What is the big deal about sin? Why does my sin affect God?

This past week leading up to Easter had me pondering:

  • why Jesus had to die

  • what God’s wrath is all about

  • whether God is angry with me or my sin

  • how my sin diminishes/ tarnishes God’s holiness

Where I want to start is when Jesus confronts Saul.  Do you remember when Saul eagerly left Jerusalem with authorization to seize practicing Christians in Damascus?  Here was a man proudly travelling along Roman roads imbued with full authority and power from the Jewish High Priest, definitely ‘ in the right’  or so he thought.  And the living, resurrected Jesus interrupted his life in a tangible, unforgettable way with the question, “ Why are you persecuting me? “  Acts 9:4b

How had Saul even interacted with Jesus?   The only explanation is that what affects a Christian directly affects Jesus OR actually speaks against Jesus’ character.

And if Jesus is God –  John 10:30, then when our sin affects another believer, then we are hurting God or saying something that disparages His character.

Let’s take some examples –

  • I say something untrue about another person, or spew angrily at them….well that is the same as using hurtful words against God

  • I take something without permission from another person actually trumpets:  “ What God has given me is NOT enough, so I have to get it myself.”

  • I engage in premarital sex or outside-of-covenantal-marriage sex which hurts MY body and therefore hurts Jesus.  My impure actions also trample God’s rules and say in essence:

           “You, even though You are my creator, do not know what is best for me”

  • I am most happy and spend my thoughts in the area of my current ‘idol’, whether it is my technology, weighing a certain amount, decorating my house to a standard, having my peers think highly of me in my job, managing my kids to a certain standard….  Serving my chosen idol again is direct disobedience to God’s 1st and 2nd commandments and says, “ I have the right to choose what is most important in my life”

But why does God get SO mad about these ‘sins’? What if my ‘sin’ just hurts me?  Or at most what if my sin of choice involves the full consent of another person and doesn’t affect anyone else? What if I don’t believe that my body belongs 100 % to God?

Actually the above 3 ‘ what-ifs’ don’ t correspond to reality and therefore, are not TRUE.  I’m living a lie if I operate on the basis of autonomy.  I am NOT my own.  I did not create myself.  I belong to an ‘other’, the triune God.  So even were I to live all alone in a cabin in the woods, (think Thoreau), I could be generating one unspoken lie about God after another, besmirching His character.  And even if another human were not witness, the entire Spiritual realm would know.  The angels would be vehemently protesting, “  Father?  are you going to let her get away with saying You are not loving-enough, not trustworthy enough, not fast enough, not just enough and not enough of a provider?”   And the demons would be rubbing their hands gleefully and chortling, “ See!  You can’t satisfy her!  You go Girl, you know what is best for your life!”

All sin is, therefore, a lie against God.  And for God to be 100 % love and light and pure and holy, He has to protect the integrity of His name, that is His character.  His name represents all His attributes, abilities and qualities.

I don’t understand it fully, but I trust God when He says that my holiness and thereby my happiness (think:  ‘ blessed are you when…’ ) depend on my respecting, obeying and upholding His character.

One last point, and it is by no means a little detail.  Why did Jesus have to actually DIE when He took on our sins. Without going into massive detail about how and why ‘ the wages of sin is death’, it helps me to think of sin like this:  all sin murders God’s character.  We have no problem understanding that premeditated murder requires the killer’s life as just payment.  So it is for each ‘ truth-dissing’  sin.  And God IS truth.

Now aren’t you amazed and dancing for joy God the Father accepts Jesus’ death on the cross as just payment for all your past, present and future sins?  Hallelujah, what a Savior!