Sin, although it’s now inherently embedded in human nature, grieves the Lord so deeply that He came to earth as a Man (while not ceasing to be God) and died as a substitute for us, thus atoning for our sin. He rose again, breaking the power sin has over us. If you think seriously about His action, you’ll realize that He doesn’t gloss over our disobedience.
God created us in His image. I’m not skilled enough in theology to fully understand all that being created in His image means, but much of it centers on reflecting His character. He created us to be holy, as He is Holy. When we sin, of course, our thoughts, attitudes and actions are anything but holy, and therefore we pervert His image. In other words, we become soiled…we obscure any resemblance to His character. And because His holiness can’t accommodate our unholiness, we separate ourselves from Him. Even when we accept Jesus, thus receiving His mercy and wonderful forgiveness, sin still distorts His image in us.
The good news is that the Holy Spirit gives us power to refrain from sin. We have the responsibility to appropriate that power, certainly, and I pray that my blog posts will encourage my readers to do so. I pray that they will encourage me to do so. We can obey Him, showing the world that He really does transform lives! We can live in holiness, reflecting Him to a world that desperately needs hope.
What we, in our self-absorption, call “responsibility” (heaving a weary sigh of martyrdom) is actually a glorious privilege, and we should rejoice that God allows us the honor of representing Him to a world that desperately needs Him. As 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, we are Christ’s ambassadors, showing others that, through Jesus, human beings can be reconciled to God.
When I give into anger, or when you give into whatever sin that seems to be part of “who you are,” God’s reputation is maligned by those who reject Him. Thus, we grossly distort His image. Frankly, I hate sin when I see it locking people away from the blessings of God. Often, I’m accused of being judgmental, bigoted, legalistic and (most recently, to my amusement) toxic. But I love people enough to hate the sin that imprisons them.
I hope you’ll love me enough to hate my sin.