Sin 13: A Proper View of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 10, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

After spending multiple weeks examining various false teachings we face within today’s Christian community in how they view sin and the deadly consequences of such ideas, I want to come back and bring this full circle. I spent five weeks describing what sin is, where it came from, what it does, and what its cost is to open the series. Then I spent seven weeks dealing with what sin is not and what happens when we get it wrong. Today, I will return to what sin truly is. From here, we’ll go into how we should respond to sin.

I opened up by discussion how the very term “sin” means to “miss the mark.” It is an archery term for missing the target. It’s not merely missing the bullseye (though that is what is expected from a pure, holy God) but missing the target entirely. But sin goes much deeper than that. Sin utterly rejects the target as the standard. It is not merely missing the standard; it is defying the standard. Sin intentionally seeks its own target. The lie of the serpent at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is ever present: “And you shall be as God.” Even since that moment, man has sought to be his own arbiter of reality. He seeks to define things by his own desires and thus has a God complex. This applies to every person, even me. We all think we are right, and we all think we have the ability to judge and discern what is right and wrong for ourselves. This is not a new philosophy that has merely revealed itself in post-modernism but is the malady of all mankind ever since man fell. Man is a terrible arbiter of truth when self is the standard. We’ll explore why as we go.

In missing the mark, sin has several characteristics. It violates God’s plan or purpose for any object, teaching, or idea. I’ll use sexuality as an example here as this certainly is an issue that our youngest children are being forced to face. God designed sexual activity to be for one man and one woman to engage in only within the confides of Biblical marriage, with the primary function of intimacy and procreation. If both spouses in the marriage fully obeyed God’s commandments regarding marriage and sexuality, neither of them will ever have to worry about any STDs. When any person chooses to engage in any form of sexuality outside the marriage bed, even if that person is going to be their spouse, that is a violation of God’s timing regarding sexuality, and that is a sin. If done with someone who is not that spouse, then it is violation of God’s purpose of sexuality, and that is a sin. If done with other body parts other than what they are intended for, then that is a violation of the function of said body parts, and that is also why Paul says these aren’t just sins against God but also sins against your body. Sin violates God’s plan, purpose, function, and timing for any activity or object or gift He has given us.

When we violate these purposes and functions, things are going to go wrong. We call this natural law. It is said that steam-powered technology tends to never break on its own, and when it does, it is nearly always due to misuse of the system. The same is true with us. When we violate what God intends us to do, when we miss the mark, it is a misuse of God’s gifts and the result leads to broken equipment or catastrophic failure, which is death. God is not a mean, harsh judge just looking for a reason to strike people down. He often lets man go about his business and sin as he desires, but not without consequences. In a way, God is saying, “If you want to do that, go ahead, but don’t think I didn’t warn you, and don’t expect an easy out from it.” Sin produces death, both as a consequence and as a sentence. Death of every kind: spiritually, physically, economically, socially, politically, and in every sense of the term. Sometimes the death is instant; sometimes the process of death begins. It’s not an unfair punishment either. If we really saw the weight of sin and how severe it is, we’d take this much more seriously.

Death is not merely the punishment of sin; it is also the fruit of sin. Where sin goes, death follows. Sometimes it is evident; sometimes it is not. John does indicate sins that lead to death that you must call out immediately and sins that do not lead to death that there is grace for. But he’s talking about something else. He’s talking about the types of sin that, if left unchecked, will truly destroy the church, contrasted with sins that are remnants of the old sinful self and which are being warred against. Let’s go back to sexuality for an example. Homosexuality in particular is especially heinous. It is one of the few sins singled out as an utter abomination to God, but also one of the few sins that was marked as the key reason for divine judgment. But it’s more than that. It does devastating damage to the body. The average lifespan of a man in a homosexual lifestyle is about ten years shorter than that of a heterosexual. That’s no laughing matter. When we violate God’s purpose and intention, the consequences only stack up.

I say this next thing not as an insult but it goes back to my earlier series on apologetics and namely on 2 Timothy 2:24-26. One thing that leaped out to me was that the lost person is not thinking straight. They are not in their right mind. God needs to grant them repentance so that they may come to their senses. Check out this list of terms that describe the sinful mind:

The shocking discovery can be best grasped in the following twelve different negative New Testament words that describe the ruin of man's intellectual capacity.
1. Romans 1:28: debased
2. 2 Cor 3:14: hardened
3. 2 Cor 4:4: blinded
4. Eph 4:17: futility
5. Eph 4:18: darkened
6. Col 1:21: hostile
7. Col 2:4: deluded
8. Col 2:8: deceived
9. Col 1:18: sensuous
10. 1 Tim 6:5: depraved
11. 2 Tim 3:8: corrupted
12. Titus 1:15: defiled
~Richard Mayhue: Think Biblically! page 39

Sin destroys the brain. It destroys the ability to see, think, reason, process, and care. Look at the majority of villains in books and movies. Most villains aren’t evil just because they are evil. Most actually think they are actually doing the right and the best thing. Thanos really thought he was doing the right thing by wiping out half of mankind in Infinity War. So it is with each of us. We each think we are doing what is right in our own eyes. Yet because of our sin, we cannot properly discern what is right or wrong.

The last thing I’ll look at here is that anything that is not done in faith is sin. Anything we say or do without trusting God and believing Him is actually a result of believing something or someone other than God. Guess what we call that? Idolatry, which is a violation of the 1st and 2nd commandments. Any time we say something that does not have its origin in what God has revealed and trust in that truth, it is not from God and is therefore of sin. Any time we do something because we believed what someone said and it does not agree with what God has said, that is believing a lie and that is sin. Eve was deceived; she believed a lie. To believe a lie is a result of sin. There is grace to a degree in this, but if we continue believing what we know to be lies and we have been told they are lies by honest Bible-believing Christians, that is sin.

Every aspect of sin is deadly, and every one of us is guilty of it. We all deserve death. We all deserve Hell. And let me make this clear: if we believed and followed Christ every day for the rest of our lives, and God were to still send us all to Hell anyway, He would be righteous and just to do it. And so, the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Why should God save us? Why should God give us mercy? He has no obligation to do so. Yet He has chosen to offer us mercy. So what do we do about our sin? What should our response be when God in His great mercy towards us convicts us of our sin? That is for the next few weeks, but first, sin has an immediate side-effect that forces us into action: shame. How we respond to the shame of our sin defines our relationship with Christ.

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