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Articles

“The Seriousness of Sin”

The way we look at sin matters. And the lens through which we view sin matters. For example, a man committing adultery is said to be going through the stress of a mid-life crisis. The person addicted to drugs is said to be hostage to a chemical out of his control. A person who lies from time-to-time is just trying to make it through life. The fact is, humans do a "great" job of taking sin and, instead of seeing it as bad, wrong, and serious, turn it into something trivial and unworthy of lots of stress. But that's not the way God sees sin. As with all things, we must try to see sin the way God does and, according to His word, God sees sin as a very serious, very wrong thing.

First, sin is serious because it's a transgression of the law of God. John wrote, "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). Laws are in place in order to protect us and help us. When we disobey God's law through the transgression of His Holy edicts, we are not only seriously in violation of the law but we are also opening ourselves up to unnecessary danger.

Second, sin is serious because sin is the opposite of righteousness and we, as saints, have been called by God to be righteous. Peter wrote that we are to, "be holy" and in doing so, be more like God (1 Peter 1:16). Furthermore, the Bible instructs us that if we know what "right" is and then fail to "do" it, we are in sin (James 4:17).

Thirdly, we should see sin as a terribly sorrowful thing. In Psalm 38:18, David said that his sin caused him anguish. The same should be true of us but far too often, we pass over our sin without really thinking about the sorrowful nature of our actions and what it meant to disregard God's perfect will.

Fourth, sin is serious because of what it does to our relationship with God. According to the prophet, our sins cause us to be "separated" from God (Isaiah 59:2). The fact is that God doesn't want to be separated from us. After all, we are His creation which He specifically made in His own image (Genesis 1:26). But when we are no longer in a right relationship with Him, it is clearly of our own doing. In truth, we are the ones who move away from God by way of our choices and not the other way around!

Finally, we should grow to the place wherein we see sin seriously knowing that the ultimate result of sin is death. Paul wrote In Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. And elsewhere in the Bible we learn when sin goes unchecked and fully grows, the result is death (James 1:15). The notion that sin and death go hand-in-hand goes back to the beginning of time when God instructed Adam and Eve to refrain from sinning in the garden. We are privileged to serve a God who wants us to live and makes it possible for us to do so, if only by seeing the seriousness of sin as He has and always will.

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