As we begin to talk about salvation and the different parts of this topic, we will start with a discussion about sin.
Sin is one of those uncomfortable topics, but it is a critical one that needs to be talked about well and accurately.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23(NASB)
Merriam-Webster defines all as everyone.
Everyone has sinned and fallen short. None of us is exempt from that statement, and it all started with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Eve was tempted by satan, and she and Adam sinned. I encourage you to read all of Genesis 3, but I am focusing on the consequences of sin today.
“therefore, the LORD God sent him out from the Garden of Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out, and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:23-24
Sin separated them and us from God. God is a Holy God, and He couldn’t allow them in the Garden anymore because their sin separated them from Him.
Our sin separates us from God. Every single one of us!Tweet
We don’t always talk about this or put it so bluntly.
Merriam-Webster defines sin as a weakened state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God.
God’s Word is very clear as to what God says is sin. Many times in the church, sin is either watered down or used as a beating stick, and neither one is good or produces fruit, and both of these perspectives keep us in bondage, and they don’t lead to freedom.
God’s Word is very clear about what God says is sin. We can’t just rip pages we don’t like out of the Bible.
It doesn’t work that way. He is God, and we are not.
But the rest of the salvation message gives us hope that we no longer have to live in sin.
We don’t have to be separated from God because of our sins, but we must acknowledge that we are sinners and need a Savior.Tweet
One of the other things that gets a little muddled in all of the sin conversations is that we don’t have to accept sin or agree with sin in order to love the person who is sinning.
God sets this example for us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. “Romans 5:8,10-11
God loves us. He loves us because we are His creation. Despite our sins, He loves us enough to send His son Jesus Christ to die for us and our sins.
Loving someone does not mean accepting their sins or their sinful lifestyles.
I include ourselves in this. There were years I had a hard time loving myself because of the sins I struggled with in my own life. It caused me to live in condemnation and shame for years.
The reality is we can’t ignore that sin entered the world through Adam and Eve. We are ALL sinners, but God’s beautiful love and mercy sent Jesus to die for our sins. The first part of salvation is acknowledging this truth.Tweet
It is hard to look at ourselves as sinners, and it is humbling.
We can’t simplify this or make it look nicer than it is. We can’t ignore this truth and must be willing to look at all God says as sin.
We have to take the whole counsel of God and accept what God says is sin.Tweet
This is not easy and isn’t a light decision, but it is the first step in salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
One of the sweetest truths to me about God is that He never leaves us without hope. The news may be bad, the situations we are in can look impossible or terrifying. We may be stuck in a cycle of sin and not know how to get out, but He gives us hope.
He is our way out if we will look honestly at ourselves and the sin that easily entangles us. If we are willing to be honest with God and with ourselves about where we are struggling, He will walk us out and give us a new heart and He will light our path as we continue to follow Him and seek Him.
The enemy’s lie is that truly looking at our sin, and the reality of where we are, is more painful than staying in the sin and that is a lie from the pit of hell.Tweet
I am here to tell you and encourage you that there is freedom on the other side, if you are willing to walk through the fire a little bit. It is a freedom that is indescribable and it is the freedom Jesus died to give you.
Will you ask Him to reveal where the topic of sin has been either avoided, overlooked, whitewashed, something that has been used as a beating stick in your life or kept you in codemnation and shame? None of these are healthy or fruitful.
Please feel free to share or reach out personally if you want prayer in this area.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you love us, and that even while we were still sinners Jesus died for us. Please break off any preconceived ideas about what sin is or isn’t, and give us Your definition and perspective of sin. Examine our hearts today and bring us into that freedom Jesus died to give us. Heal those wounded places that keep us from doing this today. In Jesus Name, Amen!!