Posts Tagged ‘psalm 102:12’

Let me see if I can clear a few things up about sin. First, if I were to ask you to define the word sin, how would you answer? My guess is you’d probably say something like Sin is when you break God’s laws or Sin is disobeying God or Sin is whatever you do that makes God angry.

While those may sound accurate, they don’t tell the whole story. Which is why many don’t know what to do with the word other than cringe when people use it with a straight face.

Now, for a definition. The great theologian Cornelius Plantinga in his book Engaging God’s World  puts it like this:

Sin is culpable disturbance of shalom.


Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace, wholeness, health, and blessing. Shalom is the harmony God intends for the world. Shalom is how God wants things to be. Shalom is peace with yourself, with your neighbor, with the earth, with God. 

Disturbance – things aren’t how they’re supposed to be, are they? From environmental degradation to domestic violence to Wall Street corruption to the petty little ways we disrespect each other, this world isn’t everything it could be. 

Culpable –  guilt, responsibility, ownership-culpable is any way you have contributed to the disturbance of shalom we see all around us.

So one definition of sin is anything we do to disrupt the peace and harmony God desires for the world.

Jesus came to deal with our sin once and for all and he died for all our sin, but also for our freedom – that we might become free.  Jesus promises to continue to place our sin as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12).  If Jesus can do this for us – why do we hold on to it?

May you this week, my brothers and sisters, know that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us, not only for our sins, but so that we might be free.  May you confess your sin, let it go and know that Jesus will take it and place it as far as the East is from the West.

East by West

In the fallen world
Where my worst
Just became my best
You place it
As far as the East is from the West

Again I stumble down
Half human and divine
You take my less
You place it
As far as the East is from the West

Repeating predictability
Of the darkened night
Just like an unwelcomed guest
You place it
As far as the East is from the West

So help me live not in this
For you took it all that day
I am a new creation, blessed
You placed it
As far as the East is from the West


Some content adapted from Rob Bell

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