We are so dead in our sin that we need to be redeemed by God, who freely offers us forgiveness. Sin is serious…however, we too readily make excuses for our sin and in doing so, diminish our need for redemption.
In him we have redemption [our ransom] through his blood [the price that has been paid], the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. Eph. 1:7 ESV
The word for redemption in Greek is apolytrōsin, which also means ransom. Now, the only time you’d be in a position where a ransom has to be paid is if you were in captivity, bondage, or slavery. As a result, Paul is reminding us that we are held captive to our sin unless a ransom is paid.
Do You Take Your Sin Seriously?
This idea of captivity or slavery may seem a bit foreign to us. Synonyms include imprisonment, custody, addiction, caught up in. What Paul is telling us is that our sin is a really big deal. Sin isn’t something that just some of us have. Nor is it something you come down with like coronavirus, a cold, or the flu. It’s not temporary. It’s not something you have for a season…like a fad or current trend.
What Sin Is Not…
Sin isn’t measured on a sliding scale from 1-10. “I’m pretty good today. Guess all that Bible reading paid off. Surely I’ll get into heaven now.”
Sin isn’t a measuring stick based on comparison to others. “Did you hear what Sally did? Oh my. It’s terrible! I would never do that!” And in our minds, we start thinking, “I’m not that bad. There’s plenty of bad people around…so I’m getting my ticket to the pearly gates now.”
Sin isn’t something where the Olympic judges are sitting around waiting to give you a scorecard. “Yep…today was a bad one…you blew it. Bad hair day. You did it. There’s no way God could love you now.”
Sin isn’t about sliding your junk under the rug or pretending to be someone you’re not. Let’s be real! We cannot hide from or fool God. He sees everything we do.
Sin isn’t something you can work your way out of. “I’m going to sit in the front row at church, volunteer at every ministry outreach event, give more than anyone else I know. Then, I’m guaranteed a spot in eternity.”
No…that’s not what sin is. I CANNOT get rid of my sin on my own. Sin is who I️ am.
Common Ways We Try to Remedy Our Sin
We fail to recognize our need to be redeemed by God. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we try to remedy our sin on our own. We deny it. Blame somebody else for it. Excuse it. Or diminish it…”Oh, it’s no big deal. Everybody else is doing it.”
We hide it. Cover it up. And live in shame because of it. We run from it. Or, run to it. We punish ourselves and beat ourselves up and live in guilt because of it.
We hop on the good works treadmill and we try and we try and we work and we strain …hoping that what we do will be good enough to work our way to heaven.
And when we do this…when we believe this…when we begin to live this way we replace the Gospel message with Jesus + Something = Salvation. But Paul reminds us:
Jesus + NOTHING is how we are saved.
Our something needs to become our nothing…because we are nothing without Jesus Christ.
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Eph 1:7 NLT
Prayer: Dear God, You are rich in kindness and grace. My sin is serious…and it is against you. I️ confess my sin today and ask for your forgiveness. Amen.