Sin and its Consequences
Mankind, including each of us, you and I, have a grave problem on our hands. Our grim dilemma is our sin and each of us are sinners: “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ESV italics added).
And our sin has distanced us from God—even estranged us from God. Paul describes the situation as being “...separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12 ESV).
Why this alienation? The Bible explains that our sin is the breaking of the laws and rules God has established for human behavior. The reality is that each of us sin, often, throughout our entire life. Our sins are the reason for death and judgment and is summarized by Paul who writes: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men [and women] because all sinned” (Romans 5:12 ESV). And what is the implication of sin? Paul informs of that as well, saying, “...the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23 ESV). And what if we conclude that we are not sinners? The apostle John explains this by saying,
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make him [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1:8; 1:10 ESV).
What’s the big deal about God’s laws and rules?
People do not like rules and they do not like to be told what to do.
People want autonomy and self-governance. In fact, doing whatever pleases us has become the mantra for our culture and society. No one likes to be told that they are guilty because they break the rules. In fact, each of us has within a rebellious inclination and drive to be unshackled by authority and rules—that includes the authority and rules of God. The ongoing efforts of many in our world against God and Christ is simply attempts to be freed from the rules and the accountability God has established.
Nevertheless, the rules God put into place are a great help for us because it measures our conduct. In Romans chapter 5, Paul explains the benefit of the law and rules as delivered to us most easily recognized in the Ten Commandments. Paul writes, “...for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law” (Romans 5:13 ESV). In other words, the law of God is used to show that people fall short of what God expects. In doing so, the law (Ten Commandments) acts as a measuring stick to measure our conduct. When our lives are viewed through the lens of God’s Commandments, we clearly understand that “...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Without God’s standard of conduct there would be no reliable means of measuring our conduct. Yet, when viewed through the lens of the Commandments, we more readily understand our failures and our sin. When we do, we are able to recognize the predicament that confronts each person—we are sinners.
Sometimes when we recognize our sins we attempt to try to do better. We try to be better people and earn God’s acceptance. The problem is that it does not work.
Let’s consider the Bible’s perspective on this and the futility of what we might call the Great Scale Misconception.To next section Homepage