Anyone who thinks sin is not a problem has a big problem indeed! For sin has been mankind’s problem from the very start of man’s creation up to this very minute. Sin affects all of mankind. As Romans 3:23 puts it: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 1 John 1:8 agrees: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Sin is such a big problem because it often brings pleasures that deceive us from realizing its dangers. [For more on this, see: The Deceitfulness of Sin.]
Sin is such a serious thing, however, because – unless remedied – it has a dire consequence: “For the wages [reward or penalty] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The prophet Ezekiel had much earlier said: “The soul [person] who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
Know the enemy!
Since sin brings death, it is an enemy we face every day. We must struggle with it as in a life-or-death battle, or else we will be overcome by it and become its dead victim!
In order to overcome our enemy, sin, we must know who or what it is. This is a basic rule of successful warfare.
What is sin? 1 John 3:4 [NKJV] says: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness [Greek, anomia], and sin is lawlessness.” The KJV renders the latter part of this verse as: “…for sin is the transgression of the law [of God].”
The law of God defines for us what, in God’s view, is sin, and its opposite – right doing or righteousness. The apostle Paul said: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said: ‘You shall not covet’” (Romans 7:7|).
God’s “law” includes not only the “Ten Commandments” (Exodus 20), which Paul quoted, but also the statutes, judgments, ordinances, and testimonies [witness] of God as found in His word (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and as referred to in all the rest of the Bible. [See: The Law of Christ and Moses and Jesus – Are They Contraries?]
The “original sin”
The first sinner in all the universe was not Adam or Eve. Rather, it was the archangel Lucifer, who formerly was one of the cherubim that covered God’s heavenly throne (Ezekiel 28:14, 16). He chose “iniquity” or sin against God in rebellion. Thus Lucifer was cast down from heaven to earth (Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:7-10). He has since become Satan [meaning adversary or enemy of God], and his angels have become demons. [See: Where Did the Devil Come From? and “Your Eyes Will Be Opened!”]
Since man’s creation Satan has been busy inciting and inducing mankind to sin against God as he has done. He is called the “tempter,” for he injects his sinful thoughts into the minds of men, who are thus deceived into sinning against God, and making them his “children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2-3).
Could God not have kept man from sinning?
Genesis 2:8-9 shows that in the Garden of Eden God gave our first parents [Adam and Eve] the choice between two trees – the “tree of life” and “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” [See: What Is This Thing Called “Will?”]
God had known from the start that it was possible for man to choose either of the two trees – the one leading to everlasting life, and the other to death ||(Genesis 2:17; 3:22). And the record shows that man did choose death instead of life! [See: “The Next Chapter of History.”]
Because He knew of such a possibility, God had thought well ahead of time a remedy to save sinning man from death. Revelation 13:8 reveals that the “Lamb” [one of the symbolic names of Jesus, see John 1:39] had been established or appointed by God the Father even before the creation of man, to be the Lamb to take away man’s sin and make man right or acceptable in God’s sight. [See: The True Christ.]
That is how God has shown His love for mankind: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
The first of the seven festivals or holy days of God – the Passover – pictures this first step in God’s plan of salvation of mankind. [See: God’s Feasts in the Book of Acts: Mere Time Markers – or to Be Observed?]. This year 2021 this festival will be observed by the true people of God in the evening of March 26th.
May I then greet all of my brethren a happy and meaningful Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread!
Power to overcome
God knows that man, made of the dust of this earth, is powerless to overcome sin on his own strength. That is why He has offered His Holy Spirit of power to triumph over sin and death. [See: The Higher Law of the Spirit, God’s Spirit and Obedience, and Breaking Down Our “Walls of Jericho.”]
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.