Now that we know: who God is, what God is doing, and where we learn all of these things; it is time to turn our attention to the objects (recipients) of these things: us. Now the fun really begins.
We are going to start with our condition; we are sinners. You’ve probably heard that a thousand times from a hundred preachers, teachers, and Sunday school curriculum’s; but what exactly is sin? I’m so glad you asked.
Sin has many different faces and effects upon humanity. Sin is ignorance of God and His laws and ways (Ephesians 4:18 & Hebrews 9:7), sin is also simple error in regards to what is right (1 Samuel 26:21), and sin can be classed as inattention (read disobedience—Romans 5:19, 2 Corinthians 10:6). In describing the character of sin many symbols are used in both Old and New Testaments. In describing the accuracy of the shooters, Judges 20:16 uses the word for sin to describe not missing. Conversely then, sin can be described as missing an intended target. Sin is equally described as: irreligion (2 Peter 2:8), transgression (Numbers 14:41 – 42), corruption (Leviticus 19:15), rebellion & treachery (Isaiah 1:2 & Joshua 7:1), perversion (Proverbs 12:8), and abomination (Deuteronomy 7:25 – 26). The results of these actions are: restlessness (Isaiah 57:20 – 21) and guilt (Matthew 5:21 – 22) and death (Romans 6:23). From this we can define sin as any action (intended or not) that violates the law of God (Biblical or natural), resulting in negative human consequences. That seems very clinical, but should get the point across.
Where does our sin come from? It comes from us (Romans 1) and is present in all of us without exception (Psalm 14:1 – 3). Sin is not something that is put upon us as God has made us to enjoy Him and the good things He gives us; but rather our sin is the result of our not resting in God (Hebrews 4) and desiring of other things (1 John 2:16).
This is why we dealt with our understanding of God before our understanding of us. Because of the holiness and perfection of God, you can imagine He and sin do not go well together (worse than trying to match vertical & horizontal stripes). God hates sin and it is course with humanity to deal with it. Because of sin God turns from it and us and we are His enemies (Hosea 9:15). Therefore God’s justice requires punishment be meted out against sin (Isaiah 1:24, Jeremiah 46:10, Ezekiel 25:14). Therefore death has entered the world (Genesis 2:17) and our relationships are broken as we blame and deflect about our troubles (Genesis 3:11 & Genesis 4).
So what?!?? You said this stuff was going to be important to my life!!!!!
Understanding the definition, cause, and effects of sin become vital to New Testament living. We know the work Christ has done for us, but without a deep understanding of the vileness of sin and the all-encompassing effects of it; we have a tendency to lose sight of the great and glorious work of Christ. Deeply reading and understanding the depths of human depravity in Romans 1 only leads to a soaring love of God and His redemption in Romans 5. Why do I praise? Why do I love and evangelize my neighbor? Why do I serve my church and community? Why do I work to maintain relationships with fellow believers? Because I recognize the great work that God has done and how lost I truly was before Christ saved me. I no longer have: fear, doubt, or worry, because I have been: washed, redeemed, and set to work for a great, loving, and merciful God who has given me what I did not deserve. Want your prayer/praise life to increase? Increase your understanding of that from which God has saved you.