For Our Sins
Off the Wall, April 13, 2017

Sin. There’s a word to which society’s grown numb. I was holding a telephone conversation with a company representative recently and posed the question, “Do you think the public in general knows what is meant by that word? Her response – “Probably not.”

I was riding in a cab when I asked the driver if he had a relationship with Jesus Christ. The young man insisted that I not talk about religion or politics as it was against the company’s rules. As he was dropping me off, he said, “May I ask you a question?” I nodded to the affirmative. “What is sin?”

It leaves me to wondering how many others have doubt about the same question.

Since we are celebrating Easter soon, I thought there is no better time to talk about sin’s aspects and discuss surface material, for the subject in relationship to Jesus Christ’s death on the cross can get very deep with many different theories accompanying the subject.

In today’s society, one may speak of a sin of “my bad.” Others may state it as “a wrong doing. By definition, “it is an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.”

Is running a red light a sin? To my understanding it’s an action taken against man’s laws, but not divine ones.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Sin is an offense against reason, truth and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity (1849). Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Sin is thus ‘love of oneself even to contempt of God (1850).’”

Another reference, www.etwn.com (EWTN) stated, “Sin is a moral evil.” What is evil? Plainly put, according to Funk and Wagnall’s dictionary, “Morally bad; contrary to divine law.”

As I have learned, the actuality of sin to me means “walking away from God or pushing Him aside in efforts to do my own thing.” If we know that He is all good and walk with Him according to His ways, we are in union with Him. But the minute we cast Him aside, we are going against His wishes and in turn commit a violation known as sin.

Of the many things God has given us, besides unconditional love, is one that stands out in this case, freewill. We have the option of doing as He asks or turning away from His commands. That’s where obedience comes in to play. Through our steadfast yearning to follow both His Word and His practices, we are telling Satan to literally get lost. We don’t wish to be tempted by his evil ways.

There are many types of sins, two of which I’ll briefly discuss, those of commission and omission. Most of us are too familiar with sin we’ve committed, such as worldly mindedness, pride, envy, slander, lying, drunkenness, cheating, hypocrisy, and having a bad temper.

Sins of omission include ingratitude, lack of hearty love for God, not reading the Bible for lengthy periods of time, unbelief, neglect of prayer, praying in an unfeeling and careless manner, neglect of family duties, and neglect to watch over your brothers and sisters.

So, one way or the other, we are all sinners and come short of the glory of God.

But praise Him; we have a Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to set us free from our sinfulness. What does that mean “set us free from our sinfulness?”

Turning back to the EWTN website, James Akin clearly explains the Catholic viewpoint. “Christ allowed Himself to be killed by men (not by God) and by allowing himself to be killed, he offered his life to God as a sacrifice of love. Because of the infinite merit of the sacrifice (due to his divinity), the Father accepted the sacrifice as making satisfaction for the sins of the world. Christ thus made satisfaction for us vicariously (done in place of another) but not ‘punished by God,’ who due to his omniscience cannot regard an infinitely holy Son as anything other than infinitely holy.”

We deserved to die and He took our sin upon Himself and paid the penalty.

It states in 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.”

Always maintain the course.

Happy Easter.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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