Is there really sin?

One of the major themes of the Bible, beginning in the Book of Genesis and weaving all the way through to the Book of Revelation is the influence of sin on the relationship between man and God. It is the primary dividing line between us and our creator. It’s also the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.

Sin started at the beginning

In Genesis 3, the serpent asked Eve, “Did God REALLY say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” Clearly he is challenging the truth of the statement and questioning the goodness of God. He is appealing to Eve’s ego. He entices her to eat the forbidden fruit.

The sin of Adam and Eve causes a breaking fellowship with God, resulting in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. From there, for the rest of Scripture, the “on again off again” relationship with God leads to the coming of Christ and man’s redemption.

Often people don’t believe in sin today

In today’s world, the concept of sin is greatly diminished, as people do not want to hear challenges to their lifestyle choices, or their conduct. There is no right and wrong.

For example, the Bible clearly speaks against same sex unions, but today it is mainstream and perfectly acceptable, if not celebrated. Additionally, people argue that there are more than two genders. Rejecting the Biblical account that God created man and woman. Babies are born male and female, but they are allowed to select what gender they identify with, so male and female in their world is no longer valid

Not only is the picking and choosing gender encouraged, any questioning of this “right” is greeted with anger and disdain. Children are allowed to undergo surgical procedures to change gender and their parents are proud.

Divorce is common regardless of how harmful

Divorce rates continue to climb. Once considered a rarity, divorce is now more common than a sustaining marriage. No fault divorce is the norm, as irreconcilable differences are the key to walking away from one’s spouse and children.

We have become numb to this destruction of the family unit. We have family and extended family. Men jump from marriage to marriage, and have children with every partner. Single moms are more common than married ones. But it’s acceptable. Sin is not considered.

Greed is celebrated

All aspects of culture center around personal satisfaction and gain. Television advertising zeros in on this and appeals to our selfishness. Not only do they make you want something, they tell you that you deserve it and because of this, anything that gets in the way is wrong.

Bigger house, better car, any little pleasures of life are yours because you are entitled. Advertising appeals to the worst of our nature.

We turn from God as we sin

Sin is just turning away from God. Sometimes it’s unintentional, but in all too many cases, it’s deliberate.

The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is filled with accounts of people turning away, suffering, then turning back. Sin is an inconvenient truth.

The Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) It goes on to warn that “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) This death is eternal separation from God, a never-ending punishment.

But it also goes on to say that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Realizing that we all turn away from Him and sin, God’s grace is extended to us through His son, Jesus.

It’s like being in court and the judge rules that we are guilty as charged. But then the judge takes off his robes, gets out of the chair of judgment and pays the penalty for us.

Because of what the Messiah did on the cross, we are set free., if we make the choice to accept the gift. You don’t have to accept it, but it’s highly advantageous to take it.

A wrathful, vengeful God? He is a God who loved all of us so much, He allowed his only son to die on the cross. The Bible’s most powerful theme is forgiveness and reconciliation. Sin is defeated when the gift of life is accepted.

Sin in the Bible

Sin in the Bible. We don’t want to hear about it: We don’t want to talk about it: We don’t know what it is, unless it applies to somebody else.

Sin is a controversial subject, but its definition is simple enough to understand—it is a purposeful act of disobeying God’s law. But at the same time, its definition is complex, because most people do not know where sin came from.

The root of sin is pride. From the very beginning, men and women had to deal with their own thoughts, words and deeds.

Sin in the Bible: Where It All Started

It did not take long for the first sin to occur in the Bible. In the very first book, Genesis, in the third chapter, we are told of the first sin.

Adam and Eve had been given the Garden of Eden, a utopia from God. There was no sin there, no death, no disease. Animals did not attack the two people, nor did the strong feed on the weak.

God had given them everything in the garden, except for the fruit of one tree. All was theirs for the taking, but God wanted that tree left alone. The explanation of this is found in Genesis 2:15,

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “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 from it you will certainly die.”

God created woman

Right after that conversation, God put Adam to sleep, took one of his ribs, and made a woman, Eve, to be his wife. It all came apart in Genesis 3:3-7, which states,

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “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.’” You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Serpent used pride to introduce sin

Eve was deceived. The serpent appealed to her pride. He suggested that God did not love them and was withholding things from them. Even though they had the whole garden to chose from, the idea of not being allowed to eat from the tree that God forbid them to eat from was seen through their prideful eyes as God withholding something.

She allowed herself to be deceived. She listened to the serpent and bought into the life. She embellished on God’s word by staying, “and you must not touch it.” God did not say that. He said “don’t eat of it.” Eve relied on her own thoughts to make a decision. She did not ask God, or think about God. She thought only of herself.

Both deceived because of their pride

Then there was Adam, right there with her. He did not step in and tell her not to eat the fruit, nor did he warn her about going against God’s rules. He watched. When she offered him the fruit, he ate it too.

When questioned about this by God, he blamed her for what he had done. She was created to help Adam, but he showed no desire to protect her, even though he knew as well as she that eating the fruit would have consequences.

Once sin entered everything changed

When they ate the fruit, as the Bible says, their eyes were opened. They realized they were naked and quickly covered themselves. They tried to hide their action. God, of course, saw it all and knew what had happened.

When God warned them about dying, he did not intend to strike them down when they sinned. God killed an animal and gave them skins to cover themselves. But the perfect life was gone. Sin has consequences, sometimes immediate, sometimes delayed, but always a reality.

Missing The Mark

The Apostle Paul wrote,

all have sinned and fall short of the glory mof God.” (Romans 3:23).

An archer picks up the bow, pulls back and fires. The arrow falls short of the target. That is a good example of our problem with sin. No matter how hard we try, we still sin. Paul goes on to say, in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Roots of Sin

Long before Adam and Eve, there was a rebellion. God created Angels to serve him. The most glorious among these heavenly hosts was Lucifer, the shining one, who stood at God’s throne.

Being the top angel was not enough for Lucifer, who decided that he wanted the glory. He and about one-third of the lesser angels waged war against God. They lost.

God cast them out of heaven and to the earth He had created. Being Angels and not human, they were not killed, but became demons and their leader was Lucifer, now Satan. Having lost the battle with God, Satan, which means accuser, set out to destroy God’s most precious creation, man. He his also known as the devil, meaning adversary.

Satan’s main purpose is to corrupt man and separate him from God.

Isaiah 14:12-15,

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.

14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote,

You were in Eden, the garden of God.… I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.

You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. … and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire.

Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground.  (Ezekiel 28:13-17)

Lucifer was a creation of God and was given a free will to serve God or to disobey. He chose to rebel. Likewise, for the same reason, PRIDE, man chose to rebel.

Our Struggle With Sin

Even those who follow Jesus, or dedicate themselves to following the Law, sometimes balk at the idea of being a sinner. Our pride gets in the way.

We rationalize our actions by trying to convince ourselves that while we may be sinners, the other guy is worse.

Even loyal church members cringe when a pastor talks about sin. People don’t want to hear it, so they try to change the narrative. In an effort to justify their own bad choices, they put the blame on God, for being bigoted, narrow minded, hateful and unloving.

God must be wrong if He disagrees with our choices. As a result, people put themselves on a slippery slope. By rationalizing their own perceptions, by watering down the Word of God in the Bible, they block out the truth, the absolute, eternal and never changing truth.

The Bible tells of this conscious decision, saying that good will be called evil and evil good. The Holiness of God, the beauty and majesty of God becomes corrupted in the minds of those who will not accept His Word, who pick and chose what they will believe out of the Bible and what they will reject.

Sin is a part of Human nature

Sin is a part of human nature. God understands this completely. That is exactly why Jesus needed to leave heaven and come to earth to do that which we could not do for ourselves—defeat sin.