Sunday, August 19, 2012

Understanding Sin

Ask most people that read the Bible what sin is, and they will respond by enumerating various vices. While the Bible does address that matter, that is not the full definition of sin from God’s standpoint. Case in point. Notice the following quote from Paul’s writing to the Hebrews at Hebrews 11:24-27.

“ By faith Moses, when grown up, refused to be called the son of the daughter of Pharaoh, choosing to be ill-treated with the people of God rather than to have the temporary enjoyment of sin, because he esteemed the reproach of the Christ as riches greater than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked intently toward the payment of the reward. By faith he left Egypt, but not fearing the anger of the king, for he continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible. “

Note that there is no mention of Moses rejecting vices--although they must have been present and available to the royalty in Egypt. But that is not Paul’s point. Instead, the “temporary enjoyment of sin” was directly equated with being associated with the pagan royalty in that he “refused to be called the son of the daughter of Pharaoh.” But why is it wrong to accept wealth, prestige, power and royal heritage? Why is that considered a sin?

Two thoughts come to mind here....

"O man, who, then, really are you to be answering back to God? Shall the thing molded say to him that molded it, 'Why did you make me this way?'" (Romans 9:20) Yes, God made mankind and has the right to define and designate our purpose. Regarding our assigned purpose in life, Jesus said: “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness,” and our material needs would be taken care of.

“It is easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God.” -Matthew 19:24 Once we start to focus our efforts on our own desires and our own will, it becomes increasingly difficult to submit to, to trust in, God’s will for us.

So coming back to Moses, sin is more than vices. It is failing to put God first in our life, to have complete confidence and trust that he does and will care for our needs. Sin of this sort can seem so innocuous, so innocent—“we’re just trying to make a living, get ahead in life, make ourselves comfortable.” Yet that is exactly what Moses rejected. In general then, sin is failing to meet up to our God's expectations, a falling short of a mark as if our lives were arrows and our direction in life missed the bull's eye.

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