Devotional: What is the essence of sin?

When we come to understand these two objectives of God that we've been looking at, first of all, His own glory, and secondly, excellence, and that everything in the universe has got to pass God's standard of excellence, then we really understand, perhaps for the first time, the true nature of sin.

Sin, in its essence, is failing to achieve the objectives of creation ‑ first, God's glory, and second, excellence. If you don't see it in that context, you'll always have a very incomplete and superficial concept of what sin is. Let me say that again, therefore. Sin is the failure to achieve the two primary objectives of the Creator ‑ first of all, His own glory, and second, excellence. This is very simply stated in a well-known verse in Romans, chapter 3, verse 23, where Paul says:

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (NIV)

That's the nature of sin; it falls short of God's glory; it fails to achieve His standard of excellence. You see, a lot of people are good, moral, living people. They don't commit murder. They don't commit adultery. They don't steal. They say, "I'm no sinner." That's because they don't understand the essential nature of sin. Sin, in its essence, is leading a life that robs God of His glory and fails to achieve His standard of excellence.

Now, how can we give the glory back to God of which our sin has robbed Him? The Bible has an answer and it's important to see it. Paul gives the answer in Romans, chapter 4, verses 20 through 21, where he's speaking about Abraham as our pattern and the father of all true believers. And this is what he says about Abraham:

"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." (NIV)

So you see, Abraham gave glory to God. He fulfilled the purpose of the Creator. How did he do it? By his faith. He couldn't do it by morality and righteousness because we have all sinned. But out of his sin, in turning to God in faith and believing that God could do what He promised, he began again to give glory to God. So, faith gives back to God the glory of which sin has robbed Him. On the other hand, unbelief continues to rob God of His glory. So let’s have faith, and give back the glory to God!

Creator of Heaven and Earth, thank You for Your Creativity, and Your love for perfection. From that love, You created heaven, the earth, but also me. And You want me to take my place in an excellent way, through your strength and love. Thank You for that! Amen.

This devotional is taken from

Agreeing with God

God invites you to fellowship with Him, but to do this you must bring your ways and thoughts into line with His.

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