The Nature of Sin

We’re all guilty of something. As Christians, we’ve been forgiven and the price has already been paid for us, but we continue to sin from time to time because it is in our nature. It’s easy to do, too, this sinning thing. Any thought you dwell on or action you take in which you choose yourself over God is a sin. 

This means we probably sin more than we think we do, because any time we disobey God’s law, including the command to love our neighbor as ourselves, even with our thoughts, we’re sinning. Any time someone smoking hot on a commercial gets us to want them, that’s a sin. If someone cuts us off in traffic and we’re not just upset, but sarcastic or hope something bad happens to them, that’s a sin.

And yet, for all of our sins against others and ourselves, there is one trait about sin that I believe is foundational to our understanding of it: all sin is primarily against God. Even when you do something to someone else, you’re sinning mostly against God because His laws are the ones that matter most. While there may be a huge difference in our laws between cussing someone out and robbing a bank, God looks at the root cause of all our sins: choosing us instead of Him.

Because He is the Creator and Judge of the Universe, breaking His laws is infinitely worse than breaking any human laws, much the same way that it is a worse offense to spit on a person than it is to kill a cockroach.

Also, because you’re His creation, He has the rights to you. If you had a dog and someone came over and kicked it, you’d be mad at that person. You wouldn’t just let it be between them and Fido; you’d get involved and make that person stop, maybe even have them leave. You take it as a personal affront that someone did something to your pet.

We’re not just God’s possessions, though; we’ve been made His children. Imagine how livid you’d be if someone did something, even something small, to your child. Likewise, when we sin against each other or against ourselves, we are sinning against Him not just in disobeying His will, but in hurting someone He loves. Because our laws and our worth are so far below His, every sin we commit is really 99% against Him.

In the next post, we’ll get to why this matters.

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