Sin is an unpopular concept in modern society. Even preachers shy away from it. I recall a talk show host who once conducted a primetime television interview of one of America’s most famous pulpiteers. The non-Christian television personality found it peculiar that the preacher was known for not making mention of the three letter word. Ironically, humankind can never be lifted out of its misery until it comes to grips with the nature of sin. The Bible says, “If we say, ‘We have not sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves” (1 John 1:8). If we want real joy and liberty, we have to be factual concerning man’s error. Consider three Bible consequences of sin.
Sin separates us from God.
The most basic result of human transgression is the way in which it alienates us from our Creator. God made man and woman to live in perfect communion with Him. They walked with God “in the garden at the time of the evening breeze” (Genesis 3:8). They enjoyed unbroken and unadulterated interaction with Yahweh. Because He is holy, He established rules to govern man’s relationship with Himself, but Adam and Eve violated God’s command. The fallout from their first transgression was a resounding sense of shame (Genesis 3:7), overwhelming guilt before God (Genesis 3:8), and an isolating separation from His presence (Genesis 3:22-24). It is important that we stay serious about sin, because it is the very thing that marred God’s intent for our lives.
Sin warps our thinking.
The ways of evil have a devastating effect on human mental schemas. Its accompanying pride and guilt have a way of deluding our thought processes. In Romans Paul speaks of the depraved, saying, “For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:22). Sometimes I am amazed at the level of depravity which is portrayed in TV shows, movies, and news reports. Indeed, it seems that we are living in an age described by the prophet Isaiah, an age in which many call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). How is it that society has slidden so far down a slippery slope of sin and foolhardy immorality? I believe we are simply reaping what we have sown. Sin sidetracks people from the plain paths of common sense. It warps our thinking and blinds us from the real facts of life (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Sin hurts our fellowship with God.
Though no sin can snatch the believer from the grasp of God, it can hurt a believer’s communion with God (1 John 1:7-9). Some mistakingly believe that a believer can lose his or her salvation. Such teaching is in contradiction to that of Jesus (John 10:26-28) and the apostles (Ephesians 1:13). Once a person is born-again, that person is forever a part of the family of God (Romans 8:28-30). However, sin can still spin its evil web and entangle a believer. It is for this reason that the author of Hebrews encouraged us to “lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us” (Hebrews 12:1). In order to walk in a close and clean relationship with God we should “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and…” not “…make plans to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:14).
Dr. Patrick Latham