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Sin, A Disease Of The Soul


Praying man at the altar. Image source erikbrewer

Praying man at the altar. Image source erikbrewer

THE Hebrew words for sin usually speak of violating a standard, of missing a mark. The word hata and the Greek word hamartia originally meant “to miss the mark; to fail in carrying out a duty.” The Bible says, “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard”-Romans 3:23.

As the One that gives us laws, God sets limits on our freedom, telling us we cannot do certain things. So, another word, which describes sin in Hebrew, is abar; the Greek word parabasis describes sin as “overstepping one’s limits.” Other terms meaning “rebellion,” “transgression,” “intruding on God’s territory,” “a false step,” “law-breaking,” “lawlessness,” and “trespassing” also appear in the Bible, and these words each give us an idea of what sin can mean.

Sin is a power that seeks to influence, enslave, and destroy. Ephesians 2:1-4 . . . You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan.
Sin, in its most basic element, is obedience to Satan.
The word sin implies the violation of an objective and absolute standard or code of behaviour established by God. It is a disease of the soul that destroys our lives and leads to spiritual death.

A perfect example of the beginning or origin of human sin is in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve were given freedom by God. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He placed the man He had created. And the Lord God planted all sorts of trees in the garden—beautiful trees that produced delicious fruit. At the centre of the garden, He placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it. But the Lord God gave him this warning: “You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die.” Gen. 2:8, 9, 15-17. However, they misused their freedom and ate from the tree of knowledge, so sin was born. (Gen. 3:1-20) Ezekiel tells us that sin is a matter of each person’s individual choices (Ezekiel 18), and that good outward behaviour can only come from a cleansed, renewed inner life. Sin is overcome, when people desire to follow God’s law (Jeremiah 31:29; Ezekiel 36:24-29).

According to the Psalmist, we are sinful from the very beginning, down to our roots: “In sin did my mother conceive me.” – Psalm 52. The writer of the Psalm says that his whole personality needs “purging” because he is defiled. Ritual sacrifice of animals is no solution. Only a broken, repentant heart prepares a sinner for God’s cleansing; only God’s steadfast love and mercy allow a sinner to be cleansed. No other hope exists. But in spite of its stern view on sin, the Old Testament assures us of God’s forgiveness (Psalm 103:8-14; Isaiah 1:18, 55:6-7).
God bless.

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