Sin

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge. (Psalm 51:4)

All sin is against God. We have difficulty with that because we don't understand sin. Ever since our ancestors ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we go to great lengths to complicate our walk with the Lord, including our understanding of sin.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:14)

The Hebrew and Greek translation for sin is simply to miss the mark and not share in the prize. What prize? The high call that God has placed upon our lives. We tend to get caught up in the act of sin, but God emphasizes the consequence of sin. There is a big difference between the two perspectives.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:23)

If we, like the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27), have anything or anyone who stands between us and God, sin is in our lives because that person or that thing acts as a false idol. It is something we put before God, something we value higher than our relationship with Him. In effect, we filter God through that person or thing. God will not bless that attitude.

Joseph was a marvelous example of one who understood his position with God. Though he went through many hardships, he never lost his ability to place God first. A good example was when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him. Listen to his words:

"There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9)

Joseph understood that God motivated Potiphar to treat him as a special person. He knew that he was on track for the high calling God had placed upon his life. He realized, therefore, if he behaved in a way that was against God's will, he ran the risk of missing the mark. Joseph refused to compromise the goal of God for a few minutes of carnal pleasure.

In Deuteronomy 28, we see the difference between hitting the mark and missing it. When we hit the mark, blessings of God overtake us, but when we miss the mark, curses overtake us. Everything we do affects our relationship with God. Until we understand that our relationship with God is primary, we continually fall into sin and miss His high calling.

Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die." (2 Samuel 12:13)

This is an extremely important Scripture. We see that when we confess (which means to agree with God that we have sinned against Him), and we accompany that confession with repentance (which means that we will not repeat the act), He wipes away our sin and restores us to right relationship with Him.

God is not so interested in the nature of sin as He is in the fact that sin separates us from Him. We consider adultery to be greater sin than envy, and drunkenness greater than jealousy, but God lumps them together as works of the flesh that keep us out of His kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21).

Scripture is clear that confession and repentance are necessary to put us in right relationship with God, and that right relationship with God is the most essential state of our lives. It determines the nature of our existence here on earth as well as our eternal destiny.

"But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed; for them he will die. (Ezekiel 18:24)

"Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. Because he has considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die." (Ezekiel 18:27,28)

It is humanistic to confine our concern about sin to the sins of men against men. Men sin against men because they are not in right relationship with God. If they were in right relationship, they would not sin; therefore, all sin begins with separation from God. When we are separated from God, we are against God; therefore, all sin is against God.

Intellectually, we may ignore sin. But God gave us a conscience, and that is where the Holy Spirit deals with sin in our lives. He convicts us and brings us to the crossroad where we choose either to continue in sin or to confess and repent and go on with God.

We have to face the fact that the nature of sin is in us. Jesus Christ came to take on our sin and reconcile us to God. Reconciliation is essential; without it sin separates us from God.

God's plan for reconciliation was carried out by Jesus. If we refuse to accept that, if we refuse to let God destroy our sin, the only possible result is to be destroyed by our sin, separated eternally from God.

Sin crucified Jesus. It crucifies us also unless we accept the fact that all sin is against God, and unless we accept the work of the cross as our crossroad to confession and repentance.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: How would I explain that all sin is against God?