When we think of sin we think that sin is when we do something wrong or when we don’t do the right thing and to certain extent that is right. But leaving our definition of sin there doesn’t get to the heart of what sin is. Leaving it there is like treating a sore on the surface of the skin and never realising that there is a massive tumour underneath the wound. Sin, as we see in the Bible, is setting up our lives and finding our identity without God. It is to assert that we are the rulers of our fate and the captains of our own ship. It is to assert that we rule, we reign and God sits on the sidelines of our lives and occasionally gets on the field but only when our lives go wrong. Sin means that we have set a up a rival Kingdom and we are the rulers. Before God you and I are not people who need some improvement we are rebels who need to lay down our weapons and declare God as the only king and ruler. That in essence is repentance. At the heart of re[petance is to acknowledge that we don’t rule but God does and change our lives accordingly.
But some of you are thinking “I don’t like to think of myself as a rebel or a rival king. The idea of a bit of self improvement strikes me as a lot more sane.” But do you know what you miss out on if you keep thinking that you just need a bit of improvement? You miss out on God’s love! You see, God’s love is amazing not because we are amazingly beautiful and God woke up one day, saw us and thought “Finally what I have been looking for someone awesome to love!” A lot of the time, when we think about ourselves and God’s love for us we think God is on the cosmic version of Match.com and when he sees our profile he says “Finally the love of my life! How could I live without you?”. But God’s love is more like God watching a cosmic version of YouTube and he sees us burning an effigy of himself and screaming that we are going to overthrow him and that we want him dead and God looks at our rage filled faces and says “Those are the people I’m going to love. Those are the people I’m going to send my son to die for. Those are the people I am going to give up everything for.” Only if you grasp the fact that you and I are rebels who need to lay down our arms will Gods love be beautiful and transforming. Because only if you realise that you are a rebel will know you need God’s transforming love.
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