A quick post just to define sin for you. Many teach that sin is a transgression of the law of Moses. This of course is incorrect, My Darby Bible defines it as lawlessness. I wasn't too sure until I was reading my REB New Testament this morning where I found a verse in Romans 2
Verse 12: Those who have sinned OUTSIDE the pale of the law of Moses will perish outside of law, and all who have sinned under that law will be judged by it.
This got me thinking, if someone can sin outside of the law, then that means that the law isn't what leads to sin, but exposes it. The law gives knowledge of sin, rather than actually being that which must be followed. If you break the law you aren't transgressing THAT law, but something higher.
Sin is, in essence, denying and defying God.
My NEB defines sin from the 3 Hebrew words as:
"Rebellion": a wrong attitude taken up by man towards a personal God who is his father and creator.
Dishonoring your father.
"Deliberate turning towards what a man knows to be evil and contrary to the will of God"
a sort of reverse repentance. This could be sexual sin, false religion.
"Missing the mark" think in terms of a bulls eye. The bulls eye is what God wants. You aim, you fire, but you miss the mark.
Now obviously we need to know what God's law is. Prior to Jesus we had no idea, the "law" wasn't written in our hearts but on tablets and scrolls in Israel. Israel was meant to be the moral beacon for the world, and the world would have viewed Israel as Kings. But Israel repeatedly defied God, and as Hosea describes, God renounced Israel as his people.
Gods law is a transcendent expectation, Its the way God is, his moral structure, his definition of right and wrong. As his creation made to reflect Him upon the Earth, it is our duty and obligation to reflect this moral standard, after all, he is the only truth there is.
That is why when Jesus came to Earth he told us to "Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect". We carry his Image on the Earth. That is where sin comes in. When that perfection is ruined by "transgression". Either through rebellion, a love of lawlessness, or missing the mark. Its an absence of perfection.
So what do we do? Do we endeavour to be perfect? Do we say enough Hail Mary's and hope God forgives us?
We lay it down, we accept that on our own we cannot be perfect. We accept that sin is too powerful and realise that Jesus lived a perfect life, and as such he is the only one who CAN live a perfect life. We need him to be US (in us) so instead of reflecting God on Earth, Jesus takes our sin and carries it to the cross. (He became sin - our sin). This way he takes the wrath of God upon himself, and is punished for our sin. The man who by all rights is our perfect and holy king, is tortured by man and punished by God for US.
This way when God looks at us He sees Jesus, perfect and holy, and when he looks at the cross 2000 years ago he sees us crucified. Is this what Paul meant when he said:
"For if we are become identified with him in the likeness of his death, so also we shall be of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with him , that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin." Romans 6:5-6
When we repent (turn from sin, essentially declare that we want to change, MUST change) and humble ourselves before God, emotionally, mentally, physically submitting ourselves to his power and mercy. We crucify our old man, and supernaturally we are made new. We receive the Holy Spirit which changes us from the inside, and amends us, makes us into the image God wants.
Then when we die we sleep, awaiting the resurrection. Then we rise, given new bodies for our new minds and hearts, then the real adventure starts.
"Lord Jesus, I pray that what has been written may give comfort and exact change in those who read it, may Your will be done, Amen".