As we read the NT, we come to a deeper understanding and ever clearer picture of sin and our role in it. We see why Christ died for us.
4 Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; 5 remove wicked officials [or the wickedness from the officials] from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness.
Even though we have been forgiven of all sin–past, present, and future–and have the Holy Spirit–Jesus Christ Himself–in residence in us, we still have a lot to learn about godliness–becoming like God. We need the wickedness removed from our hearts and from our flesh. Knowing that this process is a lifelong one and that it will not be fully completed this side of heaven, it is a daunting task. Aren’t we GLAD that it’s not about the process, but about our walking with Him through the process? We must constantly keep in mind that IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP. This fact is why we can sin and not break our relationship with Him. It DOES interfere with our fellowship, but that is easily restored when we turn around (repent) and fix our eyes, focus, and will back on Jesus.
Let’s take a look at sin and its effects on the human soul.
The first thing we need to do is to define sin. It is rebellion- “resistance to or defiance of any authority, control, or tradition.” We all need the term, “rebellious,” added to the term, “sinner,” so that it reads “rebellious sinner” each time we refer to the human heart before coming to Christ. We are dead in our sins, which means that we have no spiritual life in us, we are in the enemy’s camp, and we follow OUR desires, which are manipulated by Satan (Ephesians 2:1-3).
As grand as our lives may be, there’s something wrong. Our connection to God has been lost and our souls know it. We have a God-sized hole in our hearts; we may try to fill it with pleasure, stuff, power, and self-fulfillment, but our hearts know what is needed. How do we get that connection back? Do we WANT it back? Some people are content to buy Satan’s line that we can do it our way and either there is nothing after death or that God will let us into heaven anyway. We might even believe that we come back to earth as something or someone else (reincarnation). According to God’s own testimony, THAT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.
What are we willing to do and how far are we willing to go to be right with God? To answer this question, we look at Jesus Himself. He left heaven and all His glory to come to earth, live a humble life, be rejected by His own people, suffer, die on a cross, and be buried in a borrowed tomb. By the way, the reason it was borrowed is because He knew He wasn’t staying long. Kind of like an air BnB.
While we’re on the subject, what broke our relationship with God? SIN. Sin is our rebellion against God. We want our way instead of His way. We are rebellious sinners. The problem with sin is it destroys us, which is why God hates sin. Sin also separates us from God. We walk away from Him and straight into a tar pit, one that makes us filthy and sucks us down. We are stuck! We can’t clean ourselves off, nor can we clean others. No amount of good works or penance can do it. WE NEED JESUS. His blood is the ONLY thing that can cleanse us of our sin of rebellion. Once we are cleansed, then and only then can our relationship with God be restored. He even comes to live in our hearts and guides our lives! We have sweet fellowship with Him–just like it was always meant to be.
Knowing this “dirty little secret” about ourselves, we have a real appreciation and gratitude for all that Christ went through to get us back. The more we understand and comprehend our rebellious sinfulness and His great love and mercy, the more we want to put off our old nature and put on His new nature, the one that is “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24.
A very good description of us is found in Titus 3:3-7,
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
- We were slaves. It’s that simple. Satan ruled us. See John 8:42-44 for a further description.
- God saved us, washed away our sins, gave us new birth and new life through His Holy Spirit who now lives in us!
- We are right in His sight!!!
- We have confidence/faith that we will inherit eternal life.
Knowing these things makes us want to break out in praise like Paul in Romans 11:33-36,
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Abba, I join Paul in Your praise. You alone are worthy. May You become greater in my life as I become less. John the Baptist, indeed, had it right (John 3:30). Amen.