In the simplest terms sin can be defined as a rebellion against the commandments of God. Lucifer the most celebrated among angels first rebelled against God, was subsequently punished for his rebellion and was renamed Satan. After the creation of Adam and Eve, it was Satan who taught them to rebel against God and so sin first entered humankind in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandments of God. Since the time of Adam and Eve, each successive generation has been born with an inclination to sin. King David acknowledged this state of a human being in Psalm 51:5 (NIV) by saying, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” As explained in gotquestions.org , “we are sinners not because we sin rather we sin because we are sinners”.
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Sin manifests itself in many ways among which is unbelief in God, refusing to believe in His existence, deliberately rejecting His laws, ignoring His commands, refusing to surrender to Him, worshipping idols, following our carnal desires, and rejecting His counsel (Torrey, 2007). After Moses received the Law from God, humans were held accountable for their sins and had to bear the consequences of sins based on the Law of God, which included punishments for disobedience and blessings for obedience. The Law could only help us recognize our sinfulness and help us make amends by offering suitable sacrifices but it could not save us from our inherent sinfulness. God is just and justice demands that every soul that sins must die but God is also merciful and gracious and in His mercy has always chosen to forgive all those who repent of their sins. According to Romans 6:23 (NIV) the wages of sin is death, but the good news is God has given us a free of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sin by its very nature is progressive and gradually separates man from God. Although God is merciful and waits patiently for us to repent and turn back to Him no matter what our sin is, those who willfully sin slowly move away from the light into darkness. Wilful sinners have a greater tendency to continue in sin by rejecting His commands, continuing in their hypocrisy, provoking God by practising idolatry, and even exalting themselves or other materialistic items such as money above God. We see the Athenians spent their time discussing the latest ideas and when Paul was preaching new teaching, they wanted to hear and discuss it.
In Acts 17 (NIV), Paul attempted to use what the Athenians already knew to teach them about Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation. Although he was distressed at seeing their city filled with idols and altars, Paul understood the Athenians were basically religious people and wanted to reveal to them the true nature of their UNKNOWN GOD. He taught that since the Athenians already call themselves “offspring of God”, they should not be so ignorant as to not know that a divine being like God does not dwell in the works of human hands neither does He eat the food of human beings. Although God in His mercy had overlooked these ignorant acts before, He has made it known that at the appointed time He will judge the world with justice through Jesus Christ.
God confirmed that Jesus is the man He has appointed, by resurrecting Him from the dead. Paul was trying to preach to the Athenians that God is no longer UNKNOWN but has chosen to make Himself known to humankind through Jesus who He raised from the dead, so there is no longer any excuse to disobey Him. We should not confine Jesus to structures made of human hands rather we need to invite Christ into our hearts and show our love for Him by consistently and faithfully obeying His commands.
In Mathew 16:27 (NIV) and Revelation 22:12 (NIV), we are told that Jesus will come again and this time He will come clothed in the Father’s glory along with His angels to reward each man and woman according to their works. In John 14:1-3 (NIV) we are told that Jesus will come to take us to the place He has prepared for us. When Jesus comes again He will send His angels to gather the elect from all four corners of the world (NIV, Mat 24:30-31).
Those of the elect who are dead shall be raised incorruptible (NIV, 1 Cor 15:51-52) and be raised unto the Lord and the rest of us who are still alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds and be forever with our Lord (NIV, Thes 4:17). It is important to note here that there is no judgement for the elect, those who have already believed in Jesus Christ. Judgement is reserved for those who have made themselves objects of God’s wrath by rejecting Jesus Christ as the Son of the Highest (NIV, John 3:36) and His gift of salvation.
In today’s world of technological progress and advancements in science God and His commands seem worthless. Today we would rather hear CNN and BBC and believe what scientists and researchers have to say rather than hear and believe the Word of God. The teachings about the second coming of Jesus, to be caught up in mid-air, for the dead to rise and meet the Lord, and for those who are alive to be transformed into a being like Jesus all seem like fantasy and unrealistic. For most, the Bible is irrelevant today and the situation in today’s world and the world to come is such that even Jesus wondered if He will find faith on earth when He returns (NIV, Luke 18:8).
But what was said 2000 years ago is relevant even today because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (NIV, Heb 13:8). As we live in today’s materialistic world it is important for the elect to stay focused on Jesus Christ and obey His commands. We know for a fact that Jesus will come again to take us with Him and to also give us rewards according to our works. Jesus in John 17:9 (NIV) prayed not for the world but for those God had given to Him, those whom God had set apart unto Himself even before they were formed in their mother’s womb. Jesus is the only way to heaven and God’s love for humans is such that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and is baptized is saved but anyone who has refused to believe has already condemned themselves.
Gotquestions.org. What is the definition of sin? Web.
NIV, The Holy Bible. Web.
Torrey, R. A., Rebellion against God. Web.