What is ‘sin’ according to millennial’s moral standards? Something to tickle your grey cells……………
Well, what used to be ‘worthy of death penalty’ by God, is now fashion. What was abominable in God’s sight, is now legal as per world’s standards. The fine line between legal and illegal, is illusionary, to suit modern lifestyle’.
Sin can be described as ‘an immoral act, considered to be a transgression against divine law, or ‘sin in the eyes of God”. As we understand in plain simple language, sin is ‘moral decay of man’s soul and spirit.
But today it’s no more scriptural laws that are important. Millennials justify everything in the name of ‘liberty and freedom’.
But can we really get away with it?
Let’s consider a few verses.
During the Sermon on the mount, Jesus explicitly states that He did not come to abolish the Law (Mt 5:17-19), but rather to complete and fulfil them. In the narrative that followed in the next few verses of chapter 5 , 6 and 7, Jesus went on explaining the laws more elaborately , since most of His listeners were simple, uneducated people of those times. Lord cared so much to explain in detail for all generations to come (including us), what were the deeper (hidden) meanings behind them, and how we are to honour God in every way.
But we also witness a strange thing in the following chapter. Chapter 8:1-3, Jesus ‘neglects’ the laws of ‘purity’. Wasn’t He supposed to follow the ‘laws of purity’ too?
Let me explain as my Lord leads…….
Leprosy was the most dreaded disease in ancient Palestine. It’s a horrible skin disease, where the host body’s flesh is slowly consumed. Fingers, toes and other extremities would die, rot and eventually fall off. The victim had to prevent others from coming too close to them by crying, ‘unclean unclean’. All they could expect was a slow, painful and premature death. It’s a body that ceased to feel pain and also repelled people.
We can empathise to an extent what a patient of this horrible disease might be going through emotionally. They know their body is being eaten away, no promise of restoration or healing. They will forever be looked down by the society. They will always be considered ‘unclean and infected’. Society will be unkind to their children and fear befriending them lest they catch the contagious disease.
Only way out for the lepers was…. to declare, that they are unclean, keep themselves separated from the society and form a society of their own kind that is, with the ones who are infected with the same dreaded disease. Today we call them ‘leper’s colony’ , where people dread going.
Israelites had to follow specific laws and ordinances, regarding purification after ‘healing’ from leprosy or touching ‘dead’, amongst other laws. Numbers 19:11-22 explains a bit. Leviticus 14, 15 is elaborate on cleansing and purification process of a leper.
In the book of Matthew 8 :3, we read the story of a leper who reached out to Jesus for healing “believing (with firm faith) that Lord could heal him if He wanted. And we read “Jesus reaches out His hand and touches him saying ‘I am willing’ , be cleansed. Instantly the leper was cured and healed.” Now, as an ‘unclean person’, the leper was not supposed to come anywhere near Jesus ( just like us being sinners we are not to come anywhere near our Holy God) , and once he was healed, Jesus was to follow a ‘cleansing ritual’ as per law. But what we read is, Jesus ‘neglects’ purification laws and tells the leper to go ‘and show to a priest and present the offering that Moses commanded for a testimony (of his healing) as an evidence to the people (Lev 14:2). These might look like ‘rituals’ as per laws, but if you ask the Spirit of God to reveal more truth, they wouldn’t really look like rituals any more. They had purpose, than simple do’s and don’ts. How?
1) Showing to the priest means, an affirmation of healing
2) Offering as per Moses’s command was honouring God for His mercy to an undeserving candidate,
3) Offering openly (once saved from our sinful state, we are witnesses the same way today for the world to see that we are cured of our sins and now we are saved and acceptable in God’s eyes ) was a testimony to the people, that he is healed and cured and now acceptable to the society. How else will people know about God’s endless miraculous healing powers if the leper ( in Matthew 8 ) did not offer the offerings as per the Law?
(Today the difference in our lives bears a testimony for the world to see that we are saved)
But then why Jesus didn’t follow the law of purity?
Because Jesus has the power and authority to heal a person and declare Him clean and healed. He is the HOLY ONE and a miracle healer, hence He was NOT DEFILED by coming in contact with the leper or ‘any unclean’ person ( that includes us and our generations). Purity law finds a ‘fulfillment in Jesus. Cultic purity transforms into a moral activity for the followers of Jesus ( in all generations)
God wants His people as a ‘clean race ( morally, spiritually and physically)”. He is a Holy God. Those days God wanted Israelites to remember His laws regarding every aspect of their lives. There was no other way He could have discipline a wayward race. Following the laws was helping them learn self-discipline ( by cooking their food in certain ways and eating them specific way), recognise personal identities, connect with each other with community bonding, , and their own personal commitment to act in faith. Rituals, laws and ordinances were mere tools to train the rustic, uneducated and complaining race.
Today, we are no different from them. They might have been rough and illiterate and did not have intelligence enough to understand the gravity of God’s words and commands, but today, we consciously choose to be blind and deaf to God and His laws, because we are insanely addicted to a virtual digital world, that absolutely corrupts our morals and ethics and expects us to follow the ‘trend’, else we will be outcasts amongst our so called very own.
Sin will be sin, no matter which age we live in. Just like leprosy, sin is a dreadful disease that eats us up from within. Only difference is, leprosy is seen outwardly, sin is a secret act committed by people. No one will know if someone is affected ( though we all fall in that category, since we all fall short of god’s glory , Romans 3:23). In many cases, even the affected ones will not know that they are infested with the dreadful disease. They have absolutely no moral responsibility and their souls are perishing. ( Fortunately we do not have a sinner’s colony.) Sin is eating away their inward joy and peace , yet they purposely refuse to understand why they are in so much confusion and why they suffer unrest.
Purity is the first requirement to be able to come in presence of God. But aren’t we all sinners?
Galatians 5:19-21, ‘The acts of flesh are obvious, sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery”
Colossians 3:5-6, Put to death therefore , whatever belongs to your earthly nature’.
Matthew 23:23, You should have practiced mercy and faithfulness, without neglecting the former.”
We all fall in some category of sin. We cannot judge someone else by saying he/she is committing grievous sins than us. Because all kinds of sins, deserve same punishments. But then, who can be saved?
As per scriptures, no one can be saved based on their own actions. All have sinned and fall short of Glory of God’ (Romans 3:23, Psalm 143:2). Romans 3:10 affirms, there is no one righteous, not even one”.
But Jesus says in John 3:16 , that ‘He will save anyone who believes in Him, “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him , shall not perish but have eternal life ( whoever means anyone in any generation , because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever Hebrews 13:8). It is by GRACE we are saved, through our faith in Christ Jesus” . It is not based on our own merit , or our good works (as the world believes), but it is a great ‘gift of God’ to us, that saves us from eternal death.
Romans 5:20 says “God’s grace is enough to cover all sin”.
We are humans, we will do mistakes, but that shouldn’t stop us from running the race. Our sins shouldn’t stop us from coming in God’s presence or hide away from Him as Adam did (Genesis 3:8), or the way David ignored the issue of his detestable sins (2 Samuel 12) until God had to deal with him. We should be quick to repent. While lepers could only be treated once they have declared openly they are sick. A sinful person can only receive salvation by declaring to God that he is a sinner and needs a Saviour. Jesus is right there to forgive as He promises in John 3:16. That opens the doors of mercies upon us. It’s a beautiful cleansing process for us, where we are cured of our disease (sins) and He purifies us, restores us and makes us righteous (by the work done on the Cross) and remembers our sins and transgressions no more (Hebrews 8:12). But we have to REPENT and accept that we are sinners.
If we repent, God can completely forgive our sins. Only God has the power to set us free from our corrupt conditions. Only God can bring us out through our deepest kind of shame. But we have to be ‘willing’. It’s a free choice. Our gracious God doesn’t force us to do things. But it’s on us to decide, are we to live in shame and guilt forever or ask God for His mercies to forgive us, heal us, restore us and include us in His family of chosen ones as His people? Choice you have to make. No one else can do that for you. In Mathew 7:13-14, Jesus very clearly talks about the narrow and the broad pathways, without mincing any word. His instructions are very clear. “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it”.
Are we going to make a conscious effort and repent, without covering up or justifying our sins any further?
(“”The writer has been a Cover page Model for various fashion magazines , anchored various musical shows for youth Channels and a (short film) filmmaker for Discovery Channel. Currently busy writing her own book””)