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The Battle of Good and Evil

The Battle of Good and Evil

There are two trees in the Garden of Eden—the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve ate from the poisoned tree they infected mankind. Before eating they did not even realize they were naked—their focus was on God. The knowledge of good and evil distracts us from the One who is the source of life. It causes us to become self-centered. It causes us to become either corrupt of self righteous—and both lead to death.

The profound thing is—there is just as much death in the knowledge of good as there is in the knowledge of evil. When one trusts in self or in compliance, we don’t need relationship with God. Satan—fighting to keep us from God, tries to get us to focus on self—on our work even to self righteousness. But the truth is that our spirit grows not by adapting to a form but to the forming of Christ in us. The dependence on the letter of the law kills but the dependence on the Spirit gives life.

God’s Word Never Negates the Law

God’s Word never negates the law (instruction) but always teaches against dependence on the law. The law is good and just and perfect–there is no problem with the law–there is a problem with man. Man, with his sin nature, is unable to keep the law AND/OR the dependence on the law (especially for appearance of good)

Cain—tiller of the ground was earthly minded. His sacrifice was rejected because he relied on works, on self-righteousness, while Abel relied on the sacrifice. There is a Cain in all of us –we want to think we are good and don’t need Christ. But even when we are good it can be an attempt to atone for our own evil and not rely on Christ. Turning away from sin is not stopping a few bad habits—it’s turning from our sin nature! True repentance is renouncing self.

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh. Phil 3:3.

When man’s devotion is to church or to the Bible rather than to Christ he is in idol worship—worshiping the creation instead of the Creator. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39. The Bible is a means, not an end. Knowing the book of the Lord is not the goal—knowing the Lord of the book is.

Cain’s anger toward Abel was so intense it led to murder. Why? The sacrifice is the point of the conflict! When your focus is on self instead of God, you are continually trying to balance the good and evil in yourself. Those relying on self are full of insecurity. Deep inside they know they will never be good enough. People who hold this illusion are easily challenged. When confronted by truth their whole foundation is challenged. They are desperate for self preservation. Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” John 9:41. Those who rely on good works can’t tolerate those with faith in Christ because it strips away the facade and illusion. Christ’s sacrifice is the greatest threat to self-centeredness. Everything we accomplish is as filthy rags once you have the correct focus of Christ.


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3

When we grasp these liberating concepts—our works are as filthy rags—we don’t grow prideful of self. We realize our job is to rest in Him, “Be still and know that I am God. Ps. 46:10). As Corrie ten Boom said, “Nestle, don’t wrestle.”


Photo Credit: http://childrenschapel.org/biblestories/cain.html


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About Robin Sampson


  1. Robin, you never cease to amaze me. From the first time I read your book, What Your Children Need to Know, many years ago, to your more newer books on the Heart of Wisdom, and your present blogs, your deep thinking always blows me away.
    I think I would find your life autobiography an interesting one because you are very unique.

    I have written a blog that mentions the HOW so I thought you might want to check it out.


    I LOVE the entire Heart of Wisdom curriculum- your ebooks, your reference materials, everything. Their wonderful as well as a true gift from God. We’ve been busy studying Ancient Israel and loving every minute of it.


  2. What an awesome blog! It is so nice to stumble upon (via EntreCard) a great website like this. I’m a Christian homeschool mom of 5. I was so inspired by this post. I just want to sit in front of you with a cup of hot chocolate and listen to you speak like this. 🙂 Nice to “meet” you! I’m going to join that “You comment, I follow” group, too!

    Tracey’s last blog post..Today only! Earn $1 for every $1 earned!

  3. Deanne

    Excellent post again, Robin!! As a long time homeschooler, I would like to add to your idol worship list, devotion to a homeschool speaker or “ideal”…rather than devotion to following Christ exlusively. At times I am completely overwhelmed and burdened for families. Keep speaking truth, Robin..may our ears be opened.
    Love Deanne

    Deanne’s last blog post..Praying for our children

  4. Hi Robin-
    You hit the nail on the head!!! Awesome post!!!

  5. I love the last verse you used, I see such an awesome picture whenever I hear it.

    Thank you for your comment on my FOTS post, I’m really enjoying digging into the Fruits, it’s so amazing the first week I joined this our pastor preached on this, and I’ve seen the fruits in such a different way!I will have a post on kindness up tomorrow.
    God Bless~

  6. You know when you get that ‘hit-me-right-between-the-eyes moment? Right at the beginning of this article, something came to me in a flash. From the beginning, our homeschool journey (1992+) has been a weary load for me as I struggle with my own weaknesses, fears and insecurities. Constantly going to the Lord in prayer, but never sensing that I truly ‘got it’. In reading this article it is obvious that I have been focusing on the wrong tree in trying to lead my children down the right road! Worrying that they would choose the world’s way, inadvertantly, in my attempt to steer them away from the world and toward Jesus, the focus was on warning them to ‘guard your heart’, be obedient, turn away from sin etc. Now, there is nothing wrong with the warnings, that is also what the Word says, but I was so busy looking at the Tree of Good and Evil and pointing out all that was ‘good’ and ‘evil’ ….that the Tree of Life was standing there,(in all its brilliance and splendor!) but my back was turned to it! What if I put my arms around my two younger sons shoulders and actually turn toward the Tree of Life and start pointing out all the wonderful things that God has prepared for us…Taste and see that God is good? Does this make any sense? Could it be that my two older childrn walked right into the clutches of the world because I had them focused on the wrong tree? Robin, thanks so much for being ‘there’.

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