Last week we took some time to increase our vocabularies with some old English words that most people today have never heard of – words like sluberdegullion, glabriety, quockerwodger, snoutfair and of course, that ancient word that hardly anyone uses anymore – the word sin.
And I noticed something very interested as I was speaking last week. When I was talking about sluberdegullions and quockerwodgers – the mood in the congregation was light-hearted and jovial. People were chuckling and smiling at these strange words and their definitions. But as soon as I said the word “sin” – the mood instantly changed. Everyone quickly become solemn and quiet.
And I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising. Sin isn’t a very pleasant topic. It’s not fun to talk about. After all, sin is the word that reminds us that each one of us have missed the mark. We have failed to be who God created us to be.
That was really the main point of what we talked about last week. Last week we tried to define sin.
When we looked at the original Hebrew word for sin “Khata” – we saw that it literally meant to miss the target. We read in the book of Judges about these expert slingers would could slingshot a stone at a hair and not miss it! They would not Khata – not miss the target – they would not sin.
And so the basic definition of sin is to miss the mark – to fall short of whatever we’re aiming for.
The Bible tells us that we have all Khata-ed – we have all missed the mark and fallen short of our target. And do you remember what our target was? Our target was the Glory of God. Romans 3:23 tells us:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 NIV
All of us have missed the mark and failed to do what God created us to do – that is to reflect his glory. We looked back in Genesis and saw that when God created mankind, He created us unique in all of Creation. God created us in His own image – to be as much like Him as humanly possible – to be reflections of his goodness and glory.
But that is the target that we have all failed to hit. We fail, probably on a daily basis, to love God and to love one another the way that God loves us. We’ve failed to reflect the glory and the goodness of God. We have sinned.
And I think that most people – at least most people who believe in a good God – would not argue against the fact that every one of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Most people will admit that there are times when they have lied or acted selfishly or thought evil things about someone else.
It’s impossible to go though life without sinning. In fact, we briefly looked at how the Bible says we are slaves to sin. We have this inner drive to be selfish. To rebel against or to ignore God and to care for our own well-being at the expense of others. Try as we may to mimic God’s goodness, our sinful nature makes it impossible for us fully reflect the goodness of God. We just can’t do it.
And to say that that creates a problem for us is an understatement. There are all kinds of consequences that come with sin – some of those consequences are experienced here and now in this life and some of them will be experienced in the life to come – but all of sin’s consequences are extremely destructive. And so for the next couple of weeks I want us to look at what some of those consequences are.