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What is Sin?

What is sin? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me…no more. If you didn’t sing that in tune I may have to question our friendship. 😂

But seriously, let’s take a look at what sin is. It is easy to think of sin as a list of negative actions or thoughts to avoid. Some even think that God looked down and said “oh they are just having too much fun, let me take away their enjoyment!” Not true at all. 

Sin is actions and thoughts that damage our souls. All sin has a consequence. God adores us so much that he desires to protect us from not only consequences but also soul wounds. 

In the Old Testament it was believed that if someone had a physical affliction, it was a clear sign of sin. The Hebrew word for sin chata, in its most basic meaning isn’t actually religious. The basic connotation is a failure to meet a goal. All sin boils down to a failure to love God above ALL ELSE and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most sin derives from us placing ourselves in the driver’s seat.

Let’s go back to the beginning. In Genesis when God banished Adam and Eve, it can seem like a harsh directive to us. The assumption becomes, if you make a mistake and fall for the lies of the enemy, God cuts you off from all of the good stuff. But let’s dig into this.

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Gen 3:23 Each translation presents this differently but in the original text, it uses the word garash which means to drive out. In other places of scripture, it holds a connotation of redemption. If God had left them in the garden they would have eaten the fruit that would have given them immortality. I know that sounds super cool but imagine being trapped in this sinful body for all eternity with no hope of redemption. No atonement. Just constant repercussions.

God saw the bigger picture and desperately wanted to protect and save His children. God was driving us away from destruction and eternal separation from Him. When you see a child about to touch a hot stove, what do you do? You intervene! Your natural inclination is to prevent that child from experiencing such hurt. You are fully aware of what a hot stove can do, but a child may not, and they may assume you are preventing them from living their best life. The truth is that you are only protecting them. Does it make more sense now?

The Apostle Paul uses the Greek word hamartia to describe sin as a power or force that rules humans and compels us to do things we don’t want to do (Romans 6:6; 7:15-16).

Sin has a grip on our flesh but not our spirit. Sin can damage and marr our souls. God wanted to prevent this and is still working to protect and turn us away from such devastation. Just as the illustration of protecting a child from danger. God is continually ushering us away from that which causes us pain and we keep going right back like a clueless toddler.

If we truly knew the exact consequences of sin, we wouldn’t buck so hard against the boundaries God has set in place for us. We would beg God to continue in His protection against our foolishness. Consider this. We often hear the story of Job presented as a holy man that came under attack from the enemy simply because he was a man of God. I grew up admiring Job and still do but I view the story totally different now that I study the bible for myself. 

Yes, Job was a Godly man. I am not disputing that. However, most pastors and teachers will paint a picture of a man who has never sinned because God called him blameless. The original language used here is Tam. Strong’s definition of this is

  1. complete, morally innocent, having integrity
    1. one who is morally and ethically pure

If you truly pay attention to the way Job is speaking to his friends after these devastating events took place in his life, he is revealing that his struggle was pride. Because he was a man of God who lived a righteous life he started feeling pretty good about himself. I am not judging, I have been there!

Please don’t misunderstand me here. I still believe Job was man fully devoted to God and completely adored by God. Remember when God said that David was a man after God’s own heart? David committed murder and adultery. And yet God continued to adore him. God desires a repentant heart. The only way we can break free from the yoke of bondage to specific sins, is by allowing the power and anointing of God to do the heavy lifting.

If we refer back to the original language of blameless (Tam) we can see that part of the meaning is complete and coupled together. The fuller context in Job 1:1 is, “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” So, the description of Job being “blameless and upright” is linked to the fear of God and the avoidance of evil. Job and David we centuries before Christ. Their atonement was not gained through the cross. They were fallible humans and yet God saw them as complete. He labeled them as men of integrity. Why?

Both men had an intimate bond with God and would repent when they stepped away from him and into their flesh. These men constantly chose God above their struggles with world temptations. That is what God honors. Not someone who is in denial and showing up in their Sunday best quoting Bible verses. He desires a repentant heart that relies on Him.

Pride is the most dangerous sin. It is sneaky and it is the very reason Lucifer fell as an angel. Pride was the opening that the enemy needed to have permission to attack Job. Now if he can wreck the life of this good man over pride, how many doors could I have open to that sneaky Pete? Sin also keeps us out of the presence of God. That may not sound like much but believe me, it’s a big deal! God is our provider, our protector, our Father. He is our all in all. My life is desolate without the presence of the living God. 

We are covered by the death and grace of Jesus Christ, which is why we have direct access to the throne room. But when we allow sin to fester like an oozing sore, it causes a gap in our relationship with God. We begin to lose strength and direction. Our joy and peace become depleted. Friends let me tell you, this is no way to live!

My hope, my prayer is that this article gives you a different perspective of sin so that you can continue in your personal relationship with the King of Kings. I pray the holy spirit gives you a revelation that causes you to hunger for righteousness rather than feeling deprived of fun. 

I am a writer and an ordained minister. I grew in very toxic environments. After prolonged intensive abuse I now have C-PTSD. I have overcome so many obstacles and been able to heal and grow by facing my past and processing it in a healthy way. I am still a work in progress but I have come farther than I ever thought would be possible.

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