During a friendly “spiritual conversation” one believer said to another believer, “I believe we can get to a place where we no longer sin.”
For many Christians today we think of sin as being a bad or wrongful action or behaviour which is true but only partially true. The concept of ‘sin’ is much more complex than that, it’s more involved than simply doing some wrongful deed.
Sin is without question the most destructive thing in all of God’s created universe and it’s the most deadly; it has unparalleled influence on humanity and it impacts far more than superficial actions.
While some of us in the modern-day age have become used to thinking of sin as bad practices or actions taken against God’s law, the concept of “sin” is a much more profound and deep, than wrong doing or good deeds. Sin is something which affects, influences and impacts way more than we sometimes superficially understand.
The Bible has a lot to say about sin and since sin is explained and defined in and from the Bible, we need to know exactly what the Bible says.
Romans 5:12, ‘Just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…’
Romans 3:9, ‘What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.’
John 1:29, John the Baptist was ministering…‘The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”’
Romans 5:19, ‘As through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.’
Romans 6:6, ‘Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.’
Romans 7:8, ‘Sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.’
Romans 7:14, ‘For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I’m of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.’
In the Greek, the word for sin is ‘harmatea’ which means to miss the mark. In the Hebrew, the word for sin is khat’ah and it also means to miss the goal, or path or right and duty. It means to miss the way, incur guilt and to forfeit.
Think of an archery contest, if you aim your arrow and miss the target…you lose! You missed and you forfeit the prize.
Romans 3:23, ‘All have sinned and fall short (miss the mark) of the glory of God.’
What we really want to know is the difference between sin the action and sin the condition.
Psalm 51:5, ‘Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.’
This verse written by king David was not inferring that his mother committed a sin when he was conceived; David was the youngest son to his father Jesse and his mother who were married; they were not adulterers. What David was communicating with us is that being a member of the human race means he’s automatically born with a disadvantage because genetically, he is already tainted with sin. His forebears all harken back to Adam and Eve, the first parents of us all, and since they were tainted with sin, we, their descendants are equally tainted with sin.
So sin is in us at the moment of conception. We don’t become a sinner because we commit a sin, we sin because we’re already sinners. It’s in our nature, thank you Adam and Eve!
Sin (action) vs. Sin (condition)
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the Mosaic Covenant in previous programs, this covenant taught the Hebrews the importance of staying away from sin – the actions – and this was achieved by not breaking the laws, laws such as not hurting your neighbour. That’s talking about ‘action’.
In many respects the Law of Moses was kind of like applying a band-aid to a fatal disease. The Mosaic Law was about getting control of wicked actions by firstly showing us that our actions were wicked; then providing a temporary means of covering or paying for those wicked actions via animal sacrifices whenever we committed a sin by performing a wicked action. This was never going to be adequate because it wasn’t dealing with the real issue…the Mosaic Law was dealing with the symptoms, not the cause. The condition of the human heart.
In the next program we’ll take a look at the sinful condition through the lens of the New Testament and the most famous sermon Jesus preached.