By Jack Glover
It is evident that we have different attitudes toward sin. Actions that at one time were considered sinful are now readily accepted. Why the change? Do we have the authority to decide what is sinful? If so, could not each person, or nation, determine what will be considered sinful and what will not? Is that what we are doing now?
A wise man once said, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Prov. 14:34). If sin is a reproach (disgrace), why is it so easily accepted? Why do we justify it by calling it by other names? How do we determine what is sinful? Where did the idea of sin originate?
The concept of sin is a Bible subject. If one wants to understand (or define) sin, he must go to the Bible. Government is from God, but government does not determine what actions are sinful and what ones are not. Parents are from God, but parents do not decide if one is guilty of sin. Sin defined is “transgression of the law,” or lawlessness (I John 3:4). When we violate God’s law, we sin.
When we understand this, we do not seek answers from other men to determine if an action is sinful. It does not matter what man may think, only what God thinks. Government may make laws instructing us that we must accept certain actions that are sinful. It does not have authority to do that, as “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Does God know when we sin or justify sins of others? The answer is yes: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3). No man can sin without God knowing it. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). As David found out, sin eventually will find you out (II Samuel 11-12), many times with severe consequences.
What can we do about sin? We must speak out and stand against it in all forms. We must not condone it in ourselves, family, government or anywhere. Many seem to be afraid to let their voices be heard against it.
We can obey the one who has made it possible to have our sins forgiven — Jesus, the Christ. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1). You notice I said “obey” because obedience to all teachings of the Bible are required.
Remember, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Sitting quietly by while sin takes over all around us is unacceptable.