Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
God loved Adam and Eve and they enjoyed fellowship together. The sin Adam committed separated him and all following generation from God. After death entered God’s creation nothing has been the same.
Since that original sin there has been a huge gulf between God and us. It is not humanly possible for us to bridge that gulf by ourselves and return to being in the presence of God. God hates sin because of that separation and had a plan to bridge that gap.
First, let’s understand what sin is. Sin is anything that is opposed to God’s ways. The Ten Commandments are a good summary and a place to start in understanding God’s ways: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
That’s easy enough to understand, but Jesus reveals even more of God’s ways: “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
The book of Leviticus gives us a pretty good idea of what God expects of us, but read through the Sermon on the Mount and you will understand more. God gave us the laws to follow in order to be able to be with Him.
We all can understand the rules of a game of sports and know that if we break one of those rules we get penalized. For instance, when I watch the Winter Olympics I see figure skaters. They do routines and I can’t see any flaws in what they do.
But when the judges give points, what I thought was a beautiful performance has many points taken away from the score. Maybe a foot wobbled, or maybe a leg wasn’t high enough. We accept this but many think that God is unfair.
God gave us the facts and rules of the way to be with Him. God’s ways are perfect but we rebel against Him and that is called sin. We think He doesn’t mind, but God does mind. God hates sin, and we push the limits.
We also need to know that sin is a choice. Yes, it is in our nature, but when Adam committed that sin so long ago it was a choice he made. God gave him everything and then gave him one rule. Just one:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’” (Genesis 2:16).
That seems easy enough. Then God did even more for Adam. He created Eve. Sometimes I try to imagine that time in history when Adam and his wife strolled around that garden and had direct contact with God. What bliss that must have been. Well, we all know what happened:
Satan lied, Eve bought into that lie, and Adam chose to sin. Yes, sin is a choice. The fellowship once enjoyed by God and His creation was broken. This is why sin is so repugnant to God.
I mentioned a plan that God had to bridge the gulf created by sin. What is that bridge?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
God hates sin, but He loves us. All it takes for us to move from death to life is belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. There is no other way to be with God except to believe in Jesus Christ.
“For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).
Since Jesus Christ died on that cross, sin and death have been defeated and we are no longer under condemnation. What perfect love our Creator has for us! He entered His creation to give us the only way to salvation. Again, we have a choice. Either accept Him and gain eternal life, or choose to reject this gift and find eternal death. It is our choice.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of god is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
A wage is something you work for and earn. But a gift is freely given with no work on the part of the recipient. Jesus paid all of our sin-debt at the cross. He gave us the gift of eternal life. Why then do we still feel so dirty? We are all sinners.
But since the cross those of us who’ve placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the one and only propitiation for the sin of the world are now seen by God as holy and righteous─fully justified─set apart from the rest of the world, His Ekklesia.
The gift has to be accepted, and even though it is for everyone, if a person chooses not to accept this gift they will be eternally lost.
Here’s the gist of what Jesus did on the cross, and I’m making this as simple as I can to get my point across. The Creator of the universe entered His creation and became a man─the man Jesus Christ. Yet He was still fully God. He took all sin from the beginning of time plus all the sin that would ever be committed in the future of mankind. He nailed those sins to the very cross that He occupied.
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished’: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).
It is finished. Thank You, Jesus!
He paid the full price for our sin when He died on that cross then rose in victory over death on the third day. Jesus Christ made the full-payment required which put an end to any future need for another payment to be made. That being the case, why do we who have accepted Him as our propitiation still allow condemnation to wreak havoc in our lives?
God hates sin, and so should we, but as believers in Christ we allow torment to steal our joy when we wallow self-condemnation. This doesn’t mean we have a free pass to keep sinning, but we have been forgiven. Our debt is paid. Through Jesus we have life eternal.
Many born-again believers in Christ continue to hold fast to that old condemnation they had become used to before becoming a son of God.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
God hates sin, but through Christ Jesus we are no longer condemned.
Let that sink in for a minute.
We aren’t to walk after the flesh (worldly ways) but after the Spirit (godly ways). We still sin, and often times beat ourselves up because of sins that we commit. But God no longer condemns us. Jesus Christ bridged the gulf and once we accept His sacrifice we are forgiven.
Through my continued walk with Christ I’ve grown to hate sin, and yet I still sin. I know that my sisters and brothers in Christ also hate sin. But until we all learn to hate sin as God does, sin will affect us. If you are trying to deal with sin and your attempts seem feeble, talk to Jesus. We are all in the same boat.
When we do something we shouldn’t do it isn’t long before we’re convicted by the Holy Spirit to confess it and move on. Even if it happens over and over, Jesus still paid the full-price. Here’s what to do whenever you stumble and fall. Go to 1 John 1:9 and read this verse over and over again until you have it memorized:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
John is speaking to the brethren here and admonishing them (and us) to confess all sin before God who, as a matter of fact, has already cleansed us from all unrighteousness. There is no priest or saint needed for intercession. Jesus is our Intercessor and He is all we need.
Basically, John through the Holy Spirit is giving every born-again believer in Christ a way to get relief because of the conviction they are going through. This simple but precious verse is the believer’s bar of cleansing soap.
Until we are at last free of these sin-riddled bodies the enemy will continue to entice us and then condemn us when we fail. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This is a fact. We all sin and will continue to do so this side of heaven.
Why do we allow the enemy to fill us with thoughts of condemnation when God tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? (See Romans 8:1 above.)
Do you believe our Creator God hates sin but loves us so much that He died for us and gave us everlasting life? Then live for Him who saved you. We’re forgiven of our sins simply by believing in what God did on the cross of Calvary. For God, that forgiveness was not enough so He followed it up with the seal.
What seal? He seals His Holy Spirit inside each of us who become His children. “…in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13b).
If all that wasn’t enough He gave us His Word, and in His Word He makes it plain that nothing can ever remove us from His hands.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
You cannot fool God by saying “I believe” but not truly believe it. If you truly have accepted Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection then you are sealed and nobody─not even you─can remove you from Him. I don’t think I could possibly love Him more. Thank You, Jesus.
There are so many verses that confirm the fact that once we become sons of God we can never lose our sonship. So, the question is, “Why do we allow the enemy to condemn us?”
Paul also makes it clear how secure we are in God’s hands:
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Are you secure, in your faith? Studying the Bible will strengthen your faith and you’ll come to the realization that your security in Christ will never fail. Neglect or disregard for the Word of God will only weaken your faith. I know there are many born-again believers in Christ who neglect Bible study.
God’s Word tells God’s heart. We aren’t left to imagine what may or may not be a sin. God hasn’t changed, so we don’t have to try to figure out if a sin in Moses’ day is still a sin in our modern age. Yes, it is still sin and God hates it. Many begin to feel like failures in their walk with the Lord, but Jesus bridged that gulf. But be sure to re-read 1 John 1:9.
Believers in Christ need to understand how much God hates sin. He gave His life to bridge the gulf created by sin. We are of Christ and our lives belong to Him. We need to move closer to Him and further from the world that Satan owns. This evil creature lied to Eve and immortality was lost. As Christian’s we need to look and act like Jesus and not look like and act the world.
We need to hate sin as God does. We shouldn’t allow the enemy to have such influence over us. God is all-powerful and He gives His children power to withstand the enemy. Use the power! Put it to work in your life. Get back on track and get out there and be a witness for the kingdom of heaven. God expects it. Don’t let Him down.
God bless you all,