Sin causes disease
When God created the earth, He did not create sickness. He made the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, the plants, and the animals, but He did not create cold viruses or cancers. These appeared when Satan corrupted God’s perfect plan.
God commanded Adam and Eve, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16‑17).
One day, Eve was walking in the Garden of Eden when she heard a voice. Up until that moment, she had only heard the voices of Adam and God so this new sound intrigued her. She looked around until she spotted a serpent wrapped around a branch of the forbidden tree.
The serpent hissed, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”
“We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,’” Eve helpfully explained.
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said, flatly contradicting God Almighty. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” By saying this, the devil was tempting her to question God’s word.
When Eve heard this lie, she looked at the fruit and she saw it was pleasing to the eye and good for food. In direct disobedience to her Creator, she reached out her hand, plucked a piece of fruit from the tree, and took a bite. She handed some fruit to her husband, and he took a bite, too.
At that moment sickness entered the world. Eve began to die a slow but inevitable death. Immediately her belly began to ache as she realized what she had done. This was a new sensation; none of the other food in the garden had caused her to want to throw up. Adam experienced the first headache as he frantically tried to think of a way to undo the great wrong.
Because of their high treason, Adam and Eve died spiritually, and began to die physically. Their organs began to wear out and entropy started to cause sickness in their bodies. Adam would live another nine hundred and thirty years, but his death was set in motion that day. As James 1:15 explains, “…Sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Sickness is the result of sin. It stems from a breaking of fellowship with God. The root cause of sickness is the original sin of Satan when he rebelled against God. This sickness spread to earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Ultimately all sickness can be traced back to sin.
Since sickness is caused by sin, humanity is in desperate need of salvation from both sin and from the effects of sin. Sin is a dirty stain upon the wonder of God’s creation. Because of the fall, creation was corrupted. What God intended for good, the devil turned into evil.
Sin, death, and sickness entered the world because of Adam’s disobedience. Paul explains the connection between sin and death, “…just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Death (and sickness which leads to death) came into the world because of Adam, and in this way, death (sickness) came to the entire human race, because all have sinned.
Sickness is not necessarily the result of an individual’s specific sin, rather, it is caused by living in a sinful, imperfect world. During the time of Jesus, Jewish culture believed that all sickness could be traced back to a specific sin. Jesus shattered this misconception when his disciples asked him about a blind man, “Teacher, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” replied Jesus (see John 9).
The man’s blindness was simply the result of living in a sinful world. Jesus proceeded to spit on the ground, formed mud from his saliva, wiped the mud on the man’s eyes, and told him to go wash in a pool. When the man obeyed Jesus, he was completely healed. Jesus cured the man so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
Jesus denied this man’s blindness was caused by a specific sin. But at another time, Jesus did not deny the possibility that a specific sin could cause a disease. Earlier Jesus had found another man he had healed in the temple and said to him, “…you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (See John 5:1-15).
By saying this Jesus acknowledged the possibility that sin can lead to sickness. For example, most sexual diseases would not be a problem if every man and woman stayed married in a monogamous marriage as God intended. Sexual sin often leads to sexual disease. In the same way, there are other diseases which are caused by specific sins.
Sin separates us from God’s healing power. It is a roadblock between our prayers and God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
The good news is that repentance brings healing for diseases related to specific sins and for sicknesses caused by the general sinfulness of the world. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” (James 5:16). If sin has caused sickness in your life, simply repent of every sin and pray for your healing. God wants to forgive our sins and heal our diseases (Psalm 103:3). He will completely forgive you and from His forgiveness will flow healing power.
The confession of sins opens the door for God to move. When you confess your sins, it breaks the power of sin over your life. By asking forgiveness you invite God to remove all the effects of sin, including sickness, from your life.
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