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Friday, September 28, 2012

What Sin Is. And Is Not.

You say you're a good person, well have you ever told a lie before? Have you lied even one time? Have you ever stolen something? Jesus said lust is like adultery- have you ever looked at another person with lust? Jesus said anger is like murder- have you ever been unreasonably angry with someone?

Maybe once or twice? Ahh, see, you are a sinner, deserving of God's judgment.

Hold up. That is not what sin is.

So often when Christians try to explain why people need God, they use this line of reasoning. Have you ever done something mean, even one time in your life? See, you are a sinner.

That's not what sin is.

Why did Jesus come and die for us? Is it because we're all good people who have occasionally made mistakes? Yeah, if it wasn't for that one time when you were 4 years old and you hit your sister and then lied to your parents about it, you'd be good to go- Jesus wouldn't be able to say anything to you.

Remember that road trip from 1995? That's why you're not going to heaven. Image source.

No.

So what is sin? Sin is not an isolated event, an out-of-character mistake. Sin is a moment where my deeply-rooted selfishness, pride, and distrust towards God suddenly breaks through to the surface.

Sin is my realization that the real reason I doubted was I didn't want to obey God. Sin is my lack of respect toward people who disagree with me. Sin is my gut reaction that says I need to get revenge against someone who was mildly rude toward me. Sin is my desire for control over boys- if I have power over them, they can't break my heart. Sin is when I judge people, over and over and over, I judge people and I don't even realize how wrong I am.

Sin is every little pattern in my thoughts and actions that should make me stop and question, "What kind of person am I, when this kind of stuff is coming out of my heart?"

Because I have found, at a very basic fundamental level, I don't want to trust God. And even though I really do want to help people, be a good friend, etc, I also don't want to. It's too much work.

Paul said it best, in Romans 7:21-24. "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! ..."

Because the reason I need Jesus to save me is not because due to a set of unusual circumstances, I lied, 10 years ago, and now God has that on my permanent record. I need Jesus to save me from my selfishness every day of my life. I need Jesus to save me because I am the kind of person who can easily become obsessed with money. I need Jesus to save me because some days I just don't feel like caring about other people.

Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God- through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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