Summary: What if we got as serious about the sin in our lives as we have about the coronavirus. “What if we treated sin like it was the coronavirus.” How would our lives change?
Treating Sin Like the Coronavirus
Last week, I was looking at Facebook, and I came across a post that made me stop and think. It was a simple statement; but it was earthshaking in its implications. The post said this: “What if we treated sin like it was the coronavirus.”
It was one of those things that I couldn’t get out of my mind. You’ve done that with a song, haven’t you? You hear a song in the morning, and then you find yourself humming the tune the rest of the day. You can’t get it out of your mind.
That’s the way this statement has been for me. It just keeps rattling around in my head. So, I thought that I’d try to flesh out today the thoughts that this statement have brought to mind.
“What if we treated sin like it was the coronavirus.”
Now we know that the coronavirus is a serious problem, don’t we? We know that it can infect us and cause illness. It has impacted hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Some are saying they’ve had mild symptoms, while others are having severe consequences. And because of the seriousness of this outbreak, we’ve been asked to do some extraordinary things to prevent its spread. It’s a serious issue.
But the fact is, we have another problem that is even more serious than the coronavirus. We call it sin. And we all know that that sin is a problem, don’t we? We know that sin can come into our lives and cause spiritual illness. And if we let sin go too far, it can cause spiritual death. It can cause us to do things we know we shouldn’t do. It can keep us from doing things we know we should do.
James 4:17 (NASB95) tells us:
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
The most common NT word for sin is hamartia. Hamartia means “failing to hit the mark”; it means that we deviate from God’s prescribed law. God’s law is like a bull’s eye on a target; and we try to hit the bull’s eye and fail, not just once or twice, but repeatedly. In the N.T. sin is always described as a deviation from God’s law in a moral sense. And whether by omission (failing to do what we know is right), or commission (doing what we know is wrong), sin can happen in our thoughts, our words, or our deeds.
There’s also another word that describes sin. The word parabasis means a “trespass” or “transgression.” This word literally means to “step across the line.” We see signs all the time posted on private property that say, “No Trespassing.” We know what that means. If we step over a property line, we have trespassed on another person’s land. It’s like that with sin as well. The person who steps across, who ignores God’s standard of righteousness has committed a trespass or transgression.
Now it seems that some people are OK with sin. In fact, sin seems to be promoted and encouraged by the Hollywood scene. We see movies and TV shows that depict sin as no big deal. We read books where sin is encouraged, and elevated and practiced. We see governments passing laws that legalize what God says is sin. And we many people who are living a lifestyle where sin is ignored, where God’s commandments are broken. But you see, here’s the big problem with sin.
Romans 6:23 (NASB95)
23 For the wages of sin is death,…
Now because the coronavirus is a serious issue, the world is treating it seriously. In places where the virus is spreading, we’ve been using extraordinary measures to try to stop its impact. Every single person is being encouraged to change the normal way of doing things, and life has been changed dramatically in response to this disease.
But here’s a thought. What if we got as serious about the sin in our lives as we have about the coronavirus. “What if we treated sin like it was the coronavirus.” How would our lives change? In the next few minutes, let’s look at how we are responding to the coronavirus and how we could make similar responses to sin.
Since the first cases were identified, we have seen that one of the first responses to the coronavirus outbreak is to separate ourselves. We’ve all become familiar with a new word in the last few weeks called social distancing.
Since this virus is spread through contact with someone who is infected, we have tried to distance ourselves from the possibility of coming in contact with it. We’ve been told to stay in our homes and not make any unnecessary trips lest we come in contact with the virus or spread it to others. We’ve been told to keep our distance from people to decrease the possibility that we will come in contact with this virus.