What is Sin? Part 2

Last week we learned that, sure enough, we do all sin. Every single one of us, just like the Bible claimed. But seriously, you ask, do you really think we are that bad? I can think of fifty people right off the bat who are so much more of a sinner than I am!

Lets look closer at the first commandment. Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” This little verse is often overlooked by readers or combined together with the second commandment regarding idols. It is, however, its own commandment. I will argue that no other commandment can be broken unless this commandment has first been broken.

“You shall have no other gods before me.” You shall love nothing more than God and care about nothing more than you care about God. Nothing. Not your husband, not your children, not your housework. Nothing.

Take a minute to consider how this would look practically worked out in your life. If you love God most, then you will never become impatient with your children. Instead, you will love God’s command to show preference to others, to love others more than you love yourself, and to treat others as you want to be treated. Plus, you will think of the massive amount of perfect patience God has shown you and you will immediately recognize that whatever the children have done to you can never compare to what you have done to God.

If you love God most, you will never disrespect your husband. Instead, you will recognize God’s command to submit to and respect your husband. You will rightly see your relationship with him as an image of how Christ interacts with his church and you will seek to act towards your husband as the church is to act towards Christ. You will understand that God has given you your husband – regardless of his spiritual condition – and that to disrespect him is to disrespect the One who gave him to you.

The second commandment refers to the making and worshiping of idols. It is easy to see how you are loving a god besides the true God in this commandment.

The third commandment talks about misusing the name of the Lord. What are some reasons we would misuse God’s name? Perhaps you hear it misused all the time, and have become numb to it. You don’t notice when people use it inappropriately and you don’t notice when you use it in appropriately. I would say that you are loving comfort more than you are loving God in this situation. You are loving the opinions of man rather than the opinion of God when you choose to misuse His name

The fourth commandment tells us to keep the Sabbath day holy. Whenever a Jew chose to work on the Sabbath, what she was doing was blatantly declaring that she loved her work more than she loved her God. She was choosing housework over obedience. She was choosing dishes over meditation. She was choosing cooking over pleasing God.

The fifth commandment orders us to honor our parents. Therefore, if we choose not to show honor to our parents we are loving ourselves more than God. We are choosing to dishonor the guardians that God Himself picked out for us. Does this commandment apply even to bad parents? I would say yes. God did not qualify His commandment; He simply said to honor. This may mean that some of us will have to accept that our parents are going to mistreat us and take advantage of us. But if we love God most of all, obeying His commandment will be worth the struggle involved.

Does this make sense? I could keep going through the last five commandments, but I believe the point has been made. In other words, every time we speak out of anger, every time we are impatient, every time we gossip, what we are actually doing is loving an earthly god more than our Heavenly God. And God tells us in Exodus 20 that every time we do this, it is sin.

If you are anything like me, right now you are realizing that you sin a lot more than you are aware of. Unfortunately, the picture gets darker before it gets brighter. Join me next week to talk about ‘man’s chief end.’

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