The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

S is for SIN

[This is the MILLERWRITES contribution to the 2012 Blogging A to Z April Challenge  Here is my INTRODUCTION to this particular series, and an opportunity for you to influence which alphabetically aligned weird words I will comment on this month.  THANK YOU for stopping by!]

YAY!  I don't have to type resurrection a million times for this post!  Typing resurrection, and repeatedly trying to remember if it requires two 's's, or two 'r's gets ridiculously redundant; typing resurrection does.

Of course, SIN (which is wonderfully easy to type) is directly related to re....that r word (I just refuse to write resurrection again today!).  It was SIN, way back in the day, that set God on His mission of re...demption (gotcha!) in the first place.  Which included Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.  But what if Jesus had not been willing to demean Himself, and to even die, for a bunch of SINNERS like us?

Consider this verse from Paul's letter to the Philippian church, about the mindset of Christ:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death —
even death on a cross!              
Philippians 2:6-8

But what is SIN?
I think it's more complicated than its simple spelling suggests.

A SIN is usually something done.  It is a verb; either an overt action accomplished, or (as Jesus taught in Mathew 5:28 when He said:  "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."), a covert thought merely had.  God had Moses list 10 do's and don'ts for the people of Israel, so they could see a physical depiction of which human actions God wanted them to practice and/or avoid practicing.  Later we were told that the 'law' is really written on every heart.  There was no need for stone tablets.  Our consciences do us the favor of bringing the needed conviction.

However, we do need the accountability.  The Commandments were inscribed into rock therefore, because the highlight of a SINFUL heart (like mine) is that its corruption works to overthrow the bad news inflicted by the conscience!  See here how Paul struggled:
Romans 7:21-25
 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

(We need submit to the transforming work of God, to change such a nature.)

I hasten to add that SIN is more than a list of actions and attitudes to either take or avoid.  SIN is also, in my mind (pardon the pun), a kind of entity.  The real thing that God hates is not an action, like stealing, but the separation caused by the stealing.  SIN is the fruit of SINNING.  It is a worldview that displaces God with self aggrandizement.  It is the necessity for a place called hell.  One who chooses his own authority over God's can not ever (would not ever want to) abide in God's home, but requires a place of its own to flourish in the resulting rot.  Not so much as a torturous punishment, but as a natural consequence of trying to live opposite of God.  How could there be two sets of good?  All good is with God (and His realm) so only 'no good', exists without Him.

SIN is not something cute that can be laughed at and minimized, but a monster that wedges in between the Creator and the creature, separating the two from enjoying any fellowship forever.  

Bad news first?  SIN infinitely distances you and me from God.
Good news?  On the cross, Jesus Christ was 'forsaken' (ultimately separated) by the Father, in our place!

We can be saved from all the SIN in our lives; its actions, attitudes, and results, and be reconciled to God.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of SIN is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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