Living in a world where it is not hard to find beauty or perfection, we have all wondered and asked the questions ... "Why is there sin? Why did God allow it? What IS sin?"
Sadhu Sundar Singh also asked the questions of Jesus and Jesus answered him.
WHAT is Sin ??
Sin is not something that is created, it is simply a state or condition- a delusive and destructive state of being.
A good Creator could not create sin, it would be against His nature, and there is no Creator but God. Therefore Satan, being himself a created being, cannot create, he can only spoil what has already been created.
Light has existence but darkness not having existence in itself , is only a state of the absence of light.
So also sin or evil is simply the absence of good -- and good is always defined by God's character
Jesus defined sin this way, "Sin is to cast aside the will of God and to live according to one's own will."
Isa 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one to his own way."
Jesus, in His answer to Sandu, explained an interesting insight that I had not thought of in that way.
He stated that sin comes out of man's driving desire for happiness.
To desire happiness is not sin, because that is God's will for His creatures - that they enjoy true happiness! But when man tries to find happiness by seeking to fulfill his own will or desires, happiness becomes illusive -- neither does he attain it nor enjoy true pleasure.
Not only does he in the end not possess happiness but in his selfish grasping, sins, because he has chosen disobedience. He has chosen his own way, instead of God's.
How did this state of Sin come to be?
Sin came to be because first Satan and then man after him, sought to carry out their own desires.
Satan did not know pride existed until he found himself in that state of sin and was thrown out of heaven because of it.
Adam and Eve then fell prey to Satan's wiles because they did not know about such things as lies and deceit.
The question is often asked, "why would God create man with the ability to fall into the state of sin?"
The answer from an all wise God is that if He had created man like a machine that is limited in its doing to do only what it had been designed to do .... then man would never be able to reach the height of happiness that can only be achieved through action in accordance with one's own choice. And God desires the ultimate happiness for His children.
Therefore, He has given the state of sin a new aspect so that even from it He has brought forth the noblest results.
ONE -- It is because of the state of sin that God's boundless love was made manifest to man through the incarnation and redemption accomplished by Jesus.
Except for 'the state of sin' we would never have known the depths God's love would go to save us.
TWO--Because man has tasted the bitterness of sin , he will more richly enjoy the happiness of heaven. How easily we take take things for granted until we experience the lack of them.
Jesus said to Sadhu,
"In heaven they sin no more, but in meekness and obedient love they serve their Father God and abide with Him in joy for evermore."
I think this thought of relationship between suffering and capacity for joy, is aptly expressed in this verse,
1Pe 4:12.13 "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you ...... but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."
What causes the Callousness of Man toward Sin ?
While some people are so sensitive to quickly turn from or repent from a committed sin, others appear to be completely unfeeling and callous to the fact that sin is present in their lives.
Jesus used the example of a leper, whose disease has made him completely insensitive to the things that are destroying his body. So also the heart and mind of man, by reason of unconfessed sin, become dull and unconscious of the disgust and pain sin awareness should bring him.
Jesus expressed a warning to Sandu. He pointed out that it is not necessary that every part of the body become weak or useless before death occurs. A blow on the head can suffice to cause death even though the rest of the body is in perfect health.
So also one sin can have such a poisonous effect on the mind and heart of man that it can ruin his spiritual life.
The Allure of Sin
Why is it that we struggle so hard against the temptation of sin?
Jesus used the example of a moth.
We have all watched a moth, fascinated by the brilliancy of a flame fly straight into it and die. It did not think or consider the burning and destructive power of the flame.
So man is like the moth. He too disregards the destructive poison of sin and feeling only its alluring power rushes in to his eternal destruction.
In contrast, Jesus, the Light of this world, desires to rescue the sinner who comes to His Light and to bestow upon him life and enduring happiness.
Does a loving God throw men into hell?
Jesus spoke of animals who have been removed from their natural kind and who become familiar with the man who has taken them into their home.
If at some point they are returned to their own kind, they are not accepted. They no longer fit in, their habits and ways have been irreparably changed.
Jesus explained that in the same way, men who have accepted the ways of this world and become comfortable living intimately with wicked men would never be accepted in heaven, nor would they themselves wish to be there. If they were uncomfortable associating with righteous men on earth how could they be happy in their company for all eternity ?
It is never God that turns anyone out of heaven and casts them into hell. It is rather the foul life of the sinner that brings him to hell. As he walks through his given time on earth he chooses either eternal heaven or eternal hell, according to the good or evil nature of his heart.
God's heart and desire for every man is that he choose life and not death ... that he may forever dwell in happiness with his Lord and Master.
2Pe 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. "
next - Sadhu's Question - What is the Purpose of Prayer?