Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sin, Law and Grace

QUESTION RECEIVED:

Hi there. I am confused on what sin is. I have my own view on what sin is. I believe that sin is not doing what the Bible says to do and I believe that it is doing what the Bible says not to do. However, I am not sure whether this is the correct take on sin. People call me legalistic for believing this way. Am I believing the right belief on sin? Please reply as this is causing me a lot of anxiety. Thanks. Please don't re-direct me to an article for I have already read the articles on sin. I am still confused.

MY ANSWER:

It is great that you are pursuing understanding of a very important subject that many will not pursue. We can read a lot of theologians and philosophers about their ideas of sin. Their definition of sin is lacking.
In almost every Bible study, when sin is studied, the Greek word "harmartia", which means “missing the mark" is always brought up. Like Britney Spears sang "Oops I did it again." "I only just missed the mark, oops." I was aiming my arrow of righteousness and, though I tried so hard, I missed the mark.
This is not the biblical definition of sin. Some theological wordsmiths have gotten us off track.
We did not miss the target, we threw hand grenades at it an obliterated our target of righteousness.

Let's look to the Bible and see how The Lord describes sin.

1 John 3:4 English Standard Version (ESV)
"4Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness."

God's law being referenced in 1 John 3:4 is the Ten Commandments as described in Exodus 20:1-21. Often people want to put the commandments up for display. Good idea? Not if you are trying to live up to them. It is a great idea to post the commandments if you are wanting to evangelize.
Is this shocking in our modern church culture? Yes. Is it biblical to use the commandments for evangelism? Yes.

Galatians 3:24 (ESV)
"24So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith."

The law points the way for our need for the saving work of Jesus Christ.
We all fall way short. We need a Savior who forgives our sins, give us peace with God, and grant us eternal life with God the Father.
The law is our guardian, or schoolmaster. It corrects our false knowledge of our sin and relationship with God. It, the law, is the bad news to us in that we can not live up to righteousness. Thank you Jesus for the Good News- You are our righteousness for us.

Sin is just not what others do. Sin is what we do in our actions and minds.
Yes, Jesus even says what we think matters in our relationship to God.

Matthew 12:36(ESV)
"36I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,..."

Matthew 15:18(ESV)
"18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person."

Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)
"27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THEIR IS A CURE FOR SIN!

Romans 6:23(ESV)
"23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Yes we need to know what sin is. We are sinners living in a fallen world. It started with the first man Adam. Jesus Christ became the last Adam (1st Corinthians 15:45). Our sin has ravaged us. We have a Savior, the God-Man Jesus Christ. Through his perfect life he was the perfect sacrifice. He took our sins on Himself on the cross. He received the wrath of God intended for sinners. So we can be saved, forgiven and have peace with God forever. When we have received this great salvation our eternity will be as citizens of Heaven living forever happily with the Father.

We know what sin is. We need to know what grace is, and share it.

Romans 5:18-21(ESV)
"18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

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