What Is Sin?

All though we are born corrupted by sin and spiritually dead to God; we sin because we want to sin- not because we have to sin. For, the Bible teaches that it is our own desires that give birth to our sinful actions, “…desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin…” (James 1:15). In like manner, Ephesians 2: 1-2 says that we “… were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you [we] once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body…” In both of these verses, we learn that all of our wrong doing goes back to our own inner longings and personal desires. We naturally want to do what we think will most benefit ourselves, and we always choose in accordance with the strongest desire which we have at any given moment. We all want our own way, and our own way is almost always opposed to God’s way. For, even when we want something that is good and right we usually want it for the wrong reasons. For example, we might want to be honest people, but we may want to be honest because it makes us feel good about ourselves, or because honesty is a trait that will make us look good to others. Or, maybe we want to be good mothers, but we may want to be a good mom just to prove our worth to ourselves or to another person. In both of those examples, we do not desire good behaviors because we love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, or strength (Luke 10:27). In these examples, what we want is the right thing, but we want the right thing for the wrong reasons. For, we want them for our own benefit- not for God’s glory. So, the prophet Isaiah was correct when He describe the human sin-condition like this: “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6 NLT).

Bottom line: We all sin and our sin kills everything that it touches. Sin warps, twists, and deceives human beings. Our sin natures cannot be satisfied, will not be quieted, and they never have enough. Sin hates everything good and desires everything evil. Sin robs innocence, assaults virtue, and betrays fidelity. Sin desecrates, destroys, and ravages the human soul. Sin is a deadly parasite feeding off of every human being; it is the death nail in every coffin, and it is most truly a festering infection of all fallen flesh. Sin rages against God’s authority, disdains the thought of submitting to the life-giving law of Christ, and subverts the purpose of God in humanity: to glorify His great name. For this reason, when we sin and when we are sinned against, we experience death in all of its various forms of spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational brokenness. It is like James 1:15 says, “…desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” Therefore, we must do everything that we can to avoid the treacherous paths of life which are entangled with weeds of sin. And, at all costs, we must “…also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

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