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The Bible describes sin as “missing the mark.” It means that we fall short of the intended target when we deviate from God’s perfect standard or fail to align with His will. The word “sin,” whether in Hebrew or Greek, signifies that the same definition holds. If, for a moment, we can imagine the target as God’s Word, His commands, choosing to do something contrary to God’s desires, is sinful. Besides God’s written code, we have also been given a moral code, placed in everyone’s heart.

“Our sins are simply the outward manifestations of our personal decision to suppress the Truth about God and thereby to pursue whatever it is that we have decided to put in the place of God.” ~ Alistair Begg

The Bible speaks extensively about sin. No one is exempt. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)1NIV New International Version Translations. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:9). The nature of sin is destructive. “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin’” (John 8:34). Sin dominates, controlling a person’s life.

  • Sin offends. It involves violence, lovelessness, and rebellion against God.
  • Sin corrupts the heart. It leads us toward evil.
  • Sin rejects God’s way. It steals, curses, and lies, often because it seems more attractive or reasonable.
  • Sin disrupts. It keeps us separated from our Creator.

The Bible teaches us that humanity chose to sin, and this choice has had profound consequences.

(Genesis 3:16-19) – “To the woman, he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’ To Adam, he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’”

Sin has had far-reaching impacts on the world, affecting both individuals and society. Sin has separated humanity from intimacy with God. People hide from God, denying His existence or creating idols to worship instead. Our world believes that nothing produces everything, non-living things produce life, randomness produces precision, and chaos produces order. Sin gave us death. No one escapes this gift of sin! Sin affects every aspect of humanity, including the mind, will, and emotions. Our world’s history acknowledges the existence of this corruption. The Apostle Paul said, “Nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh” (Romans 7:18). Sin damages relationships. It creates division between people and God, as well as among us. Suspicion, fear, and self-centeredness result from sin. Wars, death, destruction, human catastrophe, and hatred are all the aftermaths of sin.

Sounds bad so far, doesn’t it? Hold on, it gets worse. Our world, influenced by the deceptions of evil, often tries to convince us that sin is not so severe. Sin is just an affront to our human rights granted through “free will.” A notable example can be found in the story of the Israelites constructing the golden calf, as recorded in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament. In Exodus 32, while Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, the Israelites grew impatient and asked Aaron to make them gods to lead them. Aaron complied and fashioned a golden calf out of their jewelry. The people then worshipped the golden calf, attributing their deliverance from Egypt to it. This act of idolatry was a clear violation of the commandments God had given them, particularly the commandment against worshipping graven images.

However, Aaron and the Israelites attempted to redefine their actions by stating that the golden calf represented the God who brought them out of Egypt. In Exodus 32:4-5, Aaron even proclaimed, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” Nice try, don’t you think? They attempted to rationalize and redefine their actions as somehow beneficial to God. Unfortunately, God considered their idolatry still a grievous sin, which resulted in severe consequences for the Israelites.

Is abortion a health choice? Is justice without repentance what God wants for thieves? Is a politician’s dishonor beneficial to the people they serve? Do the profits of war supersede the death and destruction it causes?  Is corrupt justice better than no justice? If people continue in spiritual death without repentance, they will eventually experience eternal death. What is eternal death? Eternal separation from God’s goodness forever. Only God sets the mark and defines what is sinful, only God!!

(Ezekiel 18:19-20) – “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”

God’s principle of individual responsibility is clear, the soul who sins is held accountable. Satan, though influential, does not bear the guilt of sins committed by humanity. Each person bears responsibility for their own choices. When people choose sin, there are profound consequences. That is what “free will” is all about!

(Acts 4:12) – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Simply stated, Jesus is the only Way and Truth to find Eternal Life. Recognize and confess that you are a sinner, separated from God.  Believe that Jesus died on the cross for YOU. Repent of your sins. Publicly declare that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.  Welcome to eternity!

Contemplations

  • Where do you see sin being redefined in society?
    • Ideas to Explore: Politics, news, education, what about religion and churches?
  • What is the risk you see in normalizing sinful behavior?
    • Ideas to Explore: Does it depend upon your goal, eternity, or not? How is faith strengthened by normalizing sinful behavior?
  • Do you believe that the world was created or just happened?
    • Ideas to Explore: The answer to this question has eternal implications.
  • Can true justice be given without repentance?
    • Ideas to Explore: Where do the ideas of lowering thresholds on crime, no bail, or social justice lead society?
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    NIV New International Version Translations