How Do You View Sin?

Mike Johnson

In our society today, sin is often viewed as acceptable.  In the past, however, shame was often associated with sin.  Today, it is common for people to admit openly to engaging in sinful practices, making no attempt to hide them.  For example, a couple living together, although now  common, was once referred to as “living in sin.”  In the past, a couple dated, got engaged, and then got married.  Today, however, a couple will date, live together for awhile, and then maybe become engaged and get married.  By many, such sins as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, immodest dress, lying, and stealing are considered acceptable.

The true picture of sin, however, is clearly revealed in God’s Word.  In James 1:21, the writer points out we are to, “…lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness.”  From this verse, it is clear sin is to be regarded as “filthiness.”  We should look at sin as one would look at a filthy rag–it should be looked upon as disgusting and sickening. Further, according to the passage, all sin is to be put away.

Note also II Peter 2 which speaks of those who, according to the context, had become Christians but turned back to sin.  Verse 22 describes them in this way:  “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.'”  This is not a pretty picture.

Another passage to consider is Isaiah 5:20 which says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  A person can call evil good but that does not mean it is.  A person may call darkness light and call bitter sweet, but simply calling it such does not change its true nature. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have? Four, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.”

Actually, incorrect labels can produce devastating effects.  Obviously, a container with poison needs to be properly labeled.  Poison with no label on the container is very dangerous.  Poison which is mislabeled is even more dangerous. A container with poison, for example, labeled as “sugar” could produce tragic results.  The same principle applies to sin.  We can call it whatever we want to, but calling it something different does not change what it is.

Isaiah 59:1-2 makes it clear sin separates us from God. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 6:23 reveals, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 How do you view sin?