July 05, 2007

The Heart of the Problem

Romans 3:9-20

Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you ... Isaiah 59:2


This verse from Isaiah clarifies for me what sin does to my relationship with God.

Many people have wondered about Adam and Eve's sin. The incredibly heavy punishment not only sent Adam and Eve out of the garden, but also brought death into their lives. Worst of all, their sin separated them from God. They could no longer walk and talk with God the way they had.

Let's use an analogy about blood to try to grasp what this means. If I carried a hepatitis virus, my blood would no longer be "clean." That would not only be bad for me; it also would mean that if my blood were mixed with clean blood, that blood would become tainted as well. If my blood were used in a transfusion, it would put the recipient at risk. The tainted nature would pass from one person to another.

In the Bible, God makes a similar analogy with respect to holiness. The reality of sin taints our holiness in such a way that we can't "mix" with a holy God anymore--not unless our "unholiness"--gets cleaned.

That's why Isaiah's words are so important. Sin is not just about doing bad things; it gets in the way of "mixing" with God because it taints our relationship with God. Human sin is at the heart of all of life's problems. We need to think about that.

Dear God, at times I can be too accepting of my sin: I'm okay with it, and others seem okay with me. Please help me to reflect on and understand how it affects you. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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