I have been studying Romans, verse by verse following Paul’s thread of thought. I studied it in college, but that was a boatload (two trains, and a couple of semis) years ago. I’ve revisited circumcision, atonement, and salvation, and now, now the ‘s’ word … yup … sin. I have learned much more than I ever wanted, I’ve been forced to stop writing, and push away from the table having to bow my head multiple times. (This is not a complete thesis on the subject, just what I am learning).
Sin is biblically known as to fail or miss the mark. The mark is the target God set out there for us, to not only aim for – but HIT. Sin is a verb, an archer’s term, let me paint a picture: The archer takes a stance, the bowstring is drawn, and then released, the arrow flies and misses the target, the arrow has failed to fulfill the goal, due to the contemplated aim of the archer. The archer has sinned. Here’s a good example, in the book of Judges (chapter 20) it talks about a group of left-handed warriors who could sling a rock so accurately, they could not ‘miss’ (they didn’t ‘khata’ / sin) their aim was right-on, their slinging was ‘sinless.’ How is our aim?
We want to make sure we know what we are aiming for, WHAT is the targeted goal of our thoughts, behavior, and choices. We look to Jesus, the ‘sinless’ One, Who did not fail to love and love completely. In His response when asked what the greatest commandment is, His answer (in short) “To love God and love others.” (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28:31) When we sin, we fail to love as commanded; our mindset works out in our actions in disobedience, we either hurt God, ourselves or hurt others, (usually all at the same time). We miss the target, love. If we are loving God with ALL our heart, ALL our soul, and ALL our mind… and loving our neighbor as our self, well our target is hit. BUT, when we don’t and we miss, (and we will) John gives us the solution, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9) Confessing is coming back into alignment with what GOD says! How’s our re-aligning?
Funny thing is, it does not stop there, in the original language, sin is the act of doing wrong(missing the goal) yes, but it is literally also ‘not the best‘ (OUCH!) The goal of the enemy of our soul is to kill, steal and destroy, he does so by getting us distracted, deviating from the truth, get our eyes OFF the target, not doing and being our best. How many of us, if we were REALLY honest would be bold enough to say we are lazy, (my hand goes up!) we don’t always give it our best, we are undisciplined and often times just do a haphazard fling of our bow, not truly taking it serious enough, when our response is wrapped in lame-slang, “My bad!” James understood this: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (4:17) He is describing what is theologically known as ‘sins of omission.’ It is not only what people do that matters; the good that they fail to do (due to the contemplated aim of the archer) is equally important to God. *
Here is an amazing example of how I feel Paul is strongly exhorting us all to do and be the VERY BEST. He KNEW, he knew because Jesus told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) Yes, it is hard work, yes it is painful, yes, we do so by faith, and YES, it helps to have someone crawling alongside us! I love how the mocking crowd changed their tune as they see the determination, can you imagine how the world would view us (and our God) if we responded in life like THIS! Watch … watch until the very end “Alright, who’s next?” May this clip and the words of Jesus ring true as we are taking proper aim and ‘giving it our very BEST!’ God gave His very best, why don’t we.
Paul, the coach… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sUKoKQlEC4 (Click on link)
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
*Sins of omission defined in ESV Study Bible notes, commentary on James 4:17. Please also note, this author chooses to not capitalize the name satan, he is not worthy of proper grammatical rules. Movie clip above is from ‘Facing the Giants’.