Why is it? Why do I worry? Why am I impatient or anxious? Why do I hold grudges? Why do I subtly react negatively to people who have disappointed me or offended me? Why do I try to justify subtle forms of lust, cheating, greed, or being inconsiderate of the needs of others? The answer is a spiritual one, but similar as to why, physically speaking, a cancer patient’s muscles and energy are not what they should be — cancer is poisoning their body. Something also poisons human beings in regard to all their relationships. That something is what the Bible calls sin. Sin, at its root, is a spiritual cancer.
God’s Will; Yea or Nay?
Sin poisons relationships because it is a corrupt attitude of our souls. It is an attitude that places ourselves above others and, more sadly, above God Himself. This corrupt attitude also leads to corrupt actions. God, as God, establishes what is good and right. He knows what kind of attitude and actions are needed for loving relationships to exist and flourish. And so, good and right attitudes and actions are God’s will, because they result in the long-term welfare of everyone involved. Conversely whatever is against God’s will – all sin – harms everyone involved, sometimes in small and subtle ways, but nonetheless harm results.
How Sin Began
God stated one simple rule for the first man and woman He created. Disobeying that rule, or sinning against God’s will, would result in “death,” the poisoning of all human souls. Our first parents were enticed by the devil to assert themselves above God’s word of warning and the poison of sin began. This poisoning manifested itself in an immediate sense of alienation from God, a self-absorbed attitude and corrupt will, and the eventual death of everything physical in nature. That latter effect, plus all the sorrows and distresses of this life, stand as a reminder that all humans are now poisoned by sin.
The Root and The Fruit
Sin, at its root, affects the very essence of our soul or “heart.” As such, it is called original sin or inherited sin. The Bible says, “A person’s heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Sin is a desire and search for personal meaning and identity apart from God. It is the desire that there be no God to answer to. It is treating ourselves as God. It is an inability and unwillingness to aim our life and purpose toward God. And the bad root, our deceitfully sick heart, leads to bad or rotten fruit. It grows within ourselves and we also throw it at others: the worry, impatience, grudges, cheating, lust, etc. that we mentioned at the start of this article. We also throw it at God – ignoring Him; mistrusting, hating, or despising of His word; disrespecting Him as God, and not eagerly and joyfully worshiping Him. Just as energy drinks and muscle-building exercises do not remedy cancer, so also, on their own, no one can cure the poison of sin and the judgment it deserves. The Bible says, “All people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23), And “the wages of sin is death.”(Romans 6:23).
The good news is that God has not left us trapped in the poison of our separation from Him. He has come to our rescue Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a completely sin-free life and then gave Himself over to the judgment of God against sin. He received sins’ wage of death for everyone. His perfect sacrifice satisfied God’s just judgment against sin. The Bible says, “God made -Jesus- who had no sin to take on the sin of everyone that we might be declared righteous (sinless) in Him.” We could do nothing to remedy our sin ourselves, but faith in Jesus changes our attitude toward sin brings to our souls the remedy of His life lived and given for us. Romans 6:23 said, “The wages of sin is death, BUT THE FREE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.”
Sin separates from God; Jesus forgiveness reunites us with God. Sin results in death; Jesus forgiveness results in eternal life with Him. Sin harms relationships; Jesus forgiveness empowers the healing of relationships both with others and with God. This side of heaven, we humans will always deal with and struggle with sin. But the Bible assures us that “If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). At Christ Lutheran Church, Montrose, we take time to confess our sin regularly, and immediately following that confession, we recall the beautiful words that Jesus so often spoke to people He ministered to: “Your sins are forgiven. Be at peace.” We warmly invite you to visit and receive the promise of that forgiveness for yourself. With us, find true comfort and rest for your soul freely flowing from the forgiveness of the Savior.