By: Gary L. Hutchens
Sin is what separates a person from God. In Gen. 2:16-17, God warned Adam and Eve to not eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” When they disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of that tree, they entered into sin. God expelled them from the garden, separating them from access to the “tree of life” (Gen. 3:22-24). Thus, the natural processes that eventually lead to physical death were set into motion.
Worse than physical death, though, is spiritual death. Spiritual death has been described as separation from God. We’re told “that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 Jn. 1:5). The term “light” is meant to symbolize righteousness, while “darkness” indicates unrighteousness, or sin.
Obviously, we’re to understand that God is absolutely righteous. But the next verse goes on to say, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” When we live in sin, our sin separates us from God. We cannot walk with God and live in sin at the same time.
The ultimate separation takes place in eternity. In speaking of “those who do not know God, and…those who do not obey the gospel,” Paul stated, “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” Cut off from God and His glory for all eternity. That’s Hell!
The terribleness of sin should impress us. There’s nothing that we face that is as dangerous and potentially destructive as is sin. Nothing else compares. We need to understand this, and we need to diligently teach this truth to our children. In fact, many of the perceived negatives that we face in life can ultimately be traced back to sin.
While our sin condemns us and separates us from God, He does not leave us without hope. God sent His Son into our world as the supreme offering for the guilt of our sin. We read Paul’s encouraging words in reference to our Savior: “in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).
We contact the cleansing power of His blood in the waters of baptism. Ananias admonished Saul, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins…” (Acts 22:16). Understanding the terribleness of sin, anyone ought to desperately want to find a way to be forgiven. That way is through faith in, and obedience to, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Imagine receiving a penalty of death for a crime you committed and realizing that such penalty for your crime is absolutely just. You deserve to die for your crime, and there’s no way out. But then, somebody steps forward and volunteers to actually die in your place. He knows the penalty for the crime has to be paid, and he’s willing to die in order to let you live. Christ did that for you. He offers you forgiveness. He expects you to respond by believing and obeying…
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Gary L. Hutchens