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What is Sin?

Dave Scholes

Dave Scholes

The Bible says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). But what is sin? The Bible talks a lot about it and so it’s important we understand it.

Firstly, sin is what separates us from God. Col 1:21 says “you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds”. Basically, sin alienates, distances and separates us from God.

Secondly, sin is ‘missing the mark’. It is actually an old archery term that the Bible uses to describe our separation from God. Basically, God has a perfect standard, and no matter how hard we try, we’ll never hit the bullseye. No matter how ‘good’ we might be, left to ourselves, we can never hit that bullseye. God’s perfect standard is unreachable in our own strength because of sin.

Thirdly, sin is not so much the things we do wrong, or the good things we don’t do, but it’s more of a condition, of which wrong actions, words and thoughts are symptoms. It is like a spiritual cancer that manifests itself in actions that show us to be sinful. And actually, the Bible says that we are dead in our sins (Eph 2:1), and so we need to be resurrected from our sinful condition.

The good news is that resurrection is available! The cancer has a cure! And the one who can raise us from our spiritual death, the one who can hit the target on our behalf, and the one who can bridge the gap between us and God is Jesus Christ. Col 1:22 goes on to say that “he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him”. In other words, sin separated you, but Jesus can bring you back! All you have to do is follow Him.

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