Just what is sin, anyway? - Jim Bell

The Bible, God's Holy Word, says in Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

"All" doesn't leave anyone out, and means that everyone has sin in his or her life. Some may say; "Oh, I'm sure my saintly mother, or my pastor, doesn't have sin in their life; they live a holy life."

However, if you would ask either of these persons if they feel they have sin in their life, I feel sure they would say, "Oh, Yes, I'm sure I have sin in my life, even though I try not to, and know I shouldn't."

They probably would also tell you they ask the Lord every day to forgive their sin of omission -- things they should have done but failed to do -- and sins of commission, things they should not have done, but know they are guilty of doing.

In my thirty years or more of witnessing for the Lord Jesus, I think I must have heard every possible answer to this question: "Do you realize you have sin in your life?" Most readily admit they do have sin in their life and believe God will forgive them, but there are many different responses given after their admission of sin.

Some say they know they are a sinner, but are not ready to ask for forgiveness. This says to me they are not through sinning. They like the sinful life and don't want to give it up yet. They think they have lots of time to live just as they please, and will ask God to forgive them one day.

Jesus gave this answer to a sinner in response to his statement of: "I will eat and drink and be merry." Jesus said; "Thou fool, tonight thy life shall be required of thee."

Others respond correctly, by admitting their sin and want to seek God's forgiveness through prayer in Jesus' name. Still others say they have no sin in their life. They are a good person, they treat others well and live in respect of the law. They feel God loves everybody and would not allow anyone to go to hell when they die. This statement came straight from the devil himself, whose mission is to deceive and destroy. This person does not know just what sin is or how to avoid sinning.

Sin is living your life ignoring God and His teachings. It specifically is breaking the Ten Commandments. It is not living one's life as the Lord Jesus taught us to live. Jesus said we should love one another and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. He taught many lessons to illustrate how one must live, and gave us the example of His sinless life.

How does one overcome temptation and avoid sin? Here are some thoughts that will help you:

* Stay away from places that promote sinful activities.

* Spend time in God's Word -- read your Bible.

* Be cautious about how you relate to unchristian people.

* Witness to non-Christians, but don't let them lead you astray.

* Be careful what you read or watch on TV or in movies.

* Have a consistent prayer and study time.

* Be wary of community events that might encourage sin.

* Go to Sunday school and church regularly.

If you are not a Christian, ask Jesus into your heart and to forgive your sins. Find a Bible-teaching church and join it! If you are a Christian -- Praise God!

I pray you will.