The concept of sin is so misunderstood both inside and outside of the church today. Could it be because it is of such great importance for us to understand, the deceiver has made it a priority to cloud our thinking about it since the beginning? Genesis 3:1b “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
His two favorites seem to be that “God doesn’t care about sin” or that “God is angry with you because of sin”. These two beauties have served the father of lies well in his quest to confuse and alienate God’s children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I like Steve Brown’s (of Keylife) summary of God’s attitude toward sin: “God loves you just the way you are, and He loves you too much to leave you that way.” The truth is that God cares a great deal about sin. Why else would He send his only Son to earth to give His life to take away our sins? (1 John 3:5) There was no other way to deal with it. The only Son of God had to give His life on the cross. By His stripes we were healed. That was a pretty costly price to pay for something that doesn’t matter much to God, don’t you think?
Nonetheless, God is not angry at us because of sin. God created us in His own image. He loves us with a profound love. Sin makes Him angry, but not at us, He’s angry at sin. The reason God hates sin is that it separates us from Him. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
The day sin came into the world, it drove mankind away from God. Adam and Eve, once they disobeyed and became aware of sin, were ashamed, afraid and tried to hide themselves from God (just as many of us hide from Him today). They no longer walked with Him in the garden in the cool of the day, as was their eternal destiny. Since then, the end game of God has always been to call us back to a love relationship with Him again. He still calls out to us today, as we hide in shame: “where are you?” He wants us to walk with Him once again. Fellowship with the creator is the reason we were created. This is why we feel so empty when we realize we have been hiding from Him in sin. There’s a God shaped hole that no amount of sin will fill. Eventually it becomes painful enough that we run back to Him in repentance.
The key to the gospel message is in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned…”
If all God wanted to do was point out sin in our lives and reject us because of it, couldn’t He have done that through the law? Instead, God sent His own Son “not to condemn the world” but to save the world through Him. By His death, Jesus accomplished what no one else ever could nor ever will: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
Because of Jesus sacrifice, sin has the power to separate us from God no more. As the Apostle Paul puts it: “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
Jesus death on the cross was not just a “pound of flesh” that God needed because of our sin. The miracle of the cross is that it was the ultimate act of love meant to stir our hearts in such a way that we will do whatever it takes to walk with God again. As we look intently into the tremendous love and the costly grace displayed for all eternity by that event, it has the power to release us from hiding and change our desires, making us want to please our God more than we want the fleeting gratification of sin.
Jesus work on the cross made it so no amount of sin can separate us from God ever again, but if a person is walking with God in the glow of His unconditional love, what makes them want to sin again? The deceiver is still trying to convince us that God doesn’t care about sin. As we come to our senses and step away from the pig troughs of this world, instead of condemnation, we will hear the gentle voice of the creator calling “Adam, where are you? Let nothing keep us apart ever again, go and sin no more.”
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About the author:
Don is a friend of God who lives in rural New Hampshire. His mission is to be kind, complimentary and teachable; to live with integrity as a team player always serving, growing and learning. He has been the recipient of amazing amounts of mercy and grace, is surrounded by great friends and family and hopes to share the love he’s experienced with others.