WHAT IS SIN ANYWAY? BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings once more friends. My hope is you are walking in the path of God’s light and all is well with you and your loved ones.

Sin has become such a religious word it has lost its true meaning. It’s important we understand what sin is, so we’ll know where God is coming from when He impeaches mankind of it, and the reason why He sent His Son to save us from its evil grips. Let’s begin…

The Bible says that “rebellion is the sin of divination.” (1Sam.15:23) In one statement, the Bible tells us what sin is and its source. Sin is rebellion, and has to do with divination, or the spirit world. Divination has to do with Satan and his fallen angels who sinned by rebelling against God’s rule over them, see Isaiah.14:12-15; Ezekiel. 28:13-15; and Jude 1:6. Rebellion is knowledge alternative to God’s Word which holds man captive from seeing the light which leads to a blessed life from God. That’s how Satan deceived our first parents saying, “the day you both eat from it (forbidden fruit), then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil.” To “know good and evil” simply means extraneous knowledge through man’s self-determination of what’s right and wrong, which is rebellion or sin against God.

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Lucifer (Satan) Cast Out of Heaven Because of Rebellion/Sin (Paradise Lost, Wiki Commons)

When Adam rebelled by eating the forbidden fruit, God told him, “you will certainly die” (Gen.2:17). God did not mean physical death, Adam did not just drop dead. So what died? Adam and Eve died spiritually. What died was the spirit of life (human spirit) God breathed into Adam at creation which made him a true “living being.” (Gen.2:7; Eph.2:1-7; Zek.18:20; 1 Tim.6:17-19). Through rebellion/sin he became a false “living being.” That is what rebellion of alternate/self knowledge does – it kills the human spirit. As long as Adam and his wife Eve lived in the presence of God (Eden) they remained true “living beings” both spiritually and physically (well-being). However, after they rebelled and were expelled from Eden and God’s presence, they became spiritually dead, but remained physically alive (ill-being).

Jesus said, “Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life” (John 6:63, God’s Word T.). But both lives are intertwined and inter-dependent, even though the physical contributes little or nothing to the spiritual. The human body is simply a house for the spirit we allow in to influence it through the choices we make with our minds (spiritual). Paul therefore explains, “Our struggle (with rebellion/sin) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). Therefore, what we see in man’s physical world is the result of the toing and froing in the spiritual realm. (see Job 2:1-4) So there’s the spirit life and the physical life, yet not separate but connected.

However, Paul speaks of the irony of both these elements being in conflict with each other, “The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh” (Gal.5:17). He speaks of ‘flesh’ and ‘desire’ in the same breadth. It’s not ‘flesh’ in terms of human tissue, but of the the ‘heart’ and mind of man which expresses human ‘desire.’ So, here we see Paul uses the word “flesh” to depict both the physical and spiritual aspects in a single expression. The ‘desire’ can be good or evil depending on the spirit which resides and influences man’s body through his actions. The ‘body’ is simply a ‘temple’ which houses the spirit man allows to influence his physical actions. (1 Cor.6:19) The spirit in turn creates the ‘heart’ which expresses good or evil ‘desires.’  The ‘flesh’ merely expresses the fallen state of existence, or the ‘heart’ of man, which articulates evil ‘desires.’ The foundation of the ‘flesh’ is the dead spirit inherited from Adam.

The ‘heart’ can change depending on what spirit we allow to influence it. Paul says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). The opposite of the ‘flesh’ is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit refers to the state of existence arising from man’s reborn living spirit. God promotes His nature of Love and life through the Holy Spirit to remake us into the image of His Son (Rom.8:29). The devil instills his nature of fear and death stems out of an imprisoned life he has incarcerated human kind. (1 John 4:8; John 13:34; Act.13:10; John 8:44).

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“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.6:23) (Wiki Commons)

With the demise of Adam’s spirit, he was powerless to hold his dominion over the earth given him by God. (Gen.1:26-30) Satan, now holding sway over Adam and mankind, wrests earth’s dominion and brought darkness and death through rebellion. (Matt.4:8-10) Rebellion becomes man’s way of life. The Scriptures say, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Luk.20:38). Satan is not the god of the living, but of the dead. Adam chose his lot with him, albeit by the devil’s cunning and deception. So Adam and Eve were expelled from the presence of life in God (Eden), and took up residence in Satan’s world where death reigned through sin and rebellion. Man’s access to the Holy Spirit symbolized by the “tree of life” was cut off. (Gen.3:22)

After Jesus sent the Spirit on Pentecost He reunited man back to God by reviving his once dead spirit since Adam’s rebellion. (John 16:7; John 3:7) The Spirit gave the dead human spirit a new birth through man’s faith in Jesus as Savior and Mediator. Jesus said, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:3, 5-7). Only a living human spirit regenerated and sustained by the Holy Spirit will empower man’s spirit to relate and communicate with God. Recall, the Holy Spirit was inaugurated into man’s existence through the second Adam, Jesus, when the Spirit rested upon Him after His baptism in the Jordan by John, and more broadly upon His followers on Pentecost. (Matt.3:16-17; Acts 2) Then He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to enter into a titanic battle for man’s freedom against Satan. What Jesus did was to once and for all defeat rebellion at the very heart and core of rebellion itself – Satan and his deathly realm! (Matt.4:1-11) The final deathknell to his dark world came when Jesus died as mankind’s Savior on the cross. Satan’s dominion, ruled by his cohorts of rebellious fallen angels succumbed to the power of God’s Love in Christ. The evil spirits of this dead world, the powers and authorities of rebellion which reigned and held sway over mankind since Adam, was defeated and Jesus sets mankind free forever. 

Sin, rebellion, and death, has no power over man, for Christ has defeated sin in our place. We are no longer in the “sin condition” which condemns us. We are in the “Spirit’s condition” which saves us. (Rom.6:14, 12-13, NLT) Paul said, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Paul explains how this is done and made possible,”You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). God’s ultimate promise to believers is He will bring them into immortality in His presence in His realm and Kingdom.  (1Thes. 4:16-17; 1Cor.15:12-58)

The dominion over this earth is now retaken by Christ and His Kingdom, and is His alone – “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Eph.1:18-21). That age of life and freedom is here, but its full manifestation is yet future at God’s appointed time of complete restitution. That means rebellion and death still reigns over this world as God allows, and man’s only hope is Jesus through whom we receive the Spirit who brings the Love of God to revive the human spirit and replace the rebellious heart. (John 16:7; Rom.5:5) Yes, in the Spirit’s power, a living spirit and Loving heart now reigns in the lives of believers. Satan will be put away from the presence of mankind. (Rev.20:1-3)

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“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.6:23) Fountain of Eternal Life, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio, USA (Wiki Commons)

The prophet tells us what the devil has done to the heart of man making him adversarial and rebellious toward God, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked (rebellious). Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jer.17:9) Yes, the devil has made man’s heart deceitful like his own. This speaks of human personhood, of the “false self” living the “solitary life” under the devil’s influence, and speaks of the darkness of the human soul and how the Spirit defeats it by bringing in the light of Jesus’ life and Love. The prophet says, “We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows…we are like the dead… Our sins testify against us.” (Isa.59:9, 10, 12)

Rebellion is the essence of the “false self” in human personhood. The prophet proclaims, “The people walking in darkenss have seen a great light; of those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isa.9:2) Love is the light of God’s own heart which shines into the darkness of the human soul. And from the glory shone out of the light of Jesus’ life, man can live in the ever increasing glory of His brightness which recedes and ultimately extinguishes the darkness in our rebellious hearts. Like every work of God in man, it is a process, and will be the practice of decision-making as we live our “true self” in Christ. As humans, we can change, unlike spirit beings like fallen angels. Beginning with a rebellious nature we can change to have a fuller appreciation of God’s divine Love. Paul said, “So all of us who have had that veil (of rebellion) removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Cor.3:18, emphasis added, NLT).

So what is the true definition of sin? Jesus reveals it plainly to us. Speaking of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, he said, “He will convict the world concerning sin because they do not believe in Me.” There you have the true definition of sin: our basic sin is man’s stubborn refusal to believe God’s provision of a Savior to save mankind from sin and rebellion. That Savior is none other than Jesus, His Son. Sin will never leave us in our fallen and dead state of being, no one can revive the human dead spirit we inherited from Adam except God. Sin is not wrong-doing, if you understand what I’m saying. Sin is the “condition” or state of existence of the dead human spirit living under the influence of the devil’s dead spirit, which cannot communicate nor relate with God. Holiness is not right-doing, either. The “forbidden fruit” produced “good and evil” acts – but the “good” was human goodness which can’t save us. Only God’s goodness saves. What saves us is the “condition” of the reborn human spirit living under the Holy Spirit which can now relate with God and produce Love. God sent His Son to give us a new birth through His Spirit – to live again with a spirit discovering true knowledge in Jesus, from the false knowledge of sin and rebellion. Only through Jesus can man be saved.

I call upon you my readers to pray a simple prayer and receive Jesus as your personal Savior, experience the rebirth of your dead spirit through the Holy Spirit, and to “live life that is truly life” (1 Tim.6:19). Read the materials I bring in this blog site to keep you spiritually alive.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing:

Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the Triune Life as a Bulamanriver.*  Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Kiang,  

Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

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