The word “Sin” is bandied about with such casual abandon that for many in our society, it has completely lost its’ meaning. For those who are “outside” of the church – and even for too many within the church – both the term “Sin” and its’ sibling, “Sinful” seem to mean something to the effect of “forbidden fun”. Forbidden by whom? The answer to that question has come to depend upon context.
If you look up “Sin” in the dictionary, you will find it described as “breaking / violating / transgressing the law of God.” Another definition is “willful disobedience to God’s law(s) – which naturally flows to yet another definition, “rebellion against the authority of God”. Going back to the original language, to sin is to “miss the mark”.
What “mark” would that be? God’s perfect will. Honestly, though, for most people, most of the time, that meaning is so cloudy that it is pretty much meaningless. Afterall, what is God’s will? If you ask 20 people, you may get 20 different answers. That’s why our loving Lord gave an actual written code to His people. Even if you didn’t grow up “in church”, you may recall something of the story. At the least, many people have seen the movie, “The Ten Commandments”.
The Law of God
The original Ten Commandments were the first written Law of God. These commandments gave us a glimpse at the character of God and an idea of what God’s will is. Much later, during His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus summarized the commandments in just two commandments:
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.'” (Matthew 22:40).
So, we are to love God with all our heart and love our neighbors as ourselves. If you read through the Bible, you will get a better and better understanding of what it means to love God and love your neighbor. And yet, “The Law” alone can’t guide you to “God’s perfect will for your life”. It helps you to get moving in the right direction, but to find His Perfect will, you need additional guidance.
As soon as you get serious about knowing God’s Law, you will discover that you have fallen short of the mark! In other words – even if you didn’t intentionally rebel against God, you have sinned. You have “missed the mark”. The truth is that you have already “blown it”, and can’t possibly achieve the goal of “God’s perfect will for your life. Neither can I – or anyone else for that matter. No one’s perfect. You need “The Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
Gospel? What’s That?
In simplest terms, “Gospel” means “Good News”. Request personal prophetic word The beginning of the gospel is expressed succinctly in Romans 3:23-24, “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,… ” To be justified means to be declared right with God. If you think of it in terms of a trial, being justified is like the judge declaring you innocent of all charges. That sounds pretty good doesn’t it? It is, but how does this happen?
Forgiven Of Our Sins
God is a just God. He can’t just forget about our sin or dismiss it. The penalty had to be paid for the crime. So, Jesus, the Son of God, came down to us, lived a perfect life, and then took our sin upon himself. He was killed on a cross to take the punishment for our sins, the punishment of death each of us should receive. He took paid the penalty for us so that we could be forgiven. So, now, if we believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior from our sins, we are forgiven and declared right with God.
And what must you do to receive this? Just believe. As the verse above says, this is a free gift of grace (grace meaning to receive something you do not deserve or earn).
God offers us forgiveness apart from our works. However, the rest of the good news is that God has promised the assistance of His Holy Spirit, who will function as a personal guide for each individual who truly desires and requests His help. (See Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9)
The amazing news is that Jehovah – Creator of the Universe – has promised to personally lead YOU – and ME – and each person who believes in Him and seeks Him!
We naturally want to please the people that we love. It follows that if we love the Lord, we want to please Him. If we are thankful for the forgiveness that He freely gave us, we would want to respond by following His will. These works don’t save us, they are just our loving response to a loving God. And we won’t ever perfectly follow the will of God. Thankfully, the forgiveness we have through faith in Jesus covers those sins as well.