Today: 02 October 2014
 
 

  

Sin 

Sin’s a funny word. Maybe you’re thinking of the words of a ranting TV evangelist; a really big crime, like murder; a cult horror movie, maybe...? Perhaps it seems like a really old-fashioned and cheesy word.

Ask someone on the street if they’re a sinner and they’ll think you’re a religious nut. But ask if they ever get up to things they shouldn’t… well, they’ll probably start to look a bit shifty.

Many of us have a hard time
thinking of ourselves as
sinners

And that’s all that sin is: doing stuff that God says you shouldn’t—which is why ‘sin’ isn’t always the same thing as ‘crime’ (although they often overlap). And we all do it! Every single person who’s ever walked the earth has been a sinner, except Jesus.

Unlike crime, there are no degrees of sin. No sin is ‘worse’ than any other—which is important, because since we’re all sinners, none of us can be better than anyone else. And if we think we don’t sin, or only do it a bit, or not very big ones, we’re just kidding ourselves.

Sin really means ‘distance from God’. Every time we sin, we take a big step away from him. And he hates that: he wants us close by, so he can have a loving relationship with us and keep a watchful eye over our safety.

Except that, compared to a parent, God’s more concerned with our spiritual wellbeing than the physical kind. He cares about that, too but it’s getting to the end of our lives in a safe spiritual condition that matters. One day, a judgment will be made: did we accept or reject Jesus? It’s not about how much we sinned, but whether we repented and accepted Jesus as the sacrifice for our sin.

You have to be pure and clean to be able to spend eternity with God, though; you can’t drag all that sin into somewhere so holy. So first you have to unload it all. There’s nothing you can do to unload it—only God is powerful enough to take care of that. So he let his own Son take the punishment on the cross, once and for all, to save you from having to be punished.

The Romans put Jesus on the cross to get him back for stirring things up. But once he was up there, God let Jesus take the rap for every sin that’s even been done. From the beginning of time to the end of time; every man, woman and child who has ever lived, in every country—Jesus paid a heavy price for all their sins. And yours. And mine.

Jesus bought you a never-ending free pass into heaven. Our own task is much simpler: to take hold of that pass and use it. To try and understand what he did for us (although we never really can), to say thanks, to say sorry, and to believe in our forgiveness. This will bring us into real relationship with God, and into eternal life. Not to do that would be a tragedy for us—and for him.

 

Explore this subject in more depth

Pray: Lord, it’s hard to think of myself as a ‘sinner’, although I know that I do more wrong things than I care to admit. I need to see that when I do these things I wound myself, other people, and you; I need to start seeing them as sins. Help me to change my attitude on this. I am sorry for all my sins, and I ask for your gracious forgiveness. Amen.

Look up in the Bible how Jesus measures 'degrees of sin'

Look up what the Bible says about people who think they’re not so bad…

Look up God’s promises to you in Psalm 103

Watch the trailer for the movie Late One Night

Watch a video clip about sin

Watch a movie clip from Sister Act

Watch the Newsboys’ music video I Am Free

Read the book Just Love: Why God Must Punish Sin by Ben Cooper

Read the book Good News for Bad People by Roy Hession

Download the song The Lord is Gracious and Compassionate by Vineyard UK (iTunes)

 


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