I was asked today to share my understanding of the definition of sin after I had shared the following information in a discussion group about “no one gets away with sin”….so I’m going to begin by sharing my comments to Mark in that discussion (you can click the link to go there and read the entire discussion if you’d like).. and then I’ll share my response regarding the definition of “sin”…..
(Repost from the discussion)
Denise Smith • Mark, I think what you’ve shared here in the opening portion of this discussion is something that we should all take notice of and see something very profound within….
“Those who are able to consistently sin and not be rebuked by God are not His children. Those who have been born again are seized by deep conviction when they sin, and if they do not repent they are always “spanked” by God for it. Is this true in your life? Do you pass the family test? ”
Look at this portion with me for just a moment…. you say here that those that are able to consistently sin and not be rebuked by God are not His children but where is it we get the idea of this in the first place??
This happens to everyone… as the bible tells us has been going on from the beginning. Adam is shown to have known what it was that he was not to do and when he went against it “immediately” his “eyes were opened”… (he became aware) of what he had done. There is no mention of Adam having to be born again or claiming to be God’s child and yet “immediately” was the response to going against what it was that he knew within him to do.
That is the same thing that we see in everyone… even in animals… in our children before they are even aware of God or what it is that people say God would consider to be “sin” in the first place… giving us clear evidence that there is a knowing within each of us… even before we are aware of God or know of God or have as the bible refers to with young Samuel, ‘heard the words of God” of what it is that we are to do and not to do… and when we go against it… we know that as well.
So to say that there is some “family test” that must be passed or that God is doing the “spanking” that is done “immediately” within each of us, regardless of whether we know about God or the bible or Jesus or any of those things….
As Jesus said to His disciples, the kingdom of God is within you… that is where it had been from their beginning as it is from our beginning as well. We can hear the voice of God and know within us what it is that we are to do and not to do even before the “hearing of the words of God” as we see with the young Samuel.
It is when we go against that … as we see with Adam, “immediately” our “eyes are opened” .. (we know it, see what we’ve done) and at that point we either justify our actions by blaming someone else… shifting the responsibility of our own actions upon another… or we gain wisdom and understanding and do not repeat that action again… learning in the process to trust that which is within us at all times….
As God is shown to have told Adam… in the day that you go against what you know to you… ye shall surely die…. that which is within you that is there to lead, guide and teach you is killed off in that moment… its leading, guidance, and directives are ignored and thus you suffer as a result of that. As the passage above states, “but since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, and you ignored all the advice and would not accept my rebuke/correction…… distress and trouble overwhelms you….
What this is telling us is what goes on within each of us …. what has been going on within man from man’s beginning…. and how it is that a man who remains stiff-necked and will not follow what it is that is within him…. what it is that he knows within him that he is to do and not to do…. after many rebukes/corrections and experiences with knowing what it is that is to be done and does not follow it … is suddenly destroyed…
For when that which is within you says to stop, go or turn and you don’t do so…. and repeatedly don’t follow it…. that which is within you is destroyed….
This is so beautifully illustrated as well in Jesus’ statement “I am the resurrection” before His death on the cross IMO… and the profound “message/lesson” illustrated throughout the entire bible as well.
Denise Smith • So no one… nothing…. no matter what our beliefs are… no matter what we know of the word of God in the bible, of God or Jesus, or not… gets away with going against what it is that we know within us at any given moment that we are to do or not to do…. we not only know it… but “immediately our eyes are opened” and we know when we’ve gone against it as well. ♥
For as the bible has been sharing with us all this time… it is written in our inward parts.. in our own hearts and minds…. and we know… without having to be taught one of another nor to be teaching one another to “know the Lord”… for all do from the least to the greatest!! ♥
William then asks this question “What evidence of sin do you see in animals? It seems to me that they do exactly as they were created to do. “
To which I responded….
Yes, William they do exactly as they are created to do … including adjusting their “path” or directions based on what it is that is within them and learning from the times that they “miss the mark”.(sin).. and do it all without having to have writings to tell them about what they are to do … someone else telling them that they are a “sinner” and need to “repent”…all simply from what it is that they are created to do and be from within themselves. ♥
William then asks this question .. “Denise, might you then offer a definition of Sin that is both comprehensible and that would apply to animals.”
To which I responded…
Sin as in “missing the mark” is to know from within what it is that one is to do, to make the effort to do it as best as one is able at that given moment, and “miss the mark” as not be “perfected” in it through the practice of it so that one “misses the mark” and thus learns from that, readjust or correct ones approach or direction in an effort, or simply does it again and again… that through the “doing it” again one is able to accomplish and be “perfected” in what it is that one is to do.
When one is “perfected” in one’s ability to do whatever it is that one is given to do from within oneself, then one can “go and sin no more”. Until that time… one can have the knowing of what it is that they are to do and not to do…. and are making an effort at doing it and are doing it to the “best of their current ability” but yet are not “perfected in it”.. thus will “miss the mark”.
Now my closing comments…
I’ve come to understand that the issue with Adam from the beginning as illustrated in the bible is that not only did Adam know what it was that he was not to do, he made no effort to keep it and be faithful to what it was that he knew to do…. thus the punishment or the consequences of his actions resulted. Had he made any effort at all… things would have been much different as we see illustrated in the bible in the passages like this…
Genesis 20:5-6: Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
I Kings 9:4- And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, [and] wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
In the first passage in Genesis we see that the man made an effort to do what it was that he knew to do. He inquired of two people to make sure that he was not going against what he knew to do and as we see in the verse, God said to him in a dream that God himself had kept this man from sinning against God because of the integrity of his heart. He had made the effort not to go against what it was that he knew he was not to do….
The same we know of David… that even though David is shown to have done a lot of things … he was also recorded to have been a man after God’s own heart, because he walked with God in integrity of heart, making an effort as best as he could to do as it was that God gave him to do or not to do.
Now where the confusion comes in at times I think is that in seeing the difference in when one is “missing the mark” (sin) as a result of making the effort as best as one is able to do and with the integrity of heart … meaning not with the willful intention in the heart to go against what it is that one knows to do in one’s own heart… and willfully going against what it is that one knows in one’s own heart to do…. OR not making any effort at all to do what it is that one knows it is that one is to do.
As the bible states, “the good that a man knows to do and does it not, to him it is sin”… the does it not is the point here…. “makes no effort at all”! That is the does it not… and that is the “did it not” that Adam is shown to have done in the pages of the book of Genesis.
We, as does all things not only know what it is that we are to do and not do from within us… we also are able to know for ourselves, without anyone else being involved whether we have done it with integrity of heart, making an effort to the best of our ability … or haven’t made any effort to do it. Animals, are the same… they know whether they have missed the mark by making the effort and not being perfect in what it is that they were to do… or if they have not made any efforts and thus the consequences bring them misery and often times death, as it does with us… verses at least making an effort and “missing the mark”!!
So if we are going to consider the term “sin” from the bible… let’s see what the bible actually tells us about it and the examples of the various “missing the mark” passages versus the time that there was no effort and have a clearer understanding of what those differences are as well as how learning and understanding comes as the result of both! ♥