How seriously do we take our sin? I know I have lived my life not taking my sin seriously enough. Why is this? Where did this begin? God makes a clear command in Genesis 2:16-17:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
The command is as clear as it gets. Do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, if you do you will die. The treasonous act of sin deserves the justice of God. This is the clear message throughout the scriptures.
What happens when Adam and Eve eat the fruit? Many people say that Adam and Eve died spiritually. I would agree with this, but why didn’t they die physically as well? Adam and Eve deserved not just spiritual death, but physical death. The very fact that Adam and Eve were physically alive the moment after they sinned was an act of grace and mercy of God. This is where the beginning of my problem began. The problem of taking the grace of God for granted.
I contend that just about everyone on earth, including myself, have normalized the grace of God in our lives. This is why so many people believe they should live a long and healthy “normal” life. This belief is wrong, instead we deserve to be struck down dead after each individual sin. In Jonathan Edwards’s sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God he states, “There is nothing that keeps wicked men, at any one moment, out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” So why do we not take our sin seriously enough? We have become used to the grace of God in our lives. It is seen as normal to still be alive after telling a lie, having a lustful thought, having a prideful attitude, or any other host of sins. We don’t see the grace of God as something miraculous and wonderful; we simply don’t see it at all because we expect to live after sinning just as we always have. God’s grace has become so normal to us that we actually expect to live, and not only that, we believe we deserve a nice life! This can’t be farther from the truth. What we really deserve is instant justice after each and every sin.
The Old Testament has many accounts of God deciding to act out in justice over people. Numerous times in the Bible God acts justly to whole cities, nations, families, and individual people by destroying them. Many people look at God in the Old Testament as a non-loving and angry God. The truth is that the cities, nations, families, and individual people who God brought justice to deserved the death they received. Also, the people who did not get swallowed up by the ground or get burnt to death by fire from heaven deserved the same act of justice because they themselves were sinners. God decided to show them grace.
Why does God take sin so seriously? Sin is an act of submission to Satan. Every opportunity in life is an opportunity for worship. We can either worship the Lord, or disobey him, and in disobeying him we worship a false god, which is the worship of Satan. Sin is an attack on God’s character. It is to say to God, “I don’t believe that what you offer and say is true. So instead of being obedient to you, I will listen to myself and be obedient to me.” Sin is to call God a liar.
Thankfully God was abundantly gracious and provided a way for us to be restored back to Himself. Praise be to God who is willing to be gracious, merciful, and forgiving. I pray that I will no longer take the grace of God for granted. I pray that I will take my sin seriously. My sin and your sin are so serious that Jesus died to pay the penalty for it. May I never lose sight of the grace of God, and may I never lose appreciation for the finished work of Jesus on the cross.