Have you heard the saying ‘like father like son, like mother like daughter?’ It is amazing how often our children act just like us. This became real to me one day when I was mowing and my 3 year old son at the time got his little play mower and followed me around the yard pretending he was mowing just like dad. Our children often take on characteristics like us and even take on our patterns of sinful choices. This is seen clearly in the life of Abraham (the same Abraham who is called the father of all who have faith in verses such as Galatians 3:7). The one who left his homeland out of faith in God and His promises. Abraham went to a land that he did not know, because God simply called him (Genesis 12). However, if you look at Abraham’s life carefully you will see that he was a liar? He continuously was lying. He lied about his wife in Genesis 12:12-13. He does this again in Genesis 20:2. Abraham was quite adept at telling half-truths. Isaac, Abraham’s son, in his own pilgrimage is put in a situation where he has to either protect his wife or protect himself, and guess what he does? He lies about his wife in Genesis 26:6-7 by saying she is my sister. Isaac later has two sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob is the younger of the twins and on the day Esau is supposed to be given the blessing of the family by Isaac, Jacob lies and deceives Isaac to receive the blessing (Genesis 27). Now you continue to go forward in time and you see Jacob’s sons lying to Jacob about Joseph. They sell Joseph their younger brother into slavery, but tell Jacob that Joseph was killed by a wild beast and thereby deceived Jacob (Genesis 37:18-36). This family from generation to generation lies, deceives, and cheats. The consequences are not only felt in the present but in the future as the next generation repeats the patterns set by the previous generation. Our sins, my sins, affect our current situations in life and future generations.
Now before despair starts setting in we are to remind ourselves of the truth that Paul communicates powerfully in Romans 7:21-8:1,"21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death" For the Christian the domination of the cycle of sin is broken in Jesus. He delivers us from this body of death and per Romans 8:1 there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. In Christ per Romans 8:2 we are now set free from the law of sin and death. We who God has saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus alone are a forgiven and forging forward people. The pattern of the domination of sin is broken for all who follow Jesus. Now we, the redeemed, have the privilege of resembling more each day, by God's sanctifying grace alone through the indwelling Holy Spirit, the character of our Father in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:7, 1 John 3:1). Ultimately the result of God's amazing love in Jesus is that the children of God redeemed by the Son of God resemble more and more the character of their Father in heaven. For the testimony of the Christian's new life in Christ is, "Like Father, like son."