Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thinking about Sin

“...each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14, 15 NIV

Oswald Chambers says, “According to the Bible, sin is doing without God. Sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God....It is...’my claim to my right to myself.’”

This makes a lot of sense to me, though it is not the primary way I’ve thought of sin, nor has it been for most people, I suspect. But this explains why David could be called “a man after God’s own heart” despite all the wrong things he did. His disposition was one of dependence on God.

“...sin in its final analysis is not a defect but a defiance.” This is why the key to speaking to unbelievers is to introduce them to Jesus not to pounce on all their wrong behaviours. If Christianity is about relationship with God, then it makes perfect sense that sin is distance from and rebellion against God and the solution is to introduce them to Jesus, not tell them how terrible are the things they do and/or say.

I’ve always wondered how Jesus became sin for us on the cross. Now I understand. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” On the cross, he was cut off from God, completely separated from God despite his lifelong dependence and interaction with his Father. He and the Father were one, and now they were not. They had been ripped apart, torn asunder, and the tearing of the fabric that held them together shook the world: the sun darkened, the curtain of the temple was torn, the earth quaked and opened, bringing many of the dead back to life. For the first time, Jesus was alone. He was made to be sin. He was separated from God, from his very life and being, so that we can be united and dependent on God in every aspect of our lives.

Jesus, thank you for being sin for me. Too many times I have risen in rebellion against you. I hear you say one thing and I choose to do another. Forgive me please! Change my will to be yours. I give up my right to myself so that you and you alone are Master of who I am. And not just Master but Ishi, Husband, Lover (Hosea 2:16). I love you, God!

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