BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS: SIN: THE TABOOED WORD

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bet the only place you are likely to hear the word ‘sin’ mentioned in our present day would be in church or a place of worship and even at that, it is not a common occurrence. You would not hear it in a drinking parlour, a pub, in a brothel not less in a gaming room – a casino. It is probably a proscribed word in business. In our households, it is in undertones that it is alluded to.

Our society has banned its use from our everyday vocabulary because it is not user-friendly, call it offensive. We have become a liberal and permissive society with everybody claiming rights to existence in order to do as its pleases them – to break the laws God had set to govern His creation. We are prone to accept any and everything the devil thrusts at us as the norm or as accepted behaviour.

It would seem for a moment that God has lost His place of precedence in our midst. Some claim it is a modern world where human beings are exploring the moon. Others advance that we live in the technological age. Things have moved at a breathtaking speed and we are adrift.

Nobody wants to deal with sin upfront and it has gained a foothold in our society. Sin has become a form of entertainment and we even crack jokes and laugh about it. Just take a good look around you and take stock of how sin has hardened us and deadened our senses. Sin has ceased to be objectionable, it hardly disturbs us. It is a part of the décor and we fail to see it as something offensive to God. The media glosses over it. No one has the nerve to speak up against it without counting the cost. They may label you as outdated or of an older generation and therefore have lost your bearings.

To tell you the truth, Sodom and Gomorrah would have been considered milder in its intensity to sin, compared to what now exists. We have become colour-blind to sin. The good and the bad have blended so inextricably, it is amazing. The world is in peril and it seems we are all sitting on a time bomb.  The world God created has been turned upside down and we are moving further and further away from the truth, from the word of God. Those who should denounce falsehood and sin are tightlipped and do not have the courage like John the Baptist to blow foul when King Herod committed sin by marrying his brother’s wife.  

Sin has so permeated our world that we justify discretely, openly, unknowingly, blatantly all what God had condemned as malpractices and misdeeds.

Against this backdrop, there is a need to remind ourselves that; “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) That way is the one most of us have chosen.

Sin through Adam

Sin came into the world through our ancestors Adam and Eve and have left its indelible mark in the lives of human beings ever since. Sin never existed until this act of disobedience was committed. Prior to sinning, Adam and Eve could boast of a special relationship and enjoyed a perfect communion with God. God gave Adam the authority to name all the living creatures; “all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.” (Genesis 2:19-20)

This relationship was broken and the communion severed when the couple blatantly disobeyed God’s instructions. “… but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) The couple was then banished from the Garden of Eden. God had clearly warned the couple that disobedience would lead to death which means separation from God.

Sin in the Bible is defined as lawlessness. (1 John 3:4) Because we choose to do it our own way, irrespective of the ground rules laid down by God, the Creator, we commit an offence. It isn’t any different when we break the laws in force in any given state or country and run into trouble with the police. God instituted His laws and required His creation to abide by them. When we fail to do so, the sanctions fall. Adam and Eve lost their status for failing to observe and respect the status quo.  

When David sinned and felt sorry for his deeds he declared: “Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”  (Psalm 51:4) Joseph would not sin by committing adultery with his boss’ wife because if he did it was God he would be offending. Therefore when we commit sin, it is against God and our fellow human beings. After the prodigal son had soaked himself deep in sin --  by squandering the inheritance he had received from his father, he became conscious of his sin and how low he had fallen. He admitted to himself. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” (Luke 15:18)

The consequence of sin is death, and there is no other alternative, no other route. “For the wages of sin is death...” (Romans 6:23) Humanity cannot escape death that it brought upon itself. Death is an obligatory passageway out of this life, except for those who have ascended into heaven, like Enoch and the prophet Elijah.

The Bible teaches “That all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. “No one is exempted except our Lord Jesus “who committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

Each of us would have to die for his or her own sins. Because the one who sins must die. (Deuteronomy 24:16) “The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)