No Trespassing

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  Romans 3:22-25

The Bible teaches us that in the beginning God created everything, and it was very good.  His design for this world was for our good and His glory.  He intended for us to live with Him, walk with Him and enjoy all the blessings for which He created us.  He desired that humanity would worship Him in love and praise Him with all creation.  God’s creation and design was perfect, without pain, suffering, injustice, and fear.  But it did not remain that way.  We all know through our individual experience that this world is broken.  Something has gone wrong, but what? 

What’s wrong with the world today? 

The truth is that I am what is wrong with this world.  I have missed the mark of perfection.  I haven’t even really come close to being what God created me to be in my character and in my conduct.  Honestly, for every step forward I take a hundred steps backward!  I have crossed the clear lines of right and wrong prescribed by our Creator.  I have done what He has instructed us not to do, and I’ve neglected the things He has commanded.  And in all of these bad choices, I’ve shaken my fist at God and blamed Him for all of it. 

The Bible calls these actions and attitudes sin.  And sin is our problem.  Sin is the reason for broken relationships and broken lives.  Sin is churchy word for the wrongdoing and rebellion against our Maker.  And the Bible says that the wages, or consequences, for sin is death.  Not just a physical death, but a spiritual death where we are separated from the walk and worship of God according to His initial design. 

The Bible describes sin in a few different ways.  These ideas can help us understand it better and when we are guilty. 

Sin is often missing the mark.  Imagine target practice with a bow and arrow.  Robin Hood comes to my memory.  The mark we aim for is the bullseye on the target.  We pull, we aim, we fire, we miss!  We might miss the target altogether, or we miss by a little to the left.  Either way, we missed.  The bullseye represents God’s holy perfection.  No matter how hard we try, or how close we think we come, we cannot achieve his holy perfection.  We always fall short.  We need help. 

Sin is also like trespassing.  In fact, the Bible uses the word trespass often for sin.  Trespassing is crossing a clearly defined line.  If I take my trash across my property line and dump it in my neighbors’ yard, they would be angry with me.  Rightfully so.  I’ve crossed a line.  Clearly it is wrong to throw my trash in someone else’s yard.  Well, God has given us some pretty clear lines to follow.  Do not steal.  Do not murder.   Do not lie.  Do not commit adultery.  Do not slander.  There are a lot of lines, and each time we disobey these commands we’ve trespassed.  Some are easy to follow but others are harder.  Each of us has crossed a line at some point, and that makes us guilty. 

Sin is rebellion.  There are times when we disagree with God or ignore His commands.  We would rather shake our fist at God and do things our own way because it feels better.  In our selfishness and greed, we decide to do things that are contrary to what God has instructed.  We knowingly do the wrong thing.  

All of these are sinful actions and attitudes.  None of them help us.  Sin leaves us broken.  Sin distorts God’s design, damages our relationships, and ultimately destroys our souls.  We obviously recognize something is wrong with this world.  The Good News is that God has made a way for us be restored and forgiven by His great love for us.  Jesus forgives us our sin when we repent and believe in Him.  Jesus resolves our sin problem and has promised to put an end to sin once and for all. 

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