If we did not have the Word of God from which to draw the facts concerning sin we would be utterly confused. Men have many and varied ideas as to what constitutes sin - or whether sin even exists. God not only tells us the facts about sin but also shows us the results of sin, and the possibility of being delivered from sin and its power.
As we have already seen in the previous section, sin began in the Garden of Eden. Man's disobedience of God's directives introduced sin into man's experience. This first instance also gives us an insight into the basic content of sin. one could say that the reality of sin is seen in man's desire to act and live independently of God, and to disobey God. As we see sin as revealed in the Word, may we become deeply and personally conscious of it's presence in our lives. Together with this may we also see God's adequate provision for the removal of sin and the ability of the believer to live victoriously above sin.
Sometimes a truer meaning can be derived when we consider the matter negatively. What is sin not? Sin is not a chance happening, not an accident. The Bible declares that sin results from an act of disobedience. Romans 5:12. Sin is not merely a weakness because we are created beings, not merely a defect for which we cannot be blamed. We are conscious, personal beings with an ability to make a choice. neither is sin only an absence of good or a lack of positive righteousness. There are forms of sin which are malignant and aggressive Romans 7:14.
Positively considered sin is found to mainly consist in the alienation of the heart from God, and then expressing itself in many and varied ways. Man has an obligation to God for he traces his origin back to God according to the facts of Scripture. Failure to meet these obligations is sin. What are some of these obligations? Consider significantly-dependence, worship, and thanksgiving. We will not pursue the details of these at this point. A little thought, meditation, and reflection will, we believe, make this clear.
God has a standard that is absolute and never needs to be updated or improved. Because of the weakness of our human flesh we are unable to measure up to that divine standard. This is coming short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. Even if our ability was such that we could keep from doing bad things, we would still fail to meet our obligations to God. t is not only refraining from doing evil, but doing all the good and noble things that we should and could do which constitutes the standard requirement. James 4:17 Allowing a widening distance between our soul and God is considered as backsliding and this too is identified with sin and iniquity. Jeremiah 14:7; Isaiah 59:1-2.
We are not merely dealing with some force or law when we deal with man's relationship to God. God is personal. This involves feeling, character, attitudes. Sin on man's part thus also involves wrong attitudes toward the person of God. Thought of foolishness - Proverbs 24:9 (this would likely refer to thoughts that are dishonoring to God;) practice of pride and arrogance - Proverbs 21:4; murmuring against God - Numbers 21:7.
These facts lead us then to a consideration of sin as wrong action in relation to the will of God. God's will is supreme. When we consider that God is holy and has the greatest good at heart for His people, man need not be afraid of the will of God. However, because of our basic tendency toward an independent spirit concerning God's control, and a stubborn nature, we react wrongly to what God wills for us. This rebellion and stubbornness is a manifestation of sin. 1 Samuel 15:23. There are some matters which may be questionable whether they are sinful or not. Indulgence is these areas will bring condemnation. Romans 14:23; 1 John 3:18-22. The law of God fixes the line between good and evil. Crossing over that line at any point constitutes sin. Lawlessness is sin. 1 John 3:4.
Sin will also affect the lives of other people. Our relation to one another is affected by sin. This reveals itself in an attitude of favoritism where our dealings are on the basis of personal gain or satisfaction rather than mercy or merit for the person. James 2:9. It is also shown in the envy and despising our neighbor. Proverbs 14:21.
Even nature around us has been, and continues to be affected by sin. Only when man accepts God's redemption to work out its benefits can man find proper relations between himself and his God, his fellow man, and his world.
From the considerations there would scarce be need of mentioning that sin is a fact with which man must reckon. God does not excuse sin, nor does he ignore or overlook it. He has dealt with it in the redemptive work at Calvary, and deals with it individually as He is permitted. The following Scripture references can be of help to further establish the fact of sin's presence in the world.
The results of sin are especially felt and seen in its effects on man. Everyone is affected. Ecclesiastes 7:20 declares that there is no one who escapes the fact of sin. Consider these foloowing statements with accompanying Scripture to further realize the reality of sin and its dire consequences.