The devastating effect of sin is separation of people from God. Isaiah 59:2 It cuts us off from his presence and corrupts our relationship with God, other people, and the environment.
Sin spills over into our relationships with other people. Instead of loving brothers and sisters, we have become rivals who exploit and enslave others. Since sin entered humanity, people have been using and abusing each other in ways God never wanted.
Another symptom of sin is the exploitation of the environment. Instead of looking after God’s creation, we have used it selfishly without care for the future.
Only Jesus can heal us from sin and restore us from brokenness.
Sin has us in a death grip, and we are powerless to overthrow it. The outcome of sin is always death. Romans 6:23 The only way to break free of certain death is to turn to Jesus and trust that he has offered his death in the place of ours, so that we can have his new life. 1 Peter 2:24 | Romans 8:1-2 | Romans 5:15-17 We need to admit that our ways have been wrong, and we want God’s right ways instead. This is called repenting: turning back to God and away from our sin. Acts 3:19 If we do that, God says that we will be saved from the eternal effects of our sin. Romans 6:22-23
We are saved from sin to be free from sin. Romans 2:4 As we continue to belong to Jesus and trust in him, he will continue to set us free from sin – although we have to want to resist it, or we’ll keep choosing to live in captivity. 1 Corinthians 10:13 | James 4:7 | 1 John 1:9 The enemy of God is always trying to trick us into thinking that walking in our own ways will offer us fulfilment, when actually every pleasure apart from God is empty. Ephesians 6:10-18 | 1 Peter 5:8-11
Claud C. Kluge says, “I have been saved from the penalty of sin. I am being saved from the power of sin. I will be saved from the presence of sin.” We won’t be completely free from the presence of sin in this life on earth. But we are promised that one day what is corrupt and broken will be removed and only what is good will take its place.
We can be happy that sin has lost the ultimate battle for us, and that as we learn to follow Jesus he will lead us into more and more freedom from sin, starting now.
Our best efforts at being good enough are filthy compared to his perfection, because we’ve all been corrupted by sin. Isaiah 64:6 The great news is that we don’t have to try to be good enough: we need to trust that we are made good enough through what Jesus did for us.
So what is sin and how do we trust in Jesus to remove it?
Sin is the breaking of the relationship between God and the people he created. We become sinful when we do not accept the place God gave us in creation (to worship him, care for people and the earth), but instead want to be our own god or invent our own gods, living in our own ways and deciding what is right and wrong. Sin is when we reject God’s way for our own way, his authority for our own authority.
We sin when we worship creation instead of worshipping God as creator. Adoring any thing or person other than God – essentially, giving the place of God to anything else – is a rebellion against a perfect relationship of Creator and created.
Sin is a condition, like a cancer that corrupts what is right and twists life towards death. Individual acts of sin are symptoms of the sickness. God gave the people of Israel the 10 Commandments to show them their sin through exposing the symptoms of their broken relationship with God. Exodus 20:1-17 | Romans 7:7 He was trying to show them that there was no way as sinful people they could live up to those commandments – instead, they needed to return to him and trust him to save them.