Sin is NOT the Issue

There is this idea in the church that sin is what is keeping people away from God when the truth is sin was dealt with a couple thousand years ago. It’s no longer an issue.

And yet there is a huge idea within much of Christianity that God is still angry about our sin today. On the extreme end of this twisted thinking we get people waving protest signs at funerals claiming that is still mad at certain people because of what they do. (Something tells me those sign wavers are in for a surprise when they step into eternity. I’m just saying.)

green snake

Adam & Eve were tempted by a snake in the garden.

Old Testament View

No doubt there are passages in the Old Testament that say God hates those who do evil. There are several in Psalms. Although to be fair most of the time, even in the Old Testament, the Bible says that God hates the sinful acts and not the person doing them.

There is a penalty attached with sin, no doubt. It’s pretty steep.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23

“The wages of sin is death.” When we do stuff that we know is wrong and it pulls at our conscious, that’s sin. And those wrong actions come with consequences.

Sometimes the consequences of sin might even be desirable. At first.

For example you can get a high from drugs or alcohol and that might feel pretty good. But several years as a chronic user or addict and you’ll end up with all sorts of bad things that weave into your whole life. It’ll affect your health, your relationships, your finances. That’s death moving in on you.

The same can be said for most any sin out there. The short term benefits tend to get far outweighed by the long term costs.

However, even though the costs are very real, those sins are not separating anyone from God today.

The Great Big ‘But’

Take a look at the second half of that verse up there. You see that big old ‘but’? It changes everything.

Sure the wages of sin is death. But.

But God offers everyone a free gift that deals with sin. It’s free for the taking and available to everyone who will accept the gift. Problem solved.

Thing is, it’s even bigger than that. The sin problem has been dealt with permanently. And for everyone, and not just those who accept the gift either.

John tells us this.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2

John’s talking about Jesus there and says that Jesus paid for everyone. Not just those who receive Him.

Sin no longer stands between humanity and God. It’s been dealt with. Done. Over. Problem solved. Absolutely and finally.

When Jesus said, “It is finished” moments before he died on the cross a couple thousand years ago He meant it is finished.

Sure sin still exists, and still has consequences. But it is not an issue between us and God anymore.

So What is the Issue?

Then does that mean everyone goes to heaven as some think? Nope. Here’s why.

A gift has to be given by someone and also it also has to be received by someone. God has already given the gift. That part’s a done deal.

However each of us has the option whether or not we choose to receive that gift. If we choose not to receive the gift then we don’t get to enjoy it’s benefits.

It’s that simple.

Refuse the gift and nothing changes. You stay separated from God. Your sin will eventually kill you and you’ll get to spend eternity the way you chose – separated from God in Hell.

Accept the gift and everything changes for you.

An Analogy

Let’s say I’m homeless living under a freeway bridge somewhere. And this insanely wealthy guy comes and finds me, says he wants to give me something.

mansion

Who would turn down a fully paid-for mansion?

He’s bought a huge multi-million dollar mansion, put it in my name. He tells me he’s covered all the expenses for that mansion forever. I’ll never have to worry about taxes, insurance, maintenance, staffing, groceries, cars, drivers, anything. Forever.

Oh, and he says that I’ll get an unlimited credit card along with it. I just swipe whatever I want to buy and I’ll never see the bill.

If I decide I want my own space shuttle it’s paid for.

Everything is set up. All I have to do is accept the keys he’s holding out to me and move into my new life.

After he does all that for me, let’s say I tell him, “No thanks. I’d rather keep living under this bridge.”

Can the wealthy man force me to accept his gift? If he tries to then it really isn’t a gift, is it?

It makes no sense that I’d rather live under a bridge than in an all expense paid mansion. Maybe I like the bridge life. Maybe mansions seem evil to me. Maybe I knew someone who lived in a mansion once and he was a real jerk and I think if I move into a mansion I’ll end up being like him.

Regardless at the end of the day it’s still my choice.

And that is a small picture of what God did for use through Jesus and His sacrifice. Refusing that gift is what separates us from God. Our sin is no longer a factor.

Comments

  1. added to the conversation

    Its about obedience and a righteous consciousness “If we walk in the spirit we will not fulfill the deception of the flesh” Jesus became flesh so we would become spirit based on His sacrifice its a gift unopened and lived by the world because religious legalistic controllers need want take His place rather than sit in the pew with the rest of us, jj

    • added to the conversation

      Heya John! I like that term, “righteousness consciousness.” Too many times we fixate on the things we do wrong instead. When we fully grasp that sin is not an issue between us and God anymore and become conscious of the righteousness we now have available to us, that’s when we can begin to live that full and abundant life that Jesus told us about.

  2. added to the conversation

    Chris, you are absolutely right. Too often, we look back when we should be looking forward. The finished work of Jesus is just that — the complete payment for all sins — past, present and future. I like your gift analogy too — He is there for the taking.

  3. Randy added to the conversation

    I thought this was a well written article. I do however wish to comment on one thing. I feel that you stopped a little short. I agree that it is a gift and all we have to do is accept it but you did not say how we go about accepting it. What are the steps, in the case of the homeless man living under the bridge, it would be obvious that he would have to get up, walk over to the rich man, and take the key from his hand. You may cover this on another part of your site I have not come to yet. However if you haven’t I would like to see something like that in the future added. Thank you for having this site and professing your love to God(and Jesus), I feel that it is done too little these days.

    • added to the conversation

      Heya Randy!

      How do you receive any gift? You simply accept it. Paul said it this way:

      If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 10:9

      We tend to make the whole thing way more complicated that it really is by adding steps and procedures.

Comment Policy: Please check out our full Comment Policy before you click "Post Comment" so we don't delete your comment or worse, mark it as spam. This is not a place to argue. Your words are your own, so be nice and helpful if you can. Oh, and please, only use your real name and limit the number of links submitted in your comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>