Sin. Missing the mark. Falling short of the glory of God.
We all know what it is to sin and how it feels when we do – both the short term pleasure and the long term pain.
Maybe what we don’t know is how Jesus views sin.
When he started preaching, he said, “Repent and believe, for the kingdom of God is near.” I believe he was after the chief sin of unbelief in the human heart.
Later on he said, “The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin because they do not believe in me.” He also said, “He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, for he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And herein lies the judgement: that the light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light.”
Jesus always went right to the heart of the matter.
Too often, we take aim at the symptoms of sin and not the root cause. All selfishness and bad behavior is rooted in and fueled by a refusal to believe in or trust in Christ.
Men and women spend their lives in all sorts of destructive behaviors because they don’t want to surrender their lives to Christ.
The straight and narrow way of Christ may appear too restrictive, too dull, or even too impossible to them.
Even many Christians find the spiritual life dull and confining (and modern day church may be partly to blame for this.) It is only when we commit fully to Christ that the light begins to dawn and the road becomes a little more navigable.
I learned a lesson in surfing, that once you commit to a wave you need to give it 100%; anything less will result in a disastrous wipeout.
The apostle John makes it clear in his first epistle that sin is to be the exception in the life of the believer, not the rule.
In Christ, we have the power to overcome sin.
Not always, but most of the time we can walk in love, in faith, and in obedience to Christ. Habitual sins take time to eradicate and much help and grace from God and from our friends is often needed.
However, surrender to a defeated life is never a good option. Even if we get knocked down every day, we need to get back up and try again.
The apostle Peter wrote, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of All Grace will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
~ Brad Heilhecker