Sin and forgiveness
Sin is one of the principal concepts of the Bible. Simply stated sin is the falling away of the heart from God. Every person has a conscience and some kind of an understanding of right and wrong. The voice of the conscience however is corrupted if it is not joined to God’s Word. Knowledge of, and reverence for God’s Word has dimmed in our time, and with it people’s concept of right and wrong of sin has dimmed. If the teaching about sin ceases, man’s awareness of his need for God’s grace also ceases. -(LLC Position Statement, Section 2 Item 3)
In the above statement we see the importance of the constant reminders we all need regarding sin, how it affects our lives, and most importantly how it affects our relationship with God the Father, and our creator. In today’s society it seems that the teachings of the Bible, especially its teachings about sin, and how we should live our lives are not seriously considered by many people. We see all around us the increasing number of marriages ending in divorce, the sexual relations outside the covenant of marriage, the ever increasing acceptance of “alternative” lifestyles, and the popular “party” lifestyle that is lived by many around us. These all seem to be so common and accepted in our society that it would seem wrong for anyone to comment, question, or preach about.
However God’s Word instructs us that these sins, along with all the other sins that we do, are not acceptable to God (read Rom.ch1:21-32). In Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy we are instructed how God’s grace teaches us that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 1:11-12). Some denominations of the Christian faith seem to overlook sin and erringly teach that God’s great love toward people will cover the sin that we commit in our lives as long as we believe and confess that Christ suffered and died for our sins. In other words it seems that people want to feel accepted by God’s great love, but do not want God involved in their everyday lifestyles. There also is a growing belief today that mankind and its ever increasing knowledge and wisdom doesn’t need to take the Bible and its teachings literally. Perhaps it is believed that the Bible had its proper place in times past, but doesn’t need to be taken seriously in today’s “enlightened” times. Even in our school systems today our children are sometimes taught that we must accept all lifestyles regardless of what they are, and if we don’t we are being judgmental and/or unloving.
The understanding of what God’s love is seems to be distorted by many today. God’s love is made manifest when through his kingdom, sin is preached as sin, not in a judgmental way, but in loving admonishment so that someone living in sin could realize what their condition is before God and seek repentance for their sins. Jesus preached to all that would listen to his loving reminder: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). This is the same message that sounds from God’s kingdom today, to any seeking person that feels the burden of sin on their conscience. The message of the gospel (the forgiveness of sins) is still freely preached from God’s kingdom today, from one pardoned sinner to one penitent sinner who is seeking the peace of God in their own heart. Jesus also encourages those who are living in darkness to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you”. (Matt. 6:33)
When a person receives the grace of repentance by hearing and believing the gospel preached from God’s kingdom, then a person can truly be freed from the bonds of sin. Then a person has a desire to lead a godly lifestyle guided by the Holy Spirit that dwells in the kingdom of God.