Pastor Dominic Cardamone
It’s not a popular topic. I suppose it never has been. But the truth is, we all sin. Sin means to miss the mark. Romans 3:23 gives us more specific insight. In this passage it says, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The mark we fall short of according to this verse is the “glory of God.” Simply put, we are falling short of God’s expectation for us to be holy as He is gloriously holy. Daily, we are guilty of committing sins by doing things we should not be doing and not doing things we should be doing according to God’s expectations. Some of our sin is secret and some of it is public. To say it another way, some sins are inward and some outward; some are in attitude and others in action. It’s the ugly truth about ourselves we must face. The following verses irrefutably point the finger of accusation at each one of us.
Psalms 58:3: The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
Romans 3:9-18: What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Ok. I’m a sinner. Everyone else is too. What’s the big deal?
Separation from God.
Sin is a wedge that comes between us and God. Consider the scriptures in Isaiah:
Isaiah 59:1-2: Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
God made us to be intimate with Him in relationship and fellowship, but sin ruins both. God who is holy and just must deal with sin righteously. Consequently, sin produces judgment and death in the life of a sinner (See Romans 6:23). Physical death is a separation of the body from the soul. This was never intended by God to happen, but sin ushered this type of death into our world. (See Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 5:5.) That’s why funerals are so difficult. Looking at the lifeless body of the person we love in a casket seems so unnatural-feeling and heart-wrenching. It just doesn’t feel right. And it shouldn’t. God never wanted that for us. Spiritual death is an eternal separation of the created from the Creator. Our holy God cannot abide with sin. So, sin unresolved leaves a sinner unable to have a relationship and fellowship with God. It would be contrary to the nature of God who is holy to tolerate sin and to leave it unpunished. He can’t just sweep it under the rug and leave it unaddressed. It must be dealt with in our lives. The just punishment for sin ultimately is described in the Bible as unimaginable torment in the lake of fire. (See Revelation 20:14 and Luke 16:23.) Spiritual death is spending eternity in the lake of fire, separated from our Holy God. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s where our sin puts us.
Hmm. That does sound like a big deal. What can I do about it?
Some erroneously think if they just do a lot of good things, it will counteract the sin in their lives. While doing a good thing is a good thing, it’s just not how it works. Good works do not cancel out bad works. There are still effects of sin that must be resolved. One way sin can be resolved is to receive the punishment ourselves. That would be realizing spiritual death and spending eternity separated from God in the lake of fire as discussed above. But that doesn’t sound like an option worth taking. There is another way, a better way. And that way is Jesus. (See John 14:6.) Jesus lovingly, graciously, and mercifully died on our behalf to pay the debt we owed the Heavenly Father because of our sin. Not only did He die for our sin, but He offers His righteousness to us as well, providing the sinner with a righteous standing before the Heavenly Father. There are many, many verses in the Bible that teach us this powerful truth. Consider these:
2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Colossians 2:13-15: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
(See also John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and Titus 3:5.)
As I said before, sin is a wedge between us and God. Jesus can remove that wedge for you if you will let Him. Which way will you choose? The Bible shows us how some people have responded to this very issue of sin. For example, Pharaoh stubbornly persisted in his sin and would not recognize Jehovah nor let the people of Israel go (See Exodus 5:1-2.). Achan tried to cover his sin of touching the accursed thing and ended up bringing punishment upon his family and others (See Joshua 7.). However, when confronted with his sin, David eventually confessed it and received the Lord’s grace in his life (See Psalms 51.). What about you? How will you deal with the sin in your life? Choose Jesus. He has already dealt with sin for you!
Psalms 32:1-5: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Proverbs 28:13: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.