The word “sin”, as it appears in the Bible, comes from the Greek word Hamartia or the Hebrew word Hata, which both mean “to miss the mark” or “flawed”. The word was used in archery and spear throwing. When a person missed the center of the target, they erred, or “hamartia-ed”. So, as this applies to sin, we should ask, “What is the mark that we are missing?”
And the answer is: The holy righteous perfection of God.
When it comes to missing that mark, we’re not just veering off a little and barely missing the bull’s-eye… on our way to the range, we took a wrong turn and drove off a cliff!
We don’t come anywhere near the holiness of God. Understanding sin requires more than knowing the definition of the word. We must consider how sin is framed in the Bible. It’s worse than simply missing a target or making a mistake.
Sin is treason. It is rebellion against the law of the High King of heaven, and for that we deserve death.
Joshua 1:18 says,
Whoever rebels against the Lord’s commandment and disobeys His word shall be put to death.
That’s sin and its consequence. Romans 6:23 says,
For the wages of sin is death… but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!
See, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
That’s everyone. No one on their own merit will stand innocent before the throne of judgment. But…
God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.
Since therefore we have been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. (Romans 5:8-10)
Followers of Jesus are saved from His wrath – no longer enemies of God; but we’ve been reconciled to God into His people. Now we are fellow heirs of His kingdom.
…so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life! (Titus 3:7)
From treasonous criminals to fellow heirs… that’s the love of God through His Son, in whom we have the forgiveness of sins… when we understand the text.