During the Fall of 2018, I heard a prayer that I think about daily. I was in a discipleship group with some of my friends and we went around the room and shared prayer requests. One of my friends explained that his prayer request was this: “Pray that I can see sin the way God sees sin.” That prayer changed my prayer life and it actually changed my Christian walk for the better. But why? What does “seeing sin the way God sees sin” actually mean?
First, we need to give an accurate definition of sin. What is sin? Merriam-Webster defines it as, “an offense against religious or moral law” and “an often serious shortcoming” (Merriam-Webster, Sin). This is an accurate definition, but as Christians our ultimate and final authority is Scripture so, how does Scripture define sin? The Apostle John simply defines sin as lawlessness. He writes, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (I John 3:4 ESV). So, biblically, sin is breaking God’s law. Now, John adds to his definition of sin later in chapter five of his first epistle. I John 5:17a reads, “All wrongdoing is sin.” So, biblically, sin is anything and everything that is unrighteous. And, as we know from Isaiah 33:22, righteousness is set by God for He is Judge and Lawgiver. So, we can sum up that sin is breaking and going against God’s standard of righteousness.
Second, we need to ask the question: “How does sin affect us?” We all know that perfect fellowship with God was broken in the Garden of Eden when Eve and Adam ate the fruit they were forbidden to eat. But how does that affect us? Paul answers this in Romans 5:12. He writes, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all have sinned.” Paul describes that sin is now in the world and spreads through every person. Also, notice what Paul says in Romans 3:23. He writes, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Notice these past and present tense uses. For all HAVE SINNED (past tense) and FALL SHORT (present tense). Readers, Paul is saying here that we fall short of God’s glory and sin against His holy name daily.
Third, what is God’s relationship to sin. Well, He hates it. God abhors sin. Here are several Bible verses that describe God’s hatred of sin: Psalm 11:5, Psalm 5:4-5, Proverbs 8:13, Zechariah 8:17, Proverbs 15:9. Why is it important to know why God hates sin? Well, due to God’s hatred of sin, we are separated from Him. Isaiah 59:2 reads, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Do you want to know what we (sinners) look like before God? Isaiah 64:6a tells us and it reads, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” We and our righteous deeds are like polluted garments before the eyes of God. Our sin is that great and His holiness is that much greater. Thanks be to God that redemption can be found through Christ and his blood can cleanse us of the dirtiness sin has brought upon us. Romans 5:6 – “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Why did I write this blog? Because we need to see sin the way God sees it. 21st Century Christians are so guilty of overlooking sin. When in reality, sin brings death (Romans 6:23). Furthermore, sin is spitting upon the glory of God and His holy name. When we sin, our hearts should break. Does your heart break when you cuss out the person who cut you off on the highway? Does your heart break when you lie to someone you love? Does your heart break when you become a drunkard on Saturday night? Does your heart break when you cheat on your taxes, homework, or spouse? No, your heart doesn’t break? Then you should pray daily for the Spirit to grant within your heart a hatred of sin. You ought to pray daily, “Lord, allow me to see sin the way you see it.” Christians, it is time to stop overlooking sin for what it is. It is time to recognize sin, realize how much God hates it, and pray that we hate it just as much. John Owen is famous for writing, “Be killing sin or it be killing you.” Put to death your sin before it puts to death you.
I pray that your heart becomes sorrowful over sin and through that, you may grow closer to the Lord.
Leviticus 11:44a – “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”
Soli Deo Gloria,
Cameron R. Knowles