When asked what sin is, Billy Graham said, “A sin is any thought or action that falls short of God’s will. God is perfect, and anything we do that falls short of that perfection is sin.” The actual word the bible uses for sin is an archer’s term. When an archer releases his arrow from his bow and misses the target, he has sinned; literally, he has missed the mark. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In other words, we have all missed the mark, God’s mark, God’s standard. Every single one of us has missed it, therefore, every one of has sinned.
God gave to the Jews a law to live by and every one of them failed to live in accordance to it. God also gave the gentiles a law of conscience, a law every gentile has broken. Romans 7:7 tells us that the law makes us aware of our sin. In fact, the first commandment of God tells us, “You are to have no other God before me.” Have you always put God first in your life? Have you ever put something, someone, or self before God? Sure you have. Everyone has. Therefore, we have all broken the first commandment of God; we have all sinned. In fact, if I were to sit down with you in person, in a short amount of time I could show you how you have broken all of God’s commandments; we all have.
Clearly we sin when we lie, steal, murder, covet, lust, or do anything that God doesn’t approve of. Any action that falls short of God’s glory, His standard, His mark, is sin. However, sin is also not doing the many things that God has told us to do. For instance, God has clearly told us to not forsake assembling with other believers. (Hebrews 10:25.) In other words, go to church. Therefore, when we deliberately refuse to go to church we have sinned against the very God who has told us to go. We have missed the mark. Likewise, when we deliberately refuse to study His word, pray, give, witness, as well as many more things God has told us to do we have missed the mark.
Sin is what separates us from God. God is righteous and cannot have a relationship with sinners. Adam and Eve were removed from paradise because of their sin. They disobeyed God and suffered the consequences. Paul, writing to people who were obviously physically alive, wrote, “And you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1). Why were they dead? Their sins separated them from God and were therefore spiritually dead. Their repentance from sin and acceptance of God’s grace gave them life- eternal life. (Ephesians 2:1-10). If one dies physically while still separated spiritually from God in their sins they will stay eternally separated from Him in hell where there is no chance of escape. That’s why today is the day of salvation. Once we die, it’s too late.
We cannot clean ourselves up or straighten out our act. Nor can we shake the stench and stain of sin off of our lives. There is nothing we can do on our own that can release us from the condemnation of sin. It was sin that Jesus died for so that through Him we would have the ability to die to it. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
When we understand that we are sinners we understand our great need of Jesus. For He alone can save us from our sins and restore us into right relationship with God. Since we are all sinners, we all stand in need of salvation from our sin. Praise God for Jesus and His grace and mercy that results into salvation to those who believe.