To listen to a traditional evangelical preach the Gospel, we are quickly aware of the following points.
- We are all sinners (Romans 3:23)
- We all need a personal Savior: Jesus to be exact. (John 14:6)
- The Bible is law and our guide to God's will. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Those particular points ask the following questions:
- What is sin, and who says so?
- What happens when we sin after we are "saved" and have a personal relationship with Jesus?
- Why does it seem OK for some to sin?
What Is Sin?
1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
Sin is breaking the Law, missing the mark set by God.
The word "sin" is a translation of the Greek word "hamartia" which means to miss the mark.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Religious tradition labels many things as sin which the Bible does not. People make up all kinds of rules based on what they think is right. But God is the judge and only God can decree what sin is.
Mark 7:9 And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
God has not left us to wonder what sin is. The Bible reveals it to us. We don't have to guess, or make it up as we go.
Just because you do something someone else thinks is wrong does not mean it is a sin. So don't let people condemn you over things the Bible does not clearly say are wrong. God is the judge.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Another error is to think being tempted is a sin. Temptation itself is not sin. You cannot help being tempted. Even Jesus was tempted - but He never yielded.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin
A common mistake is believing that having a desire is a sin. It is not a sin to be tempted with a bad thought. It only becomes a sin when we embrace those thoughts as our own and decide to act on them.
James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
God is against sin because it is deadly. Sin brings forth death, not life and blessing. God loves people, so He is against everything that harms people.
All sin harms people. (Just because you don't see how a sin would harm anyone, does not mean you know more than God.)
But no human can be right with God by never sinning. We have all fallen short and need a Savior. It is only by God's grace and His forgiveness that we can be right with God.
Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
We can be glad because Jesus came to save sinners, and He paid the price for the forgiveness of all sins by shedding His blood.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
So what if we are saved, what about those sins?
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
It's a pretty good plan!
What do you think, is you faith in Jesus enough to receive His eternal grace and heavenly presence?