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GOD’S VIEW OF SIN by Robert Stapleton
Nearly everything looks different to those that participate and to those that observe. The football player verses the “armchair quarterback,” the automobile driver and the so-called “backseat driver,” and the sinner and God. It does not take long to see how people tend to view sin differently than God. Atheism denies its existence while materialism views it as a violation of one’s conscience. When we consider religious people we see a varied view. There are those who see sin as pre-destined, while others view it as a matter of birth and other as a matter of individual free will. To sum it all up, we could say that God’s view of sin is much graver than man’s view. In this article we want to give serious consideration to God’s view of sin and, hopefully, be encouraged to take the same view as He does.
GENERAL DEFINITION - We first want to notice a general definition of what sin is from God’s perspective. God describes sin as the transgressing of His will (1 John 3:4). He, further, describes it as man not doing what he knows to do right (James 4:17). And even further, He views sin as unrighteousness (1 John 5:17).
SIN AS GOD SEES IT - When we consider the Scriptures, we are provided a “window” that allows us to see sin as God does. We see that God views sin as self-destructing and defiling. The Psalmist speaks of evil hunting down the violent man and overthrowing him (Psalm 140:11). From Scripture we see that the sinner is often far more destructive to himself than to others, even those he intended to harm (Proverbs 8:36). The Bible is clear concerning the fact that sin is shown to be destructive (Isaiah 3:9-11). From this text we see that denial of sin will not make it go away. We can, also, note from the Scriptures that saying “everyone does it” won’t ever make it right (Exodus 23:2). When it comes to sin, even our best efforts are seen as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Additionally, we note that God sees sin as hateful. Those that discriminate unjustly for advantage are an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). In Psalm 5:4-6, David summarized God’s attitude toward sin when he indicated the following.
God has no pleasure in wickedness
There is no place in God’s presence for evildoers
Workers of iniquity are hated
The wicked will be destroyed
From Proverbs 6:16-19 we see seven things that disgust God.
Pride - James 4:10
A lying tongue - Colossians 3:9; Proverbs 19:5
Hands that shed innocent blood - Matthew 27:14
Those that devise evil - Amos 5:14; 3 John 2
Those that are swift participants in evil - Romans 3:15; Matthew 2:1
Those that bear false witnesses - Romans 13:9, 10
Those that are sowers of discord - Proverbs 16:28
It is also quite revealing to note that God sees sin as separating and alienating. In Isaiah 59:1, 2; 64:7; and Hosea 5:6 we clearly see the fact that sin results in separation and alienation of man from God. The writher to the Hebrews indicated that there is a great depth to which one may fall in sin (Hebrews 6:4-6). The Apostle John indicated that some are so deep in sin that intercessory prayer is useless because such individuals are unwilling to turn from their sin (1 John 5:16). Man needs to be careful that he not allows sin to become such a force and presence that it alienates the only One who can help (Isaiah 55:6, 7).
In further study, we may see that God sees sin as enslaving and progressive (Romans 6:16). In a careful study of sin, we see that it results from a lack of self-control (Romans 7:23).
THE BIBLE EXPRESSES THE DIVINE SUMMARY ON SIN - Sin is seen to be universal (Isaiah 53:6). The Apostle Paul pointed out that both the Jews and Gentiles were convicted under sin (Romans 3:23). Even Christians are not immune to the possibility of sin in their lives if they give into temptation (1 John 1:8).
We may also note that sin is internal in origin - no one can make us do it. The Scriptures indicate that what controls the heart controls the man (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:18-20; Luke 6:45). We must understand that sin is inexcusable in view of natural revelation (Romans 1:20-31) and written/inspired revelation (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Titus 2:11-13).
Sin looks different to man than it does to God. Man may offer several excuses. It is often heard.
“After all, everybody does it.”
“I just don't see anything wrong with it."
“You don't want me to be unhappy do you?”
“It’s not as bad as what others do.”
“I can always change later.”
However, regardless of how we see, or don’t see, sin, God sees it as:
Self-destructing and defiling
Separating and alienating
Enslaving and progressive
In the end, it can easily be said that sin, by nature is:
Universal - Therefore, everyone needs Jesus
Internal - Therefore, everyone needs the gospel
Inexcusable - Therefore, everyone must accept personal responsibility and take personal action - 2 Corinthians 5:10.