Yesterday, we talked about the concept of “death” in the Bible. It does not mean to cease to exist… it means to be separated from that which gives life to us.
The great problem is outlined in our verse for today… All of us are separated from the One Who alone gives us the life we need – and our sin did the separating. This creates a condition of our souls that the Bible calls “death.”
Before we move on to the solution to our condition – we need to grasp the depth of the effects of sin (and death) on our lives…
Guilt. Even the smallest of sins makes us guilty before a pure and holy God. We can tell ourselves that we are not that bad or we are innocent or we compare quite favorably to others who have done more bad things than we have. But in the eyes of the ONLY Judge that matters – every act of sin makes us completely guilty before Him. One of the Holy Spirit’s primary tasks is to make us aware of our guilt.
Judgment. The Bible tells us that the guilty will not go unpunished – and because we are all guilty of sin… judgment has already been pronounced on everyone who sins. Jesus told us that our condemnation will not happen someday (at the final judgment) but that we are condemned right now (John 3:17-18). Most people are not aware that our sentence, because of our sin, has already been declared – and that we all deserve to pay that terrible price for our sins.
Slavery. Jesus was very clear: “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) The apostle was just as straightforward: “you are slaves to the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin leading to death, or to obedience leading to righteousness.” (Rom. 6:16). Sin is not just something we do – it is something that does to us. It wraps us in unbreakable chains and binds us to our selfish ways. Every person who sins is a lifelong prisoner to the relentless taskmaster of sin.
Brokenness. Sin shatters lives. Sin devastates relationships. Our struggles with anxiety, addictions, guilt, regrets, unwarranted fear, destructive behaviors, and vain thinking are all the products of our broken souls. We try in vain to put our broken pieces back together (self-help), but we are always a bit skewed – and forever prone to the powerful influence of our faults and weaknesses. What is more… broken people do broken things – which keeps us bent on the things that reveal just how broken we really are.
Aimlessness. Sin robs us of our divine identity. It causes us to lose all sight of the fact that we were made in God’s Own image – for God’s divine purposes. Our immense value is found in God’s purpose for each of us. Sin takes away our ability to see this purpose – and keeps us wallowing in our lack of value and meaning.
Anesthetic. One of the often-missed effects of sin is the fact that it numbs our souls. Sin causes the long slow sleep that can keep us lost in our sins – and gradually make us to lose sight of our need for a solution. The world and its philosophies (including religion) can also add to this numbing effect produced by sin. We need our souls awakened from the numbing power of sin.
The picture seems quite bleak. Our world is literally filled with people who are broken, aimless, and numb to their true state (separated from God, guilty, condemned, and deserving of judgment).
But here’s the amazing thing… God looked at the state of the world (full of sin and death) and rather than turn away (or start over!)… He decided to come and live in the midst of it. He came to bring His light into the darkness – and to reveal that His life is the light of men. (John 1:4)
And in the end: “God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal Life.”
Jesus came not only to die… but to deal a death blow to sin and its horrid effects on every person’s life who truly believes in Him.