What is sin?

There is no other book, internet article or blog that deals so thoroughly with the subject of sin as the Bible does. The good news is that the Bible also thoroughly explains the remedy for sin.

Sin is always serious, because it separates us from God who is holy and who cannot tolerate any sin. It brings God’s guilty verdict on us. We were created to know God in a personal way, yet our rejection of God, in breaking His commands, has cut us off from Him.

Sin is missing the mark, or falling short of God’s requirements. It is a deviation from all that is right – an act of wilful disobedience to God. The Bible pictures sin in different ways:

  • It is like a burden too heavy for us to carry;
  • It is like a chain from which we cannot free ourselves;
  • It is like dirt we cannot wash off;
  • It is like a debt we owe God but can never pay;
  • It is like a disease for which we cannot find a cure.

Yet Jesus said of Himself, to a crowd of people to whom He was preaching, ‘I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’

The pictures of sin above leave us in a dire state if we are left there. However, because Jesus takes upon Himself the sin of the world… The burden can be removed;

  • The chain can be broken;
  • The dirt can be cleaned up;
  • The debt can been paid, and
  • the disease can be cured.

The way God describes our sin-filled life makes it look more like a rubbish dump than a thing of beauty. Here is what the Bible says are some of the things on the dump…

‘…sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.’(Galations 5:19 – 21)

This is serious stuff, isn’t it? This is what God wants to clear up. We can’t do it ourselves; we need God to step in. When God begins to work in someone’s life he or she begins to become aware that they are sinful in the sight of God. After all, He is holy; we are not. God diagnoses us as sinners, not to leave us condemned and written off, but so that He might cure us. He wants to take away guilt and give us new life in the Lord Jesus.

The Bible says, ‘“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”(Isaiah 1:18)

Sin is serious, and has consequences, but God calls us to come to Him, turn away from our sin and allow Him to forgive us, clean us and change us.