Our Sins Are Against God
At the beginning of the book of Galatians, Paul abbreviates his normal introduction in his letters and dives right in. He does this because he has a great concern for the Galatians, and he is even astonished by their actions. In Galatians, Paul says:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting HIM who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)
The problem he saw was the Galatians were turning to a different “so called” gospel. The Galatians were leaving the good news of Jesus Christ, but they weren’t just leaving a message, they were leaving a person. Paul says they were leaving the God who had called them in grace. To leave the gospel, is not to leave an idea, or a principle, but to leave a person.
And what sin is, is an abandoning of Christ for something else, or someone else.
We don’t sin against things, we sin against people. Your fitbit is not sinned against if you fail to get you 10,000 steps today. Your computer or phone is not sinned against if you use it to fuel lust, comparison, or envy. We use these things to either follow Jesus, or leave him, but he is the point.
In other words, Sin is relational. We sin against God, but we also sin against other people and cause harm to ourselves. Sin is a choice to reject God’s Words to us, whether consciously, or subconsciously, and instead believe others words, or believe our own words. Sin is not a leaving of the principle of the Gospel, it is leaving and rejecting of the person of the Gospel. It is to reject what Jesus says about us, and what He has done for us.
Often people will say, I need to believe the Gospel more. This is true but it is important to know what we mean by this, or should mean.
What is doesn’t mean: Is to just try to live more graciously, give yourself a break, as if the the gospel is a life principle like “Live, laugh, love,” Or “keep calm and carry on” It’s not a life slogan.
What we should mean is I need to believe the gospel more, as in: “I need to believe Jesus more, I need to trust Jesus more, follow Jesus more, I need to rest in his grace more. Remember the person who is the message of the gospel.
So I have two quick encouragements for us and an exhortation:
Everything God commands is for our good. So the question is never, is it good to obey, but rather will I obey. What an amazing promise, all his commands lead us to good!
Sin is a a rejection of a real person, a breaking of a real relationship, but by God’s grace he grants us real repentance leads to real forgiveness, and real restoration with God, and real change and real healing, even if it may come slow.
Every sin we commit happens in relationship to God. We do not break impersonal commands, or confess to impersonal law. We confess to God to who spoke the commands we are breaking.
So your exhortation this morning is this: know that your sin is against God and that you are confessing to God. We don’t confess for the sake of confession, we confess to God so that he may forgive us and grant us peace.
We have sinned against a real God, who offers real forgiveness. He is here, and he hears us when we pray.