Today is Good Friday the day we all celebrate Jesus’ Christ death on the cross for the Sin of all mankind.
This year, for the Easter weekend, I am going to be releasing a new blog post reflecting on each day and sharing from what I am learning.
So for today’s post, I am going to be tackling that whopper of a subject. I will be explaining sin and what I know so far about it as well as discussing strategies for handling sin.
My answers have all been synthesised from the Word of God with the light of the Holy Spirit but I know in part and learn from the revelations of other brothers and sisters in God.
What is sin?
Sin is anything that falls short of God’s glory, beauty and perfection. Anything that misses the mark of God’s glory in thought, word and action.
Sin is both a state of being outside the love of God and an act that is outside of the love of God.
An act of sin can either be one of omission or commission.
In the eyes of God there is no small or big sin, rather there is just sin! For example, in God’s eyes a murderer is as much involved in sin as someone who ‘just had’ a naughty thought.
All mankind have sinned as sin entered our nature through an act of that was displeasing to God committed by the first conscious humans; Adam and Eve.
Is sin based on the law or not?
From my current level of understanding, my answer is it’s both. I’ll explain.
What an individual does or does not do that displeases God is personalised for the most part.
For example, sin for me might be watching the news because it raises my anxiety but for another person, it’s not a sin.
This is why we need to be careful with calling other people sinners or judging others.
However, to give us a contextual boundary, so that we don’t metaphorically fall over the edge and use grace as an excuse for sin, there are a group of regulations, which were given to Moses in the Bible but, have also been written on every human heart.
Almost every human culture abides by some form of these laws as they are in many ways, innate. They are where we derive our moral compass from and are known as the Ten Commandments.
They give us clear guidelines to know the things that definitely displease God. Contravening any of these commandments, is therefore a sin. See the addendum for these laws.
What is the problem with sin?
Sin introduces a block in our relationship with God and gives access for evil into our world.
God the Father is also a judge and has to allocate consequences to sin (although his Holy Spirit softens judgement with mercy).
The broken state of humanity and the natural world is a direct consequence of sin.
Who is a sinner?
A sinner is someone who has not accepted the love of God through Jesus’ sacrifice
It is not primarily about actions but about the state of a human heart in connection with God
Who is a saint?
Anyone who has accepted the love of God through Jesus’ sacrifice and automatically receives the indwelling Holy Spirit.
By doing this, the human spirit is immediately fully restored to a righteous state by the blood of Jesus.
Can a Saint sin?
Yes, whilst the process of grace is ongoing by the Holy Spirit to fully unravel the sinful layers in our souls and bodies, saints can sin because of the natural sinful nature in our souls and bodies
Over time, this should be less frequent as the process progresses but this is dependent on our level of honesty and humility which creates openness to the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts
When a saint sins, it puts a temporary block between us and God. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin which makes us repent. When we repent, we confess our sins to God and the block is removed by the blood of Jesus.
Why does God allow people to sin?
God gave humanity a choice so that they could have a true relationship on an equal footing
In order for us to be able to choose to love Him, God had to cede control of the earthly realm to humanity
However, in choosing sin, humanity in turn ceded our control to the evil one
It is not God that introduced evil on earth and continues to allow evil to be perpertrated; it is humanity
How to avoid sin?
In ourselves, we can’t. There is no one good but God.
The only thing that comes close to purity in religion is defined as caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt one’s self.
This is why we traditionally view monks and nuns as holy and, those of them who operate by grace, are some of the best examples we have of true Christians. But, as has been shown in many exposés, without grace, even locking one’s self from the world does not stop lust, pride or envy from coming out in sometimes very destructive ways.
This is why living by Grace is vital. When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us and immediately restores our spirits to a state of righteousness. Then begins the life-long process to remove our sinful nature from our souls and bodies.
We do not need to lock ourselves up in monasteries to truly care for the poor and bereft or to stop ourselves being corrupted by the world, we only need divine grace.
To overcome sin and reverse the damage caused by sin in the world, we must access the Holy Spirit’s power as a spiritual weapon against the evil one and reclaim the earth for our God.
How do we do this?
Jesus explained that the law can be summarised into two loving God and loving others.
Instead of focusing on not sinning, let us focus on loving God and loving others, in doing so, we embrace grace and the sin effortlessly falls off without us even trying.
It is the Spirit of God that helps us distinguish between what is holy and what is sinful and what is clean and unclean, it is mostly a personalised walk.
Infact, just like Jesus, to the holy most things are holy. It is our state of heart and level of walk with the Holy Spirit that determines what is clean or unclean outside of the Ten Commandments.
Why is this important?
Our world is slowly degenerating under the weight of the sin of humanity. Millions are suffering from disease, poverty and starvation. Millions more can no longer handle the mental exhaustion of modern life and finally, nature is descending into chaos with climate change.
There is an interesting conversation in the bible between God and Abraham. Sodom and Gomorrah is full of sin and God in his righteous judgement is planning to go and punish the sin. However, He decides to tell Abraham about it (I think this was the wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit to have the legal precedent documented in Scripture for humans to be able to reclaim the earth from the evil one). Then Abraham begins to negotiate for the minimum number needed to spare the cities. He starts of at 50 people and negotiates down to 10 people. But even 10 could not be found and so the cities were destroyed.
This sets a legal precedence. If just a small minority of the world can choose to love God and overcome sin, our world can be saved.
What Should I Do Now?
Ask yourself an honest question, how far has trying really hard not to sin taken you?
Or another honest question, how far has trying to be good taken you?
If your answer is not very far that’s good, you are ready for the next step.
Accept Jesus’ Sacrifice for your sins and receive the Holy Spirit inside you.
Begin to learn the life-long, mysterious, personalised, unforced rhythm of Grace that the Holy Spirit choreographs with you to take you into glory!
If a small percentage of us can do it, then our world can be reclaimed for God
So what are you waiting for?
All of creation is waiting on us.
Scriptural References (more available on request)
The Ten Commandments
1)Worship no god but me.
2) Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth.
3) Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the LORD your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name.
4) Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy.
5) Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you.
6) Do not commit murder.
7) Do not commit adultery.
8) Do not steal.
9)Do not accuse anyone falsely.
10) Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.””
Exodus 20:3-4, 7-8, 12-17 GNB
‘All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are. Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have. ‘ Romans 8:19-21 GW
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
Romans 3:23 NLT