Do you know what argument or excuse I hear most often in regards to sin?
“God is God of love. He loves us (or loves me or loves them) so much. I just can’t see God, who loves His people so much, sending someone to hell for being happy or a good person.”
This false, albeit incomplete ideology of who God is can only be described as dangerous because it only tells half the story.
Yes, God is a God of love but He is also a just and righteous God. Only He knows what it truly right and wrong. We see this first come to light in Genesis when He warns Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” Genesis 2:15-17
Before the fall, man had no concept of what sin was. Adam, and all of mankind, was created with the purpose to glorify God. How do we glorify God? By loving Him and doing what He commands.
So when the Lord lovingly tells Adam not to do something, it’s not because He was withholding power or some juicy secret. God knew that sin was not something man was created to bear upon his shoulders. God knew we were incapable of knowing what sin was without partaking in it. Other than creating man and giving him all he needed, commanding Adam not to do something for his own good was one of the earliest acts of love God committed.
The question isn’t whether God loves us or not. His love for us is demonstrated over and over again in the Bible, with the biggest and most significant act of love being the sacrifice of His perfect son Jesus Christ.
The question we must ask ourselves is “Does my definition of sin line up with God’s?”
How do we begin to understand God’s definition of sin, of what’s right and wrong? The answer is simple. Turn to your Bible, study it, and gain the correct context in which the scripture was written.
We have the Bible which is God’s word, available to us to read and study as much as we want. This is a gift! But we can’t just twist scripture and use it in whatever context we’d like. So we must study it and be under good teaching in order to gain the proper perspective of scripture.
We can’t accurately know what right and wrong is without knowing God’s word. By knowing God’s word, we deepen our knowledge of God. Which in turn should change our hearts so that we do things that bring glory to God. Not separate us from Him.
We know that Christ has already paid the price for our sin. We must acknowledge this and truly feel repentance in our hearts to be made new in Him. But willfully going against the word of God doesn’t show that we are truly repentant. And that won’t bring forth the fruit of righteousness we are destined to have by our fellowship with Jesus Christ.
The fact is: Sin is not a grey area, even if we like to think it is. We also cannot hide sin from God. We may be able to keep our sin hidden from those around us, but the Lord knows our heart and sees all. Simply saying a sin isn’t a sin doesn’t make it less of a sin. It isn’t a loving thing, but an act of deception. Whether we are trying to deceive ourselves, those around us, or even God himself.
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:6-10
So even if…
our intentions are good and honorable
we sin because of our love for others
it brings forth something good in the moment
…committing a sin that God commands us not to commit is still committing a sin. And it is sin which separates us from God.
God isn’t a loving God because He accepts sin. He’s a loving God because He gave us a way to break out from the eternal prison sentence sin brings.
““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.””John 3:16-21
Lord, I pray that whatever sin we or our loved ones are struggling with, that they would be defeated and the bondage of that sin be broken. I pray for healing and restoration. I pray for community and fellowship so we know that we are not alone in our sin. So many of us have the same sin struggles in common and so many of us have people we care about walking a life fueled by sinful desires. I pray for guidance as we try to lead ones who are living a sinful life to a redemptive and holy life with you Lord. Please be with us in these difficult days and may everything we do be for your glory. Amen.