Sometimes I wonder whether we truly grasp the severity of sin. Many years ago, there lived a married couple that told a lie and instantly dropped dead.
Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold part of their property. In those days, from time to time, those who owned property sold them and brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet [Acts Chapter 4, verse 34-37]. With his wife's full knowledge, Ananias kept back part of the money for himself and brought the rest and placed it at the apostles' feet.
When the apostle Peter confronted Ananias about what he had done and that Ananias had lied to the Holy Spirit and had kept for himself some of the money he received from the sale, Ananias instantly fell and died.
A few hours later Ananias' wife came to Peter unaware of what had happened to her husband. Peter asked her if that was all the money they received for the land, and she too lied and immediately fell and died [Acts Chapter 5, Verse 1-10].
This is such a shocking story but it demonstrates just how severe sin is. Ananias and Sapphira were not punished for keeping some of the money, but for lying about it. They had not lied to men but to God. It's their deceit that lead to their death.
But it's no big deal
There was a time in my life when I thought it was okay to take office supplies from work (without permission) for personal use at home. A time when I thought it was fine to install software on my computer using a fake product key in order to avoid paying a fee. Back then, I never really thought what I was doing was such a big deal. I knew it was wrong, but I still chose to do it.
But as I began to dig deeper into God's word, God began to show me that there was stuff in my life that was hindering my relationship with Him. It became clear to me that while it may be true that some sins result in greater consequences than others, it is important to understand that any sin is still an act of disobedience to God.
Pleasing God meant that I needed to obey His commands. Taking office supplies without permission or not paying for software that isn't free is theft and God commands us not to steal [Exodus Chapter 20, Verse 15]. God doesn't tolerate any sin. So, if my desire is to please Him, shouldn't I be sensitive to His word? To believe that our sin is no big deal is failing to recognise its seriousness and that any sin is still worthy of death [Romans Chapter 6 Verse 23].
The other side of the spectrum
I was astonished when I read this phrase in the book “ Never had I considered that thinking that my sin was too great for God to forgive was, in actual fact, underestimating the power of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us.
So often we are lead to believe that our sin is so great that God would never forgive us. We shy away from attending church or choose not to seek forgiveness from God because we feel ashamed and unworthy.
Recognising that we are sinful is a good starting point to restoring our relationship with God. For if we claim to be without sin, we're calling God a liar and his word has no place in our lives [1 John Chapter 1, Verse 10]. However, as humbling as this may seem, it's not until we honestly believe, recognise and accept what Christ has done for us that we can truly receive forgiveness.
The sacrifice on the cross was enough
Sin destroys our relationship with others but also our relationship with God. The more we sin, the more it can spiral out of control. It brings fear, guilt and suffocates us. Thankfully, because God is so merciful and loves us so much, he provided a way to overcome sin.
Christ died for sin and through him, we have been set free from the bondage of sin and have gained eternal life. What Christ did on the cross for us is sufficient to cover all our sin. He fulfilled the law (knew no sin) and yet he became sin for us so that we may be declared righteous through Him [Corinthians Chapter 2, Verse 5-21]. Sin is so severe that Christ had to die in our place.
The challenge for me now is to never take God's mercy and grace for granted. I cannot get away with sin and I'm only fooling myself if I believe I can. Being aware that God is always present will help me stay on guard and be careful of what I choose to do. I should fear God and shun evil [Proverbs Chapter 3, Verse 7].
The Companion Guide For Lies Women Believe
“To believe that our sin is too much for God is to underestimate the power of the cross”
Your Bibliography: DeMoss, Nancy Leigh. . 1st ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 2002. Print.
Kandima Awendila was born in Mozambique and lives and works as an IT Service Desk Engineer on the Gold Coast.'Kandi Awendila's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/kandima-awendila.html