A. What is Sin
John says:”Sin is lawlessness (ignoring the law)” (1 John 3:4). Again he says: “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). Every nation has laws. When a person does not obey these laws, he has done wrong. God has laws which we are to obey. These laws are in the Bible. When we do not obey God’s laws, we sin. All grown up people have sinned: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“ (Romans 3:23).
We must always look out for sin. Sin is deceitful. “But exhort one another daily while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). God hates sin. Let us, therefore, not be deceived by it.
B. The Cause of Sin
All things in life have a cause. We sleep because we are tired. We eat because we are hungry. No matter what we do in life, there is a cause for it. This is also true with sin. Desiring something we should not have may lead to sin: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fullgrown up, brings forth death” (James 1:14,15).
The cause of sin is lust (desire). If we do away with these wrong desires, then we will not sin.
C. Different Ways We Sin
There are two ways that we can sin:
1. By doing what we are not supposed to do, eg a child once told by his father not to swim, but the child went down and swam. The son did not obey the father. God has told us what not to do: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness (thinking and practising immoral things), idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissension’s, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). “When we do these things we have sinned. We have done that which God told us not to do”.
2. We sin by not doing that which we are supposed to do, eg once a mother tells her daughter to wash the dishes. The daughter does not wash the dishes; she did wrong. She does not do what the mother has told her to do. God has told us what to do to be pleasing to Him. When we do not do what God tells us to do, then we are guilty of sin, eg God has told us to worship Him: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrew 10:25). When we do not worship God as instructed, we sin. If we read the New Testament, there are many commands that God has given us to do. If we do not do them, then we are guilty of sin.
D. The Results of Sin
The girl who didn’t wash the dishes when she was told to, was to be punished because she needed to learn to do what she is told to do. If not punished, the next time she is told to do something, she will not do it. God will also punish those who do not obey Him. We must receive any punishment from God because God has provided a way for us to be forgiven for our sins. Jesus Christ is our way to God: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Since Jesus is the Way, we must obey him. Here is what he says about salvation: “He who believes and is baptised will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
We must believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God. We must repent of our sins. Then we must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. If we do this, we will be obeying God.
Bro Christopher T Biza (Zaka, Zimbabwe)