What A Man Says
We are in the middle of a multipart series in which we are examining what sin is, why it exists, how it affects us, what is atonement, why it is needed, and how we apply it. Since we have learned the basics of what sin is and where it came from, we can now ask the next fundamental question on this topic…. How does sin affect us?
Because of the sin of Adam, we have inherited a ‘sin nature’, or a natural tendency and desire to rebel against the Lord. Because of this nature, sin has fundamentally changed our relationship with God. It prevents us from having the intimacy with Him that was intended in the beginning. Sin has also fundamentally changed our relationship with other people and this results in broken relationships. Not only does sin affect our relationship with God and with others but sin also brings the weight and the chains of its consequences to our lives.
When we sin, there are consequences. And even when we take those sins to the Lord and receive forgiveness for them, that does not inherently mean that we are not going to have to bear the worldly consequences of that sin. Consider this very simple example:
Imagine that there was a glass full of water sitting on the edge of a table with a sign beside it that said, “Do not push this glass of water off the edge of the table.” The truth is that we would have full freedom and ability to either choose to leave it alone or to push it off the edge of the table. I am not forced to do either of these options and there is nothing hindering me from either. If I were to choose to disobey the command and push that glass full of water off of the edge, what would happen? The glass would of course fall to the floor and break and the water would spill out over the floor. The floor would be completely wet and covered with shards of broken glass. That is the consequence of the action that we had taken and it would have occurred regardless of if there was a command not to do it. Once the action was taken and the consequence of that action realized, we would then be completely bound to the consequence. We could never say, “I do not choose to experience the consequence” because the truth is, we have no freedom to make this choice. If, however, we had used our free will and made a choice to follow the commandment not to push the glass of water off the edge we would have never experienced the consequence of the action and would not be bound by it.
The reality is that sin affects every person and we each live with the consequences each day. But, the story does not end there. God has made a way for our sins to be forgiven and for the eternal consequences to be lifted from us. Be sure to check back as we continue learning about sin and atonement.