife of Cadmus, from Ares' seed.
Cadmus, annoyed at his accursed life and ill fate, remarked that if the gods were so enamored of the life of a serpent, he might as well wish that life for himself. Immediately Cadmus began to grow scales and change into a serpent. Harmonia, after realizing the fate of her husband, begged the gods to let her share her husband's fate. Of the House of Cadmus, many had particularly tragic lives and deaths. For example, King Minos of Crete's wife fall madly in love with the Cretan Bull and bore the Minotaur. Minos would later be murdered by his daughters whilst bathing. Semele, the mother of Dionysus by Zeus, was turned into dust because she glanced upon Zeus’ true godly form. King Laius of Thebes was killed by his son, Oedipus. Oedipus later (unknowingly) marries the queen, his own mother, and becomes king. After finding out he gouges his eyes and exiles himself from Thebes.
Another dynasty that was cursed and was subject to tragic occurrences was the House of Atreus (also known as the Atreides). The curse begins with Tantalus, a son of Zeus who enjoyed cordial relations with the gods. To test the omniscience of the gods, Tantalus decided to slay his son Pelops and feed him to the gods as a test of their omniscience. All of the gods, save Demeter, who was too concerned with the abduction of her daughter Persephone by Hades, knew not to eat from Pelops’ cooked corpse. After Demeter had eaten Pelops’ shoulder, the gods banished Tantalus into Tartarus where he would spend eternity standing in a pool of water beneath a fruit-bearing tree with low branches. Whenever he would reach for a fruit, the branches would lift upward so as to remove his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he would bend over to drink from the pool, the water would recedes into the earth before he could drink. The gods brought Pelops back to life, replacing the bone in his shoulder with a bit of ivory with the help of Hephaestus, thus marking the family forever afterwards.
Pelops would later marry Princess Hippodamia after winning a chariot race against her father, King Oenomaus. Pelops won the race by sabotaging of King Oenomaus’ chariot, with the help of the king's servant, Myrtilus. This resulted in King Oenomaus’ death. Later, the servant Myrtilus, who was in love with Hippodamia, was killed by Pelops because Pelops had promised Myrtilus the right to take Hippodamia's virginity in exchange for his help in sabotaging the king's chariot. As Myrtilus died, he cursed Pelops and his line, further adding to the curse on the House of Atreus.
King Atreus, the son of Pelops and the namesake of the Atreidies, would later be killed by his nephew, Aegisthus. Before his death, Atreus had two sons, King Agamemnon of Mycenae and King Menelaus of Sparta. King Menelaus’ wife, Helen of Sparta, would leave him for Prince Paris of Troy, thus beginning the Trojan War. However, prior to their sailing off for the war, Agamemnon had angered the goddess Artemis by killing one of her sacred deer. As Agamemnon prepared to sail to Troy to avenge his brother's shame, Artemis stilled the winds so that the Greek fleet could not sail. The seer Calchas told Agamemnon that if he wanted to appease Artemis and sail to Troy, he would have to sacrifice the most precious thing in his possession. Agamemnon sent word home for his daughter Iphigenia to come to him so that he may sacrifice her, framing it to her that she was to be married to Achilles. Iphigenia, honored by her father's asking her to join him in the war, complied. Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter and went off to war.
Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon and mother to Iphigenia, was so enraged by her husband's actions that when he returned victorious from Troy, she trapped him in a robe with no opening for his head whilst he was bathing and stabbed him to death as he thrashed about. Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, was torn between his duty toward avenging his father's death and his sparing his mother. However. after praying to Apollo for consultation, Apollo advised him to kill his mother. Orestes killed his mother and wandered the land, ridden with guilt. Because of the noble act of avenging his father's at the expense of his own soul and reluctance to kill his mother, Orestes was forgiven by the gods, thus ending the curse of the House of Atreus.
The term witchcraft is not well-defined, but within at least factions, the belief in family curses persists.
Modern skeptics deny that curses of any nature, including family curses, even exist, even if some fervently believe in them.
Modern Western attitudes to personal individuality and to individual achievement do not always sit well with notions of inherited sin. Psychologists and philosophers tend to portray persistent human failings as part of human nature, rather than using "original sin" metaphors.
Nathaniel Hawthorne felt his family was cursed, due to his ancestors, John Hawthorne and his father William. William Hawthorne was a judge who earned a reputation for cruelly persecuting Quaker Christians, and who in 1662 ordered the public whipping of Ann Coleman. John Hawthorne was one of the leading judges in the Salem witch trials. He is not known to have repented for his actions. So great were Nathaniel Hawthorne's feelings of guilt, he re-spelled his last name Hawthorne to Hawthorne.
Bryce Self has been a close friend of mine for at least thirty years. He is way more grounded in the Bible than I. Recently I asked for his comments on a video about generational sin and a passage in Exodus.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke. So be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain. And no man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let neither flocks nor herds feed before that mountain.” So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones.
Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him; and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone. Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
And He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.“You shall make no molded gods for yourselves..."
I’m afraid these young fellows are being shifted from their sound Reformed base. The idea of “generational sin” is very trendy right now with the younger generation who have been indoctrinated from infancy with the understanding that nothing is their fault, that all their problems arise from the wrongs others do to them, and that the old people of previous generations a spoiled everything and left them to struggle for survival in the rubble of a ruined planet. In Christian terms this translates into the idea of either “generational” sin or “collective/societal” sin.
Scripture is clear: the human race is sinful by nature, and each person is incurably corrupt so is condemned to death and consigned to hell. The only remedy is provided through embracing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, being crucified and put to death with Him now, in order to receive a new and imperishable life that results in resurrection and glorification.
This is a matter of individual personal responsibility—I cannot repent for your sins, and you cannot repent for mine. By the same token, what is true horizontally in time among contemporaries is also true vertically through time: my father cannot repent for me, and I cannot repent for him. And the only cure for sin that is provided is personal repentance with faith in Christ.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel both put this issue to rest, prophesying before and during the Babylonian exile. The Judeans complained that they were being punished for their fathers’ sins, but God made clear through His prophets that the then-current generation was being punished for its own sins that were simply the continuation and intensification of what their fathers had done. Object lesson: sin is intractable. This kind of blame-shifting is intrinsic to fallen human nature, beginning with Adam all the way back in Eden, “It was the woman You gave gave me…” For Adam, for the Jews, for us this is ultimate an accusation against God for setting things up this way in circumstances beyond our control. But the problem is internal rather than external.
Coming to grips with this personal responsibility is THE prerequisite for entering into the New Covenant through Jesus. In chapter 31, Jeremiah in one breath launches without a pause directly from this issue to the promise of the New Covenant. Notice his recursive “Behold, the days are coming…” that fuses these two issues together inextricably.
"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant…”Ezekiel, extensively elaborating on this exact point, pins the entirely of chapter 18 on the pivotal epitomizing point that, “the soul" that sins shall surely die”. (full chapter copied in below for review).
"So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying: 'Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?It is only in this sense of the aggregation of its individuals that a “generation” (or any other human collectivity) can be said to either sin or to repent. "No sign will be given to an evil and adulterous GENERATION but the sign of the prophet Jonah...The MEN of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.” Each person must choose for themselves in an individual confrontation with Jesus Christ Himself, against whom they have sinned, and to whom they will be answerable. There is no exception, and there is no prevarication—I will not be answerable for my ancestors, nor they for me, but each will give account for himself.
'Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.”
It is noticeable that the idea of “generational sin” tends to run in the same circles where it is very popular to focus on “spiritual warfare” in the sense of a focus on angelic and demonic beings, and I’ve often wondered why this is so. Recently, I heard a preacher from Zimbabwe describing how the pagan African worldview and mindset includes two factors that are largely foreign to the West, and so rarely understood. These are (1) progressive layers of spiritual beings that occupy the space between humans and the Most High God, and (2) the influence of the spirits of departed ancestors. The proverbial penny dropped, and I realized that the mindset that focuses (even with biblical terminology) on hierarchies of angels or territorial spirits, along with “generational” sins or curses, is actually a RE-PAGANIZATION of the West as part of the Divine imposition of judicial blindness in punishment for rejection of the Gospel (and particularly among churches that have departed from “the faith once delivered to the saints”).
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
"For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
|And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That Word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is for ever.
For the present, the powers are not our to engage, but we do have a bearing toward them The words of that Reformation hymn are based in part upon the understanding expressed by the apostle Paul when directly addressing this issue, as a fundamental point of the Gospel that he instilled into the churches that he founded and established:
"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that NOW the manifold wisdom of God might be made known BY THE CHURCH to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”This “wisdom of God” that is NOW to be demonstrated by the church to the powers is the selfsame ‘foolish’ wisdom exhibited by Jesus Christ is suffering even to death at the hands of those very powers, and conquering over them through that very death with faith in God who raises the dead. This is the 'Via Crucis’, the Way of the Cross ,that every true disciple must walk in the footsteps of Jesus. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”
"The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
"But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right; If he has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife, Nor approached a woman during her impurity; If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.
“If he begets a son who is a robber Or a shedder of blood, Who does any of these things And does none of those duties, But has eaten on the mountains Or defiled his neighbor’s wife; If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination; If he has exacted usury Or taken increase— Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.
“If, however, he begets a son Who sees all the sins which his father has done, And considers but does not do likewise; Who has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife; Has not oppressed anyone, Nor withheld a pledge, Nor robbed by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes— He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!
“As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
“Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
“Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”
My immediate reaction to Bryce was:
Suppose a certain person becomes a Christian at a certain point in time thereby becoming a new person in Christ, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. old things have passed away, behold all things have become new." In the real world that person has a history ever since he was born. We have all been shaped by flawed parents, various circumstances, worldly influences. It appears we have inherited generational influences which have shaped us. My father was a Christian apparently but his influence in my life was mostly negative at the time I was under his administration (or so I thought). Yet God will make Him whole, and me as well. He and I will be eventually reconciled to each other.
Father wounds/mother wounds are real apparently and need healing over a life time. The human race is fallen! See: No Dads. Gender Confusion. God our Father
My mentor, Ray Stedman noted:
The Scripture reveals to us that sin also affects the generations to come. God declared in Deuteronomy that he "visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation," (cf, Deuteronomy 5:9). Again, this is but a recognition that we are all one big bundle of life together. Just as the blessings of the fathers are passed along to the children unto the third and fourth generations, so are the sins. What we do may show up in our children, or our children's children, as weaknesses or as areas of temptation to which they need not have been exposed had we chosen to walk in fidelity to God....
Note that the "sins of the fathers"--which are said to be passed down to subsequent generations--applies to the guilty, i.e., to non-believers. When a person becomes a Christian that whole chain of the past is cut off in the circumcision of the cross. We are under the "steadfast love" (hesed) part of this statement by the Lord to Moses. So as Christians we must be careful not to blame our parents for our basic fallen nature and on-going failures in life. God's grace is always enough for each of us, not matter what the handicaps may be.
Regardless of one's background, what happens to us when we are born again is very radical. We are taken out of Adam and baptized into Christ. We are removed from the "kingdom of this world," and translated into the "kingdom of the Son of God's love." We are circumcised "in the circumcision of Christ."
Also from Ray Stedman:
That is an astonishing statement. Many scholars equate circumcision with baptism, holding that Christian baptism has taken the place of the Old Testament rite of circumcision. But if you look carefully at this verse it is clear that this is not true. If we are Christians, says Paul, we have been both circumcised and baptized. Thus, they are not the same thing...Thus when our Lord was crucified, the sin that he assumed on our behalf was removed---that is the point. It is what Scripture calls the "circumcision of the heart." Observe how Paul explains that here: "In him you were circumcised in the putting off of your sinful nature." The foreskin of the flesh is a symbol of the fallen nature, the flesh, within us. When we become a Christian it is revealed for what it truly is, worthless in God's sight! It does not advance us or help us in any way in his sight. To be proud and independent and sinfully selfish will never help us or find value in God's sight. That is why Scripture says plainly, "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." Jesus himself said, "Without me, you can do nothing." The natural life, the old Adamic nature, is of no value any more. Then Paul moves to the next step, which is baptism. In baptism, he declares, you were:
That is what baptism means. Circumcision symbolizes the death of Jesus and our death with him, our dying to sin, as Romans 5 and 6 argues. But baptism stands for our new life with him. When someone is immersed in the waters of baptism he is not left there, he is brought out again to a new life. That is what baptism reflects: the work of the Spirit in imparting new life from Christ, a new humanity, the human spirit made alive. It is the difference between a true Christian and a merely professing Christian. The true Christian has been made alive in Christ. He has a whole new basis for living. The third step in this process of sharing in Christ is given next.
Here Paul declares the forgiveness of sins for which the law, the "written code with its regulations," condemned us. That condemnation is now removed by the death of Christ on our behalf. He paid for all our sins, the sins we committed in the past, the sins we are going to commit today, and the sins we shall commit in the future. Sin is no longer an issue in our relationship with God. It affects our fellowship but not our relationship. He has fully dealt with it. We need to acknowledge our sin in order to enter into the benefit of that forgiveness, but forgiveness is already there in the heart of God. What a wonderful truth! I do not think I rejoice in anything more than the fact that my sins, my mistakes, my failures, my unloving words, my unkind attitudes and my selfish actions have been forgiven. Every day God gives me a new slate, a new unspoiled day, to live through by his grace. Our sins have been forgiven. Paul sees them as "nailed to the cross," so they no longer can condemn us. The law is not done away with, but the condemnation of it is. We are made free and told "Go, and sin no more." The last step is, we are freed from the power of these evil beings: Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. --Colossians Series by Ray Stedman.
A major task in the Christian life is for us to learn to identify and renounce our three enemies: the flesh, the world, and the devil. This article is about the flesh. Because the flesh comes before us daily as a familiar friend we easily think that the flesh is who we really are. Herein lies the deception of the enemy.
...For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:5-17)
What happens in our formative years is that each of us responds to his or her environment in specific ways. Children are clever in learning to get what they want and to avoid harm and punishment. This means that what the Bible calls "the flesh" in each of us is individually choreographed. How did our parents deal with us, and how did we respond? When did our responses to the outside world become basically self-centered? When did we begin to exclude God from our awareness?
Because of this individual choreography in childhood of what will later be "the flesh" my weaknesses as an adult, my vulnerable areas are not necessarily identical to those of my neighbor. My flesh is as fallen as the next person's flesh--"I know that in me, that is in my flesh there dwells no good thing." The sum total of all that I was in Adam is worthless as far as God is concerned--both the "good" side of the flesh which looks moral, and the "bad" side of the flesh which everyone agrees is faulty. God's cure of my impossible fallenness consists of putting my flesh to death in Christ, and giving me an entirely new nature and new energy source.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose. (Galatians 2:20, 21)
I agree, we are all bundled up together in the bundle of the living and the sum total of mankind is totally depraved. Two Adams! Our article ought to have relevance to all manner of readers but we ought not to dumb down the content as the kids at the project we referenced. My references added below are all over the map. I've added details about your mention of Ezekiel and Daniel below for completeness.
Bryce Self responded by saying, (1) This needs a bridge between the Exodus passage and the current idea of generational sin/curse.
(2) A little more flesh to the “powers” line of thought—“It was the woman you gave me” was followed immediately by “The serpent deceived me.” Both accurate so far as they go (and dealt with as such by God), incomplete as explanations and inadequate as excuses. The devil made me do it!
(3) OT vs. NT. There is no hint of such an idea as generational sin in all the apostolic letters to the churches, despite their constant, extensive, and detailed addressing of all manner of practical issues of daily life and quite thoroughgoing explication of what godly character is, and how to both cultivate and demonstrate it.
(4) The essential function of the Gospel is as a two-edged sword—bringing life and righteousness to those who repent, but increased condemnation for those who reject. It is either freedom from or fixation into sin, none are unaffected, there is no neutral ground, humanity becoming polarized toward heaven or hell. Nearly the final words of Scripture, the message to be left ringing in our ears along with “I am coming quickly” is precisely this sifting and compounding of all humans into one or the other extreme: "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” It all unfolds and plays out from the primordial confrontation of personal accountability, “Adam, where are you?"
Bryce commented further today: A distinction to be clarified—that between personal sin originating in oneself which entails guilt, and the sins of others (fathers, society, etc) that bring effects and consequences to be endured though not of one’s own doing or responsibility and that. are imposed externally. These latter are what the Exodus passage is talking about: the repercussions and influences in children's’ natural lives from their ancestor’s sins. These are not laid upon the child as though they were personal sins of their own, nor are they determinative for the shape or direction that the child’s own sins will take. The molding influence of an alcoholic mother does not require a child to become an alcoholic, but does make it more likely that the child’s own sin will be channeled into some form of addictive behavior and personality. It must be remembered that the “innocent child” is a fluffy bit of romantic Victorian mythology—young humans are not ‘tabula rasa’ but are born with an inherent sin nature (sinfulness) that will inevitably find expression in some specific varieties of objective sinful actions (sins). The wonderful things about becoming a Christian is that that old man dies, being crucified with Christ, and the person is reborn into new life by the Holy Spirit. This is an event followed by a process of continuing transfer and transformation from the old life to the new one—a process that lasts until finish of one’s mortal life. In this process comes the opportunity for consciously ending and being finally freed from all the evil influences exerted through one’s ancestry or previous life. The buck stops here. Sin runs the opposite course of a process of decay leading to the event of death, rather than the Christian life beginning with an event then leading through the process of sanctification to final glorification in the resurrection.
This, however, is not what is meant in the current terminology of enduring or “breaking” generational sins and ancestral curses.
To me, it means that our children can do better than us and avoid some of the pitfalls and foolishness that is part of our blemished personal history. What fathers must do is rise up and be the man who leads his household toward godliness. One need not try and repent of the sins of their fathers, unless, of course, they are currently walking in tandem with them. One need not feel a sense of guilt for crimes that are not their own.
One of the more problematic ideas with the social justice trend in evangelical circles is the idea of corporate, generational guilt and repentance. Barring a discussion on hermeneutics, which is vital to how we frame issues of social justice, there are a number of passages suggesting we are liable to repent on an individual basis (Deut. 24:16; 2 Ki. 14:6; Jer. 31:30; Ez. 18:20). In each of these examples, the charge of sin is given to individuals rather than families, generations, etc. What is important for us to note is that familial lines do not necessitate sin being charged to their account as a result of another’s offense before God. There are instances where entire families suffer as a result of the sin of their father (see Num. 16:20-35), but suffering from the consequences of another’s folly is not the same thing as incurring judgment for sins committed—especially when we see codified Law dictating this is not to be the case.
To make that clearer: I may suffer consequences as a result of someone else’s sin, but that doesn’t make me guilty of their sin. Instead, it simply makes their sin all the more heinous, as like all sin, it brings carnage and unintended consequences in its wake. For an illustration: let’s say my brother drunkenly shoots a gun and the bullet hits my femoral artery. I don’t bleed out and die—but I do lose my leg up to the knee and my life is forever changed. Beyond the matter of healing, relearning basic tasks and motor skills in physical therapy, and the medical bills continuing to grow, I lose my job because it demands a certain physical ability that I no longer have. My brother gets charged with a misdemeanor—but ultimately, I’m the one who suffers for no other reason than having a fool of a brother. I suffer, not as a result of my own sin, but as a result of his. This is why we find a distinction drawn between suffering as a result of sin and suffering in innocence; the former deserves no pity (1 Peter 4:12-19).
There are also passages that support the idea of corporate repentance (i.e. Dan. 9:4-19). Same with inter-generational guilt (i.e. Lev. 26:39; Deut. 5:9-10). Perhaps the clearest sense of corporate guilt we find in Scripture is that all of humanity has fallen under the guilt of our federal head, Adam (Rom. 5:12-21). Beyond this, there are numerous examples of a similar headship displayed as others are brought to judgment as a result of corrupt leadership (i.e. Is. 9:8ff, esp. v. 16). The problem is not in understanding that corporate sin & generational guilt can take place—they can and do. The problem is rooted in a woeful misunderstanding of the text, and as a result, a woeful misapplication of it in our modern context. The language of judgment in the Old Testament is clear; judgment upon Israel is always for forsaking God & His covenant (as outlined in Deut. 28ff). No matter how one stretches it, we’re dealing with actual guilt for actual sins committed, not assumed, generational guilt complicity. In other words, we have specific, targeted ways in which a wayward people were acting waywardly.
Even when God’s justice falls under the scope of a broader judgment for national sins, that doesn’t indicate that each individual was guilty of the crimes committed therein. As a corporate people they may face the same judgment (i.e. all people in Jerusalem and Samaria being carried away to exile). However, before God, their judgment is commensurate with their crimes; hence why we can see godly and just men like the prophets suffer with Israel even as they did not participate with them in their wickedness. In the corporate sense, this goes right back to the analogy I gave above with regard to my non-existent, drunken brother. They may have suffered, but they suffered as a result of doing good, which is commendable in the sight of the Lord. In the same breath, while they understood full-well what this meant for the nation of Israel in her whoredom, they prophesied of the time to come when Israel would no longer be considered a wayward people and be restored to her former glory, when they returned to covenant faithfulness to Yahweh.
Part and parcel to this is understanding that in the midst of Israel’s judgment, we have generation after generation of covenant unfaithfulness, where the Israelites en masse are walking after the same manner of sins as their fathers. The idea in this is not that an innocent generation has somehow crept up and been liable to a judgment their fathers did not suffer, but rather, they are perpetuating the sins of their fathers. They are committing the same vile deeds as their fathers—and here is where we see generational guilt defined more properly in its correct context. Generational guilt is not the sins of the father being imputed to an innocent child, but the child following in the ways of their fathers, which we see routinely in the Old Testament (see the books of the Kings and the Chronicles). A great modern-day contextualization of this is the pandemic of fatherlessness, which is widely recognized to create very real, very disparate outcomes in children, especially sons. One generation of fatherless children often creates another generation of fatherless children, but each generation is responsible for leaving their children to be without a dad.
Perhaps though, the best point of biblical clarification on this idea of generational guilt comes through the Decalogue (Ten Commandments):
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them [speaking of idols]; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving devotion to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Ex. 20:5-6).
When the people gave way to idolatry and forsaking obedience to the Law, the inevitable result was to see generation after generation of Israelites who continued in the ways of their fathers. This is clearly supported by the fact that the visitation of sins upon the third and fourth generations are of those who hate the Lord, meaning that they too hated the Lord just as their fathers did. Here then we find harmony with the aforementioned verses supporting individual culpability. Verse 6 then serves to contrast what we see in v. 5; God shows His covenant faithfulness (the term “love” is better translated this way, as it is the Hebrew term hesed) to a thousand generations who love God (which is translated appropriately here, as it is not the term hesed) and keep His commandments. In other words, what is explicitly shown is in relation to the stipulations of their covenant with God, again, in keeping with Deut. 28 and the following chapters.
In the same manner, we see this principle flesh out in the history of the kings of Israel. Any time a generation pops up in the Old Testament that heeds the call of the Lord and genuinely repents before Him, He relents concerning the calamitous judgment He was to bring upon them. This is clearly shown when we find Jerusalem is spared from judgment by the hand of the Assyrians (under the reign of Sennacherib) during the reforms of King Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29-32). Micah delivers the prophecy concerning the fall of Jerusalem to Hezekiah (Micah 1:1); around the same time, the prophet Isaiah delivers a prophecy saying the king will die from his illness (2 Ki. 20:1). What comes of this is astounding: Hezekiah prays, is heard by God, and then Isaiah prophesies that the king will live for another 15 years and that Jerusalem will be delivered from the hand of the Assyrians (2 Ki. 20:6). While Hezekiah would see peace during the remainder of his years, and the capital city would not go to King Sennacherib, it would inevitably fall into the hands of the Babylonians (2 Ki. 20:16-18).
When we look at the circumstances surrounding the Babylonian invasion, all signs point to the reality that the kings following Hezekiah fell right back into idolatry, licentious living, and every other wickedness that characterized the wicked kings before them (2 Ki. 21:1; 21:20). In other words: they committed deeds worthy of incurring the judgment of God and brought this same indictment upon the people. After Manasseh and Amon, Josiah comes on the scene, who is the last king to follow in the ways of David rather than the wicked kings of the past (2 Ki. 22:2). From here it is only a relatively short matter of time before Nebuchadnezzar comes to lay siege to Jerusalem, “…in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed through his servants the prophets” (2 Ki. 24:2).
The reason I draw us into the foray of the kings of Jerusalem is that it gives us an incredibly clear picture of the fact that God was not holding each generation accountable for the sins of the previous generation. If anything, it shows us an incredibly patient God who extends His judgment in order to maximize the nation’s time to repent, rather than incur His wrath. As a result of one man’s obedience (Hezekiah), the Lord prolonged His wrath—even to successive kings who did not deserve it. Why? Because God is once again being found faithful to His covenant with them in Deut. 28 and following. The idea being that God’s covenant loyalty binds Him to faithfulness, whether in blessing or cursing. As the people are faithful, God’s blessing is upon them. As the people are unfaithful, God’s cursing is upon them.
While Manasseh’s (Hezekiah’s son) sins may have been greater than any king before him, an important qualifier is given to us in the text to indicate still, the Lord’s judgment upon this people was, “because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day” (2 Ki. 21:15). This was not simply a “prophetic hangover” where God’s wrath was put on retainer, only to be unleashed upon a people who didn’t commit these same sins. Instead, it was a period of grace given as a result of repentance, in keeping with Israel’s covenant with God in Deut. 28ff. The point being: the nation went right back into the rebellion that warranted Micah’s and Isaiah’s prophecy to begin with, and had been doing so for generations even prior to them. They were not judged on the basis of other’s sins, but their own, which makes the situation all the worse. The fact of the matter was that Israel was liable to judgment from the beginning of their exodus from Egypt, yet God remained faithful for His own name’s sake, yet also as a response of fidelity to the covenant for those who loved Him.
What this very clearly demonstrates is that God renders to each man according to his own deeds (Jer. 17:10; Matt. 16:27; Rom. 2:6). The idea of repentance brings to mind offenses the individual has done that require turning from. In other words, there are actual sins committed against God and man that require a change of heart, mind, and action. It seems like a rather obvious point to make, but how can an individual (or an entire ethnic group) repent of something if they’ve not committed the deed, enabled others to do so, or held the mindset that claims it is acceptable? In the context of the current discussions on social justice within the church, this is an incredibly vital part, especially as others are subjecting the Old Testament to tokenism in order to make the charge of complicity, generational guilt, and the need for corporate repentance. As we saw throughout the latter time line of the kings of Israel, each generation was judged according to their own sins. This is not to say that future generations ought to sit idle in the wake of past generations, but that we are never to seek to accomplish justice through unjust means.
What that means more clearly is that the process of being a just and equitable people is bound in being righteous before God rather than getting in your pound of flesh. It is Scripturally dishonest to claim you have a desire to uphold biblical justice when everything defining your vision, mission, and goals requires you to treat others with partiality, which is sin. In other words: you need to repent if you are labeling a class of people with guilt and demanding repentance for sins they have not committed. If you are to charge one class of people for the crimes of their ancestors, you must hold the same standard for all ethnicities. If we are to uphold equal weights and measurements, that is the only road forward if we assign corporate, generational guilt. To suggest this way forward though leaves no one with clean hands and shows a profound misunderstanding of history, as every ethnic group has atrocities and conquests in their annals.
Rather, a better way forward is to earnestly call all people everywhere to repentance and faith in Christ. The reason is quite simple, though it will expose the hearts of those who claim to desire justice, because it demands that we start to place stock in God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises rather than our ability to hold an emblazoned sign demanding unbiblical justice. God Himself has promised not only a heart of flesh, but the indwelling of the Spirit, which causes us to walk in His statutes and ordinances (Ez. 36:26-27). In other words: it is the through the foolishness of the gospel itself, in conjunction with the transformation wrought by the Spirit of God, that a man will be a just and equitable man before God.
This is wondrous news for those who believe in Christ because it means that we actually stand a fighting chance to make things better for our children. As dads and moms who have been granted forgiveness, we are able to carve out a new path that is radically different than our parents. It may be an uphill battle the entire time—but the promise is that God loves to show His covenant faithfulness to thousands of generations that love Him (Ex. 20:6). At the same time, it means that our children can do better than us and avoid some of the pitfalls and foolishness that is part of our blemished personal history. What fathers must do is rise up and be the man who leads his household toward godliness. One need not try and repent of the sins of their fathers, unless, of course, they are currently walking in tandem with them. One need not feel a sense of guilt for crimes that are not their own.
Yet I would bring this even a step further so as to say that the racist man who finds forgiveness in Christ need not be consumed with guilt after he has committed his ways to the Lord. He need not do anything but live in good standing with his brothers and sisters of all ethnicities. What that means in particular is that the thing he is called to is not linking arms with protesters, but a blood-bought unity with his brothers and sisters in Christ that transcends any amount of hatred he once held, as well as any feigned sense of unity this dying world thinks they can muster up. He is to take stock in the promise that if He confesses his sins, God is faithful and just to forgive his sins—and to cleanse him of all unrighteousness. His sins will be no more remembered (Heb. 8:12); his sins will be cast into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19). The beautiful thing—and here I mean the truly beautiful thing, is that God guarantees to work on this man’s behalf through the power of the Spirit and the Word to conform Him to the image of Jesus Christ, in whom there is no partiality. If we are to maintain the gospel itself, we cannot lose sight of this reality, no matter how unforgiving the world becomes on these things. The gospel is a scandal because it levels the playing field, offering the grace of God to all men regardless of how heinous their sins before men have been.
Two great Old Testament prophets, Ezekiel and Jeremiah taught that, in the future, each individual would be held responsible for his choices if life. No more claiming that you inherited your bad behavior from your parents. The setting is the severe judgments when Israel was being leveled and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the appointed agent of God. This first passage (Ezekiel 18) points ahead to the future when Messiah will bring in healing, restoration and community. These men taught when life was lived under the Old Covenant of the Law. They looked forward to the New Covenant which the Messiah (Jesus) would usher in. For us, our lives are administered under the Covenant. We have been enabled to live above and beyond the demands of the Law of Moses. As Bryce notes, "There is no hint of such an idea as generational sin in all the apostolic letters to the churches, despite their constant, extensive, and detailed addressing of all manner of practical issues of daily life and quite thoroughgoing explication of what godly character is, and how to both cultivate and demonstrate it."
The word of the LORD came to me again, saying,
“What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
“As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. “Behold, all souls are Mine;
The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
5 But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right; If he has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife, Nor approached a woman during her impurity; If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully--He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord GOD.
10 “If he begets a son who is a robber Or a shedder of blood, Who does any of these things And does none of those duties, But has eaten on the mountains Or defiled his neighbor’s wife; If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination; If he has exacted usury Or taken increase--Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.
14 “If, however, he begets a son Who sees all the sins which his father has done, And considers but does not do likewise; Who has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife; Has not oppressed anyone, Nor withheld a pledge,
Nor robbed by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor
And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes--He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!
18 “As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people,
Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live.
20 “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. “None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.
23 “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27 “Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. “Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29 “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.
31 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18)
Ezekiel wrote from Babylon at this time in Israel’s history. Daniel was in Jerusalem where the action was. Over 40 years he witnessed siege after siege and finally the total devastation of Jerusalem, the destruction of Solomon’s magnificent temple and the slaughter of thousands of his fellow Jews. (Jeremiah is known as the “Weeping Prophet” for good reason). (The temple was destroyed on the 9th day of the month of Av, 586 BC).
Yet God gave Jeremiah marvelous revelation about the glorious future kingdom of Israel under Messiah’s rule. Chapter 31 of Jeremiah also tells us that each man, woman, and child must take responsibility for his or her conduct (no scapegoating, no blame shifting). God’s grace is sufficient for each of us no matter how dark and dire our past might have been. Growing up in a dysfunction family, suffering from an father, being adopted by flawed foster parents, and all manner of traumatic events—does not allow any one of us to not trust Jesus. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. (2 Timothy 2:1-8)
To Timothy Paul wrote,
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. “And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. “In those days they shall say no more:
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
“But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah--“not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The LORD of hosts is His name):
“If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the LORD,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
Thus says the LORD:
“If heaven above can be measured,
And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
I will also cast off all the seed of Israel
For all that they have done, says the LORD.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that the city shall be built for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. “The surveyor’s line shall again extend straight forward over the hill Gareb; then it shall turn toward Goath. “And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD. It shall not be plucked up or thrown down anymore forever.” (Jeremiah 31:28-40)
Ray Stedman "The Scars of Sin"
Deliberate Sin by Ray Stedman
Chuck Smith on Generational Sin
Are There Generational Sins and Curses? (Moody)
Ancestral Sin (Wikipedia)
What is Generational Sin (Crosswalk)
Understanding the “Generational Curse” of Exodus 34:7 (Focus on the Family)
Can My Life Be Plagued by Generational Sins, Hexes, or Curses? (John Piper)
The Truth Behind Generational Curses
What Are "Sins of the Father"?
Understanding Generational Consequences, Dr. Michael A. Milton
How do the sins of my forefathers affect my life?
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November 18, 2021
Originated: July 2, 2020. July 23, 2020. August 7, 2020.