Sin, as a word is largely misunderstood by our culture. There are at least three broad connotations of the word from a biblical reference point. I have been thinking about this since my last series of posts on the Boy Scout’s decision to admit openly homosexuals into their organization. In response to those posts several people commented, “Homosexuality is not sin.” That statement caused me to think about what the Bible reveals about the whole concept of sin.
Sin, in its broadest sense is referring to a principle rather than a particular act. The sin principle would be since the “fall of mankind,” the world is broken. Life on the planet is not as it was created, in a perfect state. This concept is found throughout Scripture but one clear reference is Romans 8:20-21. “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” The sin principle touches every part of creation and each of us are impacted by it. The evidence of its presence is 100% of each generation dies. Plants die, animals die and people die. One of the greatest hopes through history is that heaven will be a place where this broken aspect of life will be corrected. Death will be no more, God will wipe all tears from our eyes!
Secondly, because of the sin principle, all humans are born with a sin nature. There is no evidence we inherit someone else’s sin, like our parents or even our first parents. What the Bible does teach is that all humans are born with a nature that is prone to walk away from God and His will for us. We are born with predispositions toward sin. Not everyone has the same predispositions. Some predispositions are a result of our parent’s life style patterns that we absorb just by living in the home. Some are more hardwired into us genetically, and some are there just because of the sin principle and things are broken. This idea of sin as a nature and the battle it causes can be seen in Galatians 5:19-22. The combination of the sin principle and the sin nature we are born with leads to the third use of sin.
We all commit personal acts of sin. One of the major words for this idea of sin literally means to miss the target. It is the picture of an archer aiming at a target and his arrow sticking in the ground ten feet short of the target. In the biblical view of life, God being the author of life gets to make the rules. Sin ultimately in all three forms is a violation of His character and nature. When He says don’t lie, it is because He is truth. His rules for life are found in His Book. Many of the truths are like a fence around the playing field. They are designed to give us room to live fulfilled lives and protect us from being hurt by what happens on the outside of the fence. The created ones don’t get to tell the Creator what is and is not outside His Divine Will. All humans, according to the Bible have missed the mark. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, as seen in Romans 6:23.
This is a brief overview of what the Bible teaches about sin. Now that we understand the concept in my next several blogs, I will teach some of the ramifications and ultimately the remedy for this dilemma we all live with.