What is Sin?

A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

On Wednesday, three UCLA basketball players held a news conference to admit that they had been caught shoplifting in China. Safely back in the U.S., the players apologized for their actions and their “..inexcusable lapse of judgment.” The incident raises two important questions that extend far beyond the world of politics and sports.

The first is, in a world where truth is often marginalized and personalized, why were their actions wrong? The answer is because there is an absolute standard set forth in God’s Word and anything which goes against that standard is, not merely a lapse in judgment, but a sin. The actions of these athletes is a subtle reminder that all of us are prone to committing sin if we are not walking with God. The second question, which naturally follows, is what should I do when I have sinned? The Bible not only diagnoses the problem but also provides the solution and cure. In 1 John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” The word confess means to agree with and refers to measuring all of our actions against the character of God and His Word. So the first step is to own what we have done, not just before others but most importantly, before God. It is only when we do this that we will experience His forgiveness and be given the power to change.

No matter who you are or where you are the definition of sin and the cure for sin remain the same. That’s a message we all need to hear because it’s a battle we all face every day!