Here is an exercise for you aspirants of theology. Search out the significant differences between the sin, sin and sins in the Greek New Testament. I assure you, it has been the glory of God to hide these matters in plain sight. And it has been the glory of the sons of His Kingdom to search them out. What is found in such a search will deliver us from the incomplete gospel that would only save us from our sins…and the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus, His disciples and Paul preached that truly brings Life.
Paul said “the sting of the death is the sin” in 1 Corinthians 15:56 (Young’s Literal). The definite article in the original implies a particular sin, the sin of all sins. It is this sin that men embrace all the way to hell.
When Jesus came to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, the Baptizer exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He did not say, contrary to how the verse if often misquoted “who takes away the sins of the world.”
Jesus didn’t zero in on sins when He went to the cross—although they, too, were rendered powerless, praise be!—He came to do away with, once and for all, the sin that brings about the death. Sins (plural, without definite article) are, put simply, berries on the tree of rebellion, but God made provision through Christ to go to the root of mankind’s problem.
…the nefarious nature to rebel against the authority of God and His Kingdom which is, ultimately, His reign. THE sin is man taking the throne. It is Adam casting his vote for himself and ruling God out of office. It is the created being casting himself in the lead role and leaving the Creator God on the cutting room floor.
Say what you wish, but the sin is not just evident in an unregenerate world of hell-bound men today, it is also the Great Plague of the professing church, mostly evident in those places on the map where there is little or no persecution, where abundance is greedily scarfed down by portly epicureans, and where the Gospel has been watered down from its original, robust recipe and abridged into the costless, cross-less, insipidly banal concoction it is today.
We need to beat our breasts like the tax collector who said, “God, be merciful to me the sinner!” Did you catch that? THE sinner! This is far removed from the bromidic confession we so often hear through the so-called “Sinner’s Prayer”:
“Dear God, please forgive me for my sins and make me Your Child, and take me to heaven when I die. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”
Short, sweet and not too deep. That’s the contrast to what Biblical salvation offers through the Gospel of the Kingdom. This modern, watered-down version doesn’t allow for King Jesus to mount the Throne and for man to be dethroned. It is little more than a help-me-stop-doing-the-things-that-will-send-me-to-hell-Lord, because it does not let the axe fall to the root of the tree. It replaces the Gospel of the Reign with a Gospel of Heaven.
This is why we have such a hard time with the teachings of Jesus and even explain them away with some devilishly dispensational doctrine. We cannot accept the Sermon on the Mount as anything more than principles to be followed, rather than what the Life really looks like. We say it’s not for us but only for the Jewish audience to which it was addressed and what will only resurface in the Millennial Kingdom. And so we opt out also on “forsaking all” and “denying self” or “laying not up in store” along with “turning the other cheek” and “forgive lest you be unforgiven.”
We preach against drunkenness (and we should), against lust and sexual sins (and we should), and against witchcraft, murder and sedition—check, check, and check—but until the sin of man-as-his-own-god is dealt with, even those who call themselves disciples will become THE sons of perdition.
Church as usual, a powerless, Cross-less entity is a mass of people who have gotten some berries knocked off their bushes, but the bushes still stand. The living, breathing Gospel that is the power of God unto—unto, mind you—salvation (Romans 1:16), mightily knocks the tree over, pulverizes it and cremates it in the holy fire of God.
Those who believe UNTO salvation are not a cleaned-up bunch of Adamites, reformed from our old ways, getting by the best we can until Christ takes us to heaven, but are grafted into the Tree of Life, a heavenly race of people who only get that way by going “from faith to faith” (Romans 1:17), believing and submitting to His reign all our lives. In the roll call of faith seen in Hebrews 11, don’t scurry past one of the most important verses in the entire context of that chapter:
“These all died in faith(fulness)…” (Hebrews 11:13)
The writer goes on to use three participles that quantified their life of faith (by the way, in Greek, the words faith and belief are the same): “having seen”, “having welcomed” and “having confessed” that they were not of this earth, but of another realm. This is the Church Christ is building. Living stones who live by persistent faith, people of THE Realm.
THE sin has met its match. It’s match is Jesus who is THE Christ. Are you submitted to Him? Is He your King? Many say with their lives, “We will not have this Man rule over us!” Even if they confess with their lips they accept Him, one sad day Jesus will confess to them,
“I never knew you, depart from Me, you who insist on governing yourselves.”
(Matthew 7:23, my paraphrase)
Can He actually say that to church members? And not just the churchy, but people who gave their lives for the work of the church? How, in God’s Name, can that be?
Because they would not “hear and do” but rather PRESUMED and BRAGGED. They followed their own initiative rather than living by faith which, in its biblical definition, is hearing God and obeying Him. These were products of THE sin, pure and simple, not those who, by faith, would inherit the kingdom.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man
who built his house on the rock.”
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
“Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:
“he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”
Jesus said, “I will build My Church” (Matthew 16:18). His Church is on a Rock that is our confession that He is the Christ, the Messianic King, who reigns in the hearts of those who have repented of, and are constantly repenting of, THE sin.