Church Words: Sin


Ever notice how Christians (and church in general) has a secret code? There is language used within the church context, that simply are not (at least not regularly) used outside of faith context. This series is aimed at understanding these words, not for knowledge sake, but so that we can deeply understand the implications behind the vocabulary we use.

For week one, we started with the word "sin." A monumentally common and powerful word throughout the entire Bible. It's a term that is often used within the church, but almost never used outside of a religious context. Let's aim to get a good definition of that word, starting with this definition:

“Actions by which humans rebel against God, miss His purpose for their life, and surrender to the power of evil rather than to God.”

According to this definition, it is a wrongful action against God that misses the original intended purpose for created life. If sin is missing the intended purpose for life, let's figure out what that original purpose was. What better place to find original meaning to life, than to look at when life began? Genesis 1:26-27 says,

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and our all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

We were (and are) made in God's image, and there's a lot of purpose to be found there. God has enterally been a God of community (notice "us" verbiage in Creation -- Father, Son, Holy Spirit community in Trinity), so we are made to be in community with Him. God is love, we are made to love Him and love others. God is good, we are made to reflect that goodness. When we deviate from these things, we are failing at our original purpose in life - and we see the first regrettable deviation from this purpose in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. 

Sin became a problem that separated God's creation from Himself; a problem that holds great consequence and that needed to be fixed. In Jesus, His great loving sacrifice, we find the solution to the sin problem (which we will go into greater detail in the coming weeks). 

Sin is not just a laborious list of do's and don'ts -- its failing to be the best you that you were created to be. It literally (in the original language) means to "miss the mark." Those do's and don'ts that you think of (i.e. Ten Commandments) is the standard that God has set of what is right and what is wrong - for our understanding of how to be right, and illuminating the fact we can never accomplish righteousness on our own (again, we NEED Jesus).