On any given day, you can open up the newspaper to find conflict, shootings, theft, adultery and moral decline. But, what is at the heart of moral decline? What is it that causes others to kill, cheat on their taxes and deceive people? It is sin, oops! If anyone speaks of sin or calls someone a “sinner it is almost like screaming out a profanity or obscenity at a very formal, dignified, genteel meeting, or even in church.” Yet, we are all sinners resulting from the fall of Adam and Eve. So, what is sin according to the Bible and what causes someone to sin?
The nature of sin is “any evil action or evil motive that is in opposition to God”. Sin
is displacing God from His rightful place. Scripture gives several descriptions of sin:
- Missing the mark – Pro. 19:2
- Rebellion – Deut. 31:27
- Transgression – Nub. 14:41-42
- Iniquity – Lev. 26:40
- Treachery – Pro.13:15
- Abomination – Deut. 22:5
“The essential nature of
sin is giving the allegiance that we owe God, to someone or something else.”
Knowing that sin is against God, what is it that causes a person to sin? James wrote, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it
gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).
God has given us natural desires such as hunger in order that we would not starve, but when our own desires go beyond His desires then we are in gluttony and missing the mark He had intended for us. He has given us natural desires, such as:
-The desire to obtain things, but when our desires are at the cost of exploitation or
hurting others, then the pursuit is coveting.
-God has given us the desire to do things, but when we boast in our own pride instead of thanking Him for the gift, then the pursuit is putting ourselves above God.
-God has give us the desire to enjoy marriage, but physical relations outside of marriage is pursuing adultery.
It is when we miss the mark, rebel and transgress God’s laws
that we sin. Because of our sin we deserve death. However, God demonstrated His
love that while we were yet sinners Christ died for
us, making restitution for our sin to all who believe. It is only when our
society turns away from sin and turns to repentance to God that people will
begin to walk in integrity, live with morals and love one another.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the
wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor
sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of
the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalm 1