2004-10-06 - Sin
Depending on which version of the Bible you read, the word sin is mentioned 448 - 529 times. God has a lot to say about sin. Our culture and society seem to dance around the word "sin." Even in the church, the word "sin" seems to be unpopular. We hear about people who had a "moral lapse, used bad judgment, made a mistake, crossed the line," and so on. From the pulpit of our churches, as well as the Christian books and magazines that I read, I notice the word "sin" falling by the wayside.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines sin as 1. A transgression of a moral or religious law. 2. Something that is shameful or wrong.
People much smarter than I am, have been debating the meaning of sin for centuries. My simplistic mind narrows the definition down to "missing the mark." The mark is God's plan for us, His standard. Christ set the standard on earth as He led a sinless life. The bar is set higher than we can reach, but through Christ we are forgiven.
Why are society and some churches downplaying sin? Why are we not calling it sin, when we miss the mark? I can understand the secular world removing sin from their vocabulary. To admit sin, is to admit a problem. However, I cannot understand the church today shying away from talking about or mentioning sin. I attend what some people call a "user-friendly" church. But we don't shy away from the Gospel. We are committed to preaching the whole counsel of God. We teach about sin, grace, mercy, justice and love. The only things "user-friendly" are the dress code and the music. We created a safe place to hear a very unsafe message.
So, what are we going to do about sin? Let's look what David did about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. He did what we all do. He did what Adam and Eve did. He tried to cover it up. But God, through David's friend Nathan, made David face it and confess it -- and then he was forgiven.
2 Samuel 12 tells the entire story of Nathan's confrontation of David. Let's look at a few passages.
David Faces His Sin
2 Samuel 12:5 (LB) David was furious. "I swear by the living God," he vowed, "any man who would do a thing like that should be put to death; 6 he shall repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity." 7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are that rich man!
David Confesses His Sin
2 Samuel 12:13a "I have sinned against the Lord," David confessed to Nathan.
David is Forgiven
2 Samuel 12:13b Then Nathan replied, "Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won't die for this sin.
Are there sins in your life that you are not facing? Are you ignoring them? Are there sins from your past so painful that you feel God cannot forgive you? If you are struggling with facing your sin, confessing it and being forgiven, read Psalm 51. Below is an excerpt:
Psalm 51:7 Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. 9 Don't keep looking at my sins"erase them from your sight. 10 Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. 11 Don't toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don't take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to other sinners, and they"guilty like me"will repent and return to you.
Father, help us to face our sins, confess them to You and accept Your forgiveness. Cleanse us and restore us back to our loving relationship with You. In Christ's name, Amen.