“Sin” is a small word with big implications.
We can all agree that there is evil in the world. You don’t have to look far to see evidence of evil in people. And it’s not simply black and white; good people and bad people. It is so much more nuanced than that, no person is purely good and no one is totally evil either. Wherever you draw the lines, if you follow a moral law, or civil law, you can’t deny there are always gray areas.
But when we say sin we mean how the Bible means it. Sin means all the ways we break God’s laws. All the ways that we reject God and choose our own way. The Bible tells us that there is no one who is “righteous” which means sinless. There is not one person who has not violated the laws of God.
What is Gods law and why does it matter?
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make yourself a graven image.
You shall not take God’s name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.
Honor your father and mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not lie.
You shall not covet.
Now you might think, ok, I haven’t killed anyone! Or committed adultery, and I don’t even know what a graven image is! When Jesus the Son of God walked this earth he took these laws and applied them to our hearts too. Meaning that it doesn’t just matter what you do, but also what you think and what’s in your heart. He said if you are angry with someone in your heart its the same as murder. Or if you lust after someone in your mind it’s the same as committing adultery!
Why does sin matter though, especially if we all do it?
We were designed to be in relationship with God, our creator. God is perfect, he is only ever perfect. When we sin we reject Him and he can no longer be in relationship with us in the way they we were meant to be with Him. Sin puts a barrier between us and God.
Every time we chose our own way, every time we violate one of His laws, we keep that distance. Its impossible for us to undo it! Even if we try really hard not to sin, we still have our past sins that separates us from God. The famous writer and theologian C. S Lewis said this:
“We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin.”
The Bible tells us this:
“For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23,
Wages here means the “penalty” or “punishment”. God is a just God, and he does what is just, always. The consequences in his justice system of our sin, our violation of His law, is death.
But the second half of that verse is this:
“but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We deserve death because our continual violation of God’s good laws. We could never remove the record of our guilt or pay the debt ourselves. But Jesus came to take the punishment for us! Jesus lived a perfect life, not once violating God’s laws. God loves you so much that He gave His son Jesus to take on himself the penalty for your sin. So that you could have a relationship with God who loves you.
Learn more about who Jesus is and how to become a Christian, in the links below.