Many may define sin as a specific thing. If someone were to ask you “what is sin?”, how would you respond? Some may say “adultery, sexual immorality, murder”, while others may reply with a simple “getting angry, lying, stealing”. Yes, these are all sins, but they are not the true biblical definitions of “sin”. We may think that the first response is filled with the “bigger” sins, and the second response with the “bad, but not so bad” sins, but that doesn’t matter. Sin is sin, no matter what the crime.
In 1 John 3:4 it states that “sin is lawlessness”. So what is lawlessness? The Greek word for lawlessness is “anomia”, meaning “the condition of being without the law, because of ignorance of it, or because of violating it. Lawlessness means “not to submit to the authority of God”. This is the real meaning of “sin”. This definition of sin sets forth its essential character as the rejection of the law, or will of God, and the substitution of self. Simply said, sin is not submitting to the authority of God.
Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We all fail to submit to the authority of God. Because of that, not one of us is righteous before God (Romans 3:10). But, there is a hope. There is a light to our sin. Romans 3:24 states that we are all justified through Christ Jesus. So, we all sin, but we are all justified too!
So what’s the problem? The problem is that we fail to accept a justification such as this. We think that we need to “pay back” our mistakes by doing good deeds. But, we don’t know the cost of such sin like we would the price of gas. To receive redemption through Christ Jesus, all we need to do is believe in Him.
We, however, of the flesh, tend to let little objections from the enemy fill our heads to make us think that it is much more complicated than this. Things like, “it’s too easy, too risky, too new, and too good to be true.” These are all lies the enemy wants us to believe so that we fail to recognize such a love from our savior that He justifies our unholy sins through faith alone. We don’t need to bend over backwards to make God forgive us. We don’t need to do 100 good deeds for every 10 sins. Because of Christ’s blood, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). And then, we too, can have that credited righteousness before the throne of God.
If Christ was sent to save us, then why would He make it more complicated for our human minds to understand? That would only make it harder for us to receive the glorious riches being stored in heaven. We simply need to have faith. But not just any faith; faith in Jesus. We need to undividedly submit to the authority of God. No, we will never be perfect like Jesus was, but through faith in Christ, we can be rescued from our sinful nature and take on His righteousness. These objections are things holding us back from truly letting God guide our lives. For some of us it may just be accepting that we are sinners saved by grace, for others it may be accepting Christ into their lives. Pastor Aaron Taylor preaches more about “Faith & Credited Righteousness” on the Painesville Assembly of God podcast. To learn more about this righteousness we can receive and what believing in God means, check out the sermon!