Sunday, February 15, 2009

SIN Word Study Devotional

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." - 2 Corinthians 5:21

The Greek word for sin is an interesting one; it is pronounced, hamartia, giving the -negative prefix (S#1) a rough breathing mark, which makes it sound as ha. Add to it, meros (the base of martia: S#3313), which means “a section, a piece, a portion, a share, an allotment, a part, (in) respect (to),” etc. Add the negative a, and it says: “no section, no piece, no portion, no share,” etc.

It was God’s intention to share (meros) the earth and His glory with Man. Man was to multiply and manage the earth, allowing God to enjoy the shares—the fellowship—of creation with him. Man, in turn, would also enjoy the shared fellowship of God and His creation. To gauge Man’s eternal devotion to Him, God placed one restriction on Man: he was not to eat of one fruit-bearing tree, “…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…” (Gen. 2:17). This tree was the only thing that Man must be banned from, for in its fruit bore a seed of disobedience and rebellion that would produce an eternal a-negative: the sin nature.

You know the story and you know the outcome: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23); or, paraphrased: “For Man has lost his share and has fallen beneath the level of walking in fellowship with God.” (“fall short” = hustereo S#5302 = under or beneath; inferior) God declared that anything and anyone not living on His level, in His fellowship, would die. Since Man was given dominion over God’s creation, when he sinned, all the earth was cursed with death; the earth fell beneath God’s level.

Anything and everything with the a-negative reflects the outcome of Man’s sin: disease, hatred, rebellion, natural disasters, wildlife, weeds, etc.—the list is endless. God gave Man two hopes of starting all over: once with Noah, and another time with Moses. But, alas, even these two had the nature of sin in them. Noah got drunk and one of his sons used this incident to prove the sin nature was still in Man (Gen. 9:20-25); and Moses lost his temper and disobeyed God (Num. 20:7-12); and another time, he didn’t have the guts to circumcise his firstborn…well, you think he forgot? I doubt it. (Cf. Ex. 4:24-26) Therefore, “all have sinned.”

To show man the price of disobedience, God provided a series of covenants to bring Man back into fellowship with Him. His covenants were established with His law (His commands) and a sacrificial system. But Man, at his best, could only have temporal fellowship with God. Man could not have eternal fellowship because, although the law was perfect, the sacrificial system could only be temporal until something/someone perfect—untouched by Man’s sin nature—could be found and presented to God as an eternal sacrifice. Both the law and the sacrificial system had to fulfill the perfect, sinless, eternal standard of God.

To restore fellowship with God—to live in the presence of His glory—Man had to be perfect. Yet Man continued to sin through the a-negatives in the world. For example, when someone lies, or reacts with unrighteous anger, or lusts after someone else’s spouse (adultery, pornography, etc.), or shows greed, or cheats, etc., any or all of these show Man beneath the level of God’s standard for fellowship with Him. There is no place where Man can avoid the reminder of sin. Man, apart from God, has no good thing—no eternal thing—to restore his level with God.

Sin pierces the heart—the nature—of God. He cannot have fellowship with the crown of His creation, Man. When He sees Man, He sees His image marred by sin and is grieved over the sight. That’s because He created Man to love him, to have intimate fellowship with him, and to enjoy the sharing of His creation. Man, for the most part, seems driven to achieve a level of acceptance with his fellow man and with his created source, whether he acknowledges God or not; he seeks acceptance or fellowship. That is why, for millenniums, we have an ongoing record of God dealing with sinful Man, offering him a way to relate to Him. In the end, God would have to make an eternal, perfect, sinless sacrifice that would provide an eternal covering for the eternal sin of Man.

(The answer to this dilemma will be discussed in a separate devotional, entitled, SALVATION; or you may go to: John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 6:23; 10:9-10, 13)

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