Cross Points 4/3

Ugliness of Sin

In the beginning there was no sin.  Just Adam and Eve, the world and animals that God had created, and a tree he asked the humans not to eat from.  The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  But they did eat from this tree.  Nothing has been the same since then.  What is the deal with “sin,” is it just some arbitrary list of things God tells us not to do whether or not it makes sense to us?  There are many examples of things society tends to think are OK, that God has said are not.   Sex outside of marriage is one example.  Why can’t we do this recreationally?  Why can’t we find happiness without commitment when it comes to how we treat each other’s bodies?

Yes, bottom line, we should avoid what God says to avoid because God says so.  But if we stop to examine things, it doesn’t take much effort to see that obeying him helps us avoid problems and is for our own good.  We all know, honestly, that recreational sex causes untold problems.  You can’t control the emotions that are tied to this intimate act, and we all know people who have been stung by relationships gone bad, by unwanted pregnancies, by sexually transmitted diseases, by lack of commitment to responsible action by one of the people involved.    Most of this goes away when a couple seeks to honor God and each other through a committed relationship.  Are there problems within “Christian” marriages?  Certainly.  But they are often tied to one or both people not truly honoring God the way they should.  This is just one example of how sin raises its ugly head.

Sin goes way beyond this one example.  Everything in life has been tainted by this virus.  Even nature.  Many biblical scholars believe that prior to the flood of Noah, God had a canopy of some type over the world, much like a greenhouse, and things were replenished daily in this method, with no storms, no rain per say.  No rain until the world was destroyed with the flood, then it all changed.  Tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, tsunamis, hailstorms, lightening-strikes, all the bad stuff we associate with nature, is an indirect result of sin.

Gossip causes untold harm. Greed can sting numerous people, including the greedy person.  Gluttony is self-harm.  The list is long.  In fact, in the Bible we are told that, “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).  That simply means when we say or do things that are not with the intent to honor God, we sin.  The result?  You are a sinner.  I am a sinner.  The world we live in is messed up big time because of sin.  When the politician lies just to score points with the electorate, he sins.  When you lie to score points with friends or your boss, you sin.  Sin seeps into the smallest crevices of our lives and impacts us in known and unknown ways. It causes diseases.  It causes viruses.  Truth is, the Coronavirus currently dominating the news is a result of sin.  Sin messes things up!

The end result of sin?  What God said would happen from the start, way back in the Garden.  We will die.  We die spiritually when we sin, separating us from a perfect God, and we die physically when our body wears out, or when an accident occurs, etc.  The breath within us will stop at some point.  Thanks be to God, he provides the remedy through Jesus Christ!  God in the flesh, who lived the only perfect life and as a result became the perfect sacrifice for sin, which satisfies the wrath of God, but in the process demonstrates the love of God.  No other religion has anything like this, and it’s not folly, it is based on historically accurate information verified by many witnesses.

Sin and Satan can have a one-two punch.  They can knock us down.  But God through Jesus will win the battle if we allow him to fight on our behalf.  Sin is ugly, but Jesus and what he has done for us is beautiful!  He doesn’t solve all the problems of this current world, sin and free-will will have their short-term consequences; but God promises a world to come where the wrongs will be righted, and life will be what God-aligned people have always dreamed it should be.  So, trust and obey Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

Cross Point: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  So back up and consider more words from God in this book.  “Are we to continue to sin that grace may abound?  By no means!… Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  Buried by baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in new life” (Rom. 6:1-4).