What exactly is sin?

Sin is a lack of love to God and others.

No other book deals so thoroughly with the subject of sin as the Bible does, because no other book deals so thoroughly with its remedy. Sin is always serious, because it separates us from God who is holy. It brings its condemnation on us. We were created to know God in a personal way, and yet

Sin is primarily a lack of love: both to God and to others. It results in the breaking of God’s commandments. It is missing the mark, or falling short of God’s requirements. It is a deviation from all that is right – an act of wilful disobedience to God. The Bible pictures sin in different ways:

It is like a burden too heavy for us to carry;
It is like bondage from which we cannot free ourselves;
It is like dirt from which we cannot cleanse ourselves;
It is like a debt we owe God but can never pay;
It is like a disease from which we cannot find a cure.

Yet Jesus said about himself, ‘The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.’ (Mark 2:10).

Because Christ is the sin-bearer, the burden can be removed;
Because He is the Sovereign, the bondage can be broken;
Because He is the Saviour, the dirt can be cleansed;
Because He is the Guarantor the debt has been paid;
Because He is the soul’s Physician, the disease can be cured.

Our lives are often like a waste-bin which is bursting out and overflowing with all types of rubbish and dirt. The Bible says, ‘Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of wrath, self ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revels, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practise such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Galatians 5:19-21)

When God is beginning to speak to an individual he or she begins to become aware that they are sinful in the sight of God. After all, He is holy, we are not. God diagnoses us as sinners that He might cure us. He wants to take away guilt and give us new life in the Lord Jesus. God says, ‘Come now, and let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ (Isaiah 1:18).

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