There are a lot of people out there who do not believe in sin. Or, they go to the other extreme and believe that sin can be done away with if we just have enough rules for everyone to follow.
As to the existence of sin, I only have to look at my own heart to know that sin exists. Sin comes from an archery term that means “to miss the mark”…and boy, do I. Way more than I am comfortable admitting. Oh, a lot of the obvious stuff is dealt with, but the subtler stuff…like heart attitudes…well, that can sure rise up easily enough.
As for rules, you can give me all the rules in the world, but that does not mean that I can follow them perfectly! I will still manage to miss the mark. A lot! In fact, the more rules there are, the more capable (and likely) I am of missing it.
How do I know when I am missing the mark? Oftentimes, it takes the Ruach/Spirit of G-d to show me. The best guide I have of what is sin and what is not is the one that YHVH, our Creator, gave to us. I believe that we humans pretty much already knew what was right and wrong, but writing it down really solidified it. So, I use YHVH’s words to guide me.
The early words…the Torah…pretty much deal with outward actions. So far so good. But then Yeshua/Jesus came along and started dealing with the hidden attitudes of the heart. Ouch! It was no longer enough to not murder or commit adultery. Now it was not even permissible to hate or lust!
It could be argued that the attitudes (or motives) of the heart were really always a part of the Torah and I would agree with that. However, again…there is something about solidifying it. It is one thing to infer that we should not hate or lust and another for Yeshua to actually say it.
It is uncomfortable to look at my own sinfulness. Yet, I am grateful for the ability to see it. I know. That sounds kind of weird. Let me see if I can explain in a way that makes sense. I am grateful to be able to look at my own sinfulness (please note that I did NOT say look at YOUR sinfulness) because, whether I look at it or not it is there. Not looking at it won’t make it go away. Ignorance is not always bliss!
I can pretend it does not exist, but it WILL come out. It does affect me, whether I like it or not, whether I want it to or not. The reason I don’t mind looking at it (please note that I did not say I “like” it) is because I know that my sinfulness, although too big for me to really deal with, is not too big for G-d. He is there to help me and, even better, I have found forgiveness for my sinfulness. It is no longer a weight and burden that I need to haul around with me.
Does that mean I can just go out and sin and keep getting forgiven? Well, yes and no. I do whatever I can to AVOID sin. I do that out of appreciation for Yeshua who paid the penalty for my sinfulness, delivering me from the chains that sin once held me in. However, when I DO sin…which I do because I am so very imperfect…I know that He will forgive me when I run to Him and talk about it. That is very comforting.
The way I see it, it does not matter if I intentionally miss the mark or not. I simply miss it. If I purposely do a wrong behaviour, though, then I have doubly missed it…with both action AND heart attitude. Still, I know I can run to my Abba and ask forgiveness and, out of an amazing love for me and all humankind, He DOES forgive!
I am free! Not free TO sin, but free from being a SLAVE to it. I am now free and able to obey my Creator and to walk in His ways. I LOVE that! I love knowing that I am free to obey and I love knowing my Creator.
Some look at loving YHVH as simply obeying Him, yet there is no real love for Him in their hearts. Imagine doing all the actions of love toward your spouse, but not really loving him/her! Sure, you could probably have a halfway decent marriage, maybe even a very enjoyable one. However, you will never achieve a real level of emotional intimacy until you choose to love that person.
I can love Him with my actions — with my obedience; but if I do not love Him with my heart our relationship isn’t what it should be. I do believe G-d honors obedience, but He wants so much more. I don’t want to just go through the outward behaviours of loving Him…I want to actually love Him…in my heart. I want to KNOW Him — to have spiritual intimacy with Him.
I don’t love Him because I obey Him; I obey Him because I love Him. My actions follow the love I have in my heart for Him. And His actions follow the love He has in His heart for me. Makes sense to me. After all, we ARE made in His image!
I pray that you will seek to know Him and to love Him with all YOUR heart, too! I am far from perfect at this, but I am trying. I see how much better a person I am because of it and how much better my life is because of it…not in material things better, but in the way I live better.
I pray that you will blessed as I have been blessed.