Sin is not angering an easily enraged or indifferent God. It is spitting on the face of a loving Father and bruised Saviour.
There are many things that draw out controversy and one of such is the topic of sin. In fact, the topic of sin is soo awkward that it is literally a conversation killer. Like if you just WANT to end a conversation flow in a mixed (READ: nonreligious) crowd, just chip in something like this:
“Sooo, what do you guys think of pre-marital sex.”
Then a brave soul.
“Errm…well. It’s bad?”
That’s it. You have effectively ended the conversation coming at your direction (this is a bonus tip for anyone who wants to learn how to survive in socially awkward situations. You’re welcome). It is easier and less awkward to talk about the weather and the news than it is to talk about sin.
Why? Because we all either sin, will sin or have sinned. And let’s be honest, it is easier to talk about how clear the sky is today than to talk about ME and my failings. If it didn’t rain today or if the dollar rate has risen, it was the weather or President Buhari that failed. Not me.
But when it is sin, I have to put myself in that awkward position of scrutiny. And when confronted with it, I shuffle my feet, study a particularly fascinating pattern on my skirt, shrug in a let’s-look-flippant way and mutter, “Well, I…err…struggle…sometimes.”
But the truth is, the topic of sin is so crucial that we should always want to talk about it. This topic was so important that three chapters into the first book of the Bible, it shows up and from there everything got disrupted and it started showing up more often than we would have liked. In fact, as I was recently going through the history books of the Bible, I got a good sense that Sin was the central theme.
But, what is sin?
This question is probably a no-brainer since we all seem to know what sin is but I think a large portion of us are more ignorant on this topic than we care to admit. Because 80 percent of the time when I ask this question in a religious crowd, I get something along the lines of: “It is anything you do that is against God’s commandment.” While this is true in some sense, it is not essentially how God sees sin.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 – KJV)
When God made the world and all that is in it, He did so with some intent in His heart. He made everything beautiful and holy but then sin walks in and messes the whole thing up. Sin is not essentially the action, sin is the intent. It is a nature. It is losing God in the knowledge of what we do.It is either being blind or blindfolded (depending on what side of the coin you fall). It is having SERIOUS loyalty issues. It is not coming up against God’s law. It is coming up against God Himself.
We were made for GOD’S pleasure. We were made for Him, not for ourselves. The second we step outside this ideal and start pleasing ourselves, WE SIN. Therefore, anything I do that is outside God’s pleasure IS SIN. It doesn’t matter if it is on the list of good deeds, if it is not FOR God, then well, yeah, sin wins.
I guess you would already be shaking your head thinking, “How can this be possible? It is so hard. How do I even know what God wants anyways?” This begins to give us a sense that we are in an impossible situation here. The nature of sin in us, the one we are used to is one that is alien to God, by nature opposed to Him and all that He is. We may be moralists for a while, but even in that, the ultimate intent remains to promote ourselves, making it sin.
We need a miracle.
Then, (*drum roll*) enter Jesus! He comes in and saves us from this impossible fix by his suffering on the cross and subsequent resurrection, effectively dealing with our sins and the nature of sin in us, through our belief. He doesn’t bother with plucking out the fruits but roots out the tree from the very ground it stands. He gives us the nature where, as Ezekiel 36:27 puts it “I will put my Spirit in you and make you eager to obey my laws and teachings.”
That’s one side of the coin.
The other part is this: Christians still sin. A lot. It is a reality that we face because we live in a fallen world and a body so used to sin. Now, here’s where I make my point (the lesson I’m learning). When I sin as a Christian, I effectively spit upon my Saviour’s face. I turn against him and his death. Because sin is EVERYTHING he died for. My sin was so serious it caused the very God of the universe HIS LIFE.
It wasn’t just a little prank I played or a joke I didn’t mean, it was deadly and caused God’s son His LIFE. And I’m not just talking about giving His life on the cross, but also living for 33years or so in a depraved world without sinning. It is so serious that Jesus said I would be better off sawing my arm off or plucking my eyes out than to sin. Therefore, I have to lose the consciousness of this to sin. I have to lose sight of the cross, the price of my sin, turn my back on Him; the Father who gave all for me.
I have taken His gift for granted. I have walked away from His table and gone to feed on dirt. I have walked with blindfolds. I have hurt God. I have angered God. I have disappointed God. I have hurt myself.
He doesn’t find this amusing.
It is very serious.
And this is how He sees sin in me.
Sometimes, I thoughtlessly do some things and forget this truth. Why can’t I be more conscious of the cross? Living a crucified life is a liberating one. But it demands from me. It demands that I leave my all, my ideals, my LIFE on His altar. That I DIE. But no one wants to die right?
And herein lies the fix. Herein lies victory.
“Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete.” (Ephesians 4:30 – TLB)
Alright, I have said what I think know sin is.
So, what is your definition of sin?
Side Side Note:
Oh, and a book I will totally recommend for you on this topic is “The Smell of sin and the Fresh air of Grace” by Don Everts.
You could check the link or contact me if you’d like a copy.