“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” —Psalm 51:5 KJV
Iniquity: immoral or grossly unfair behavior. —Google
David understood he was a sinner conceived from birth. In the most famous of the penitential (relating to or expressing penitence or penance) Psalms attributed to David after his adultery with Bathsheba, the David views his sin as a sin against God. –Psalm 51:1-4
Sin is a reality that we were all born into after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Scripture reveals that “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned–” The good news is that though we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, His “grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” —Romans 3:23; 5:12, 15
Maybe we most often think of sin as wrongdoing or transgression of God’s law. Sin is any an act, any thought, desire, emotion, word or deed that displeases God. Sin includes a failure to do what is right in the sight of God. Sin also offends people; it is violence and lovelessness toward other people, and ultimately, rebellion against God. A culpable and person affront to God.
Sin is tragic because it represents a fall from the high, lofty place a little lower than the angels, the original status of humankind. “…what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” –Psalm 8:4-5
The Bible teaches that sin involves a condition in which the heart is corrupted and inclined toward evil. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” —Jeremiah 17:9
Adam and Eve were created in God’s image without flaw, yet capable of falling prey to Satan’s devices. Satan uses a serpent to tempt them, first to question God, then to rebel against Him. Satan introduces doubts about God’s authority and goodness. “Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” –Genesis 3:1. Then he invites Eve to consider how the fruit of the tree of knowledge is good for food and for knowledge. We see in Genesis 3 the tendency of sin to begin with a subtle appeal to something attractive and good in itself, to an act that is somehow creditable and directed toward some good end. Isn’t that just like Satan to tell us that something is good for us when in truth it’s really bad and causes to us rebel against God’s Word.
Thankfully, nothing can separate us from God’s love. Apostle Paul was convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Hallelujah! –Romans 8:38-39 NLT
Adam and Eve’s sins disclose the essence of subsequent sins. Sin flows from decisions to reject God’s way, and to steal, curse, hate and lie simply because that seems more attractive or reasonable. Why would the first couple, sinless and without predilection toward sin, choose to rebel? Why would any creature presume to know more or know better than its creator?
“Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?” “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?–” Isaiah 45:9; Romans 9:20-21
Adam and Eve became sinners by a historical act of rebellion and disobedience toward God. The effects of sin are alienation from God, from others, from oneself, and from creation. Alienation from God led Adam and Eve to fear and flee from Him. Alienation from each other and themselves shows in their shame (awareness of nakedness) and blame shifting. Adam Acts out all three alienation at once when, in response to God’s questions, he excuses himself by blaming both Eve and God for his sin: “The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit” –Genesis 3:12
It is a part of the sinful nature of humankind to shift blame for their shortcomings onto others. There are seven things God hates, a catalog of sins summed up in Proverbs 6:16-19:
“There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.”
While these aren’t the only sins that God hates, they do sum up most of the wicked things condemned by God. The seven things God hates are the sins that deal with the deep heart motives of the individual. The writer of Proverbs points the finger straight at our hearts and our sinful thought processes.
Sin is committed the moment it is conceived in the heart, even before it is actually committed. Avoiding the seven things God hates will help us expose our hidden intentions and motives. God examines our motives. We tend to justify our actions by appearances, but God examines our motives. Clean or righteous living before God and justice with our neighbors mean far more to God than religious performance. –Proverbs 21:2-3
The Lord bought a case against Israel because of their sins. Just as with Israel, the Lord has shown us what is good. His righteous requirement is that we “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” –Micah 6:8
Sin is not only the breaking of the law, it is the breaking of covenant. Sin grieves God not only because it saddens or assaults God directly, but also because it saddens and assaults what God has made. For example, sexism and racism shows contempt for human persons and what God has made.
To fear or reverence God’s name and act accordingly is wisdom!
The Christian Church has lost ground in the world and God is calling His people to return to authentic faith in Jesus Christ. As believers, we should cultivate the presence of Christ in our lives and honor the One who bore the shame and indignity of the cross for our sins.
All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.