To begin understanding anything, it’s good to start with defining what it is. In this case, “sin” is the topic, and God’s Word clearly defines what it is. It is transgression of God’s law.
1 John 3:4-5 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
In the Garden of Eden, Eve became the first human example of this when she succumbed to the temptation of the serpent (Gen 3:4-6). The result of one act showed us how foul sin really is. Adam and Eve both were living a comfortable life, and in a matter of moments, everything changed. That one act blossomed into more sin, as Adam followed, and has continued to blossom throughout history to an amount of sin that would be incalculable by any of us.
Sin Is Destructive Failure
I’ve caught myself at times of frustration using foul language. It’s not something I like to do, but it can also be easy to take out a sudden jolt of anger, by swearing at whatever it was that was upsetting. Almost instantly, I start feeling bad about what I had done, as I know what God’s Word says about this.
James 3:5-9 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
That foul language is sin and is the equivalent of deadly poison. Instead of using it to praise God, it’s being used, like an venomous snake, to agitate the situation even more. Instead, my course of action should’ve been to praise God with my mouth and let Him help me through whatever the issue was. That solution is constructive, compared to swearing which is sinful, destructive, and has the potential to blossom into something worse, like that which happened in the Garden of Eden.
God’s Law Versus Sin
In the Old Testament, we often identify God’s Law through the Ten Commandments. So I would like to take a look at them and see how I can apply what I already know about what sin is and how it affects things.
We have four commandments that are about honoring God (Exodus 20:3-11)
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy.
If I were to honor other gods, make graven images, use my tongue to spew deadly poison about God, or not remember the Sabbath day, as God even did as an example to us on the seventh day, there is no win anywhere. Other gods won’t give me salvation, making graven images isn’t going to bring me closer to God, using my tongue inappropriately about God isn’t going to solve any problems and puts me in a position of rebellion, and to ignore the Sabbath would be like telling God His example wasn’t good enough, when I fully understand it was perfect. There’s no advantage to taking the sin route anywhere in this.
Next we have six commandments that speak of how we relate to others around us (Exodus 20:12-17). Six is also a number commonly associated with man, as it was the sixth day that man was created.
5. Honor your father and mother
6. Thou shalt not murder.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor.
If we lived in a society where everybody honored their parents, there was no murder, families were stable and nobody was cheating on their spouse, you could leave your door unlocked when you were away because nobody would take your stuff, you never had to worry about your neighbor lying about you, and everybody was content with what they had, I think that would be a pretty good deal for everybody. However, sin is how we have deviated from that type of society. Even if someone wasn’t familiar with God’s Word, and you mentioned these laws to them, I’m sure most would be happy to live in a community where all of these things were upheld by its citizens 100 percent of a time.
Jesus Made It Simple
Sin complicates our lives. I mean, what else can it do? It’s transgression of what God’s design for His creation. It’s when we willingly malfunction. However, God knew this was coming, and He immediately revealed his solution.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Of course the seed of the woman who was brought in this world to bruise the head of the serpent was Jesus. He came to redeem us from our sin and restore that relationship between God and man. It is up to us to accept Him as our redeemer. When we get to that point, now it’s time to walk after the Spirit. This is how we avoid sin. Our desire from carnal things changes to a desire for spiritual things.
Romans 8:2-4 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Jesus made it even simpler. He condensed God’s Law into two commandments that would encompass all of it.
Mark 12:29-31 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
To me, this is mind blowing. Sin is transgression of the law, and the law is to love, so sin is actually the opposite of love, which completely makes sense, since God is love.
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
There is no winning with sin. When we do sin, we are not loving as we should. This could be in how we are loving God, as well as our neighbors. Actually, how we love our neighbors is a reflection of how we are choosing to love God, since He has commanded us to love our neighbors, and told us how to do so.
I know from plenty of firsthand experience how easy it can be to sin; but why? What are any of us accomplishing with it? Not much of anything! In fact, we’re probably just making things far worse. Instead, let’s start focusing on how we can incorporate God’s love into our lives. That is how we can turn any situation into a win. Thank you for reading and God bless.