By On September 12th, 2018

Missing the Mark

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It helps to know the biblical understanding of sin. One of the basic words for sin in the New Testament is “hamartia,” translated literally as “missing the mark.” It’s an archery term that means shooting for a bullseye and hitting something else.

Usually we think of sin in terms of ghastly behavior. “I’ve never done that” is a convenient mantra to assure ourselves that we’re not a “sinner.” “At least ‘I’ve never robbed a bank or murdered someone,” is frequently a device we use to convince ourselves that we’re actually better than some other people. A person who insists he or she has done no wrong cannot enter Christ’s kingdom.

There are ghastly sins by any human interpretation, but for God, sin is sin. No one can claim perfection, or righteousness by comparison. What God demands of us is a humble attitude, and confession of our condition, as well as other failures we can remember. This is not to dwell on our failures, but instead to let Jesus lift them from us so that we can move ahead with Him.

Confession reminds us that we all come before God with the same standing. The beauty of this is that God forgives all sin; a humble attitude opens the doors not only to release sin, but the guilt and hurt that come from it. Those same open doors allow Jesus to enter us and bring healing.

…the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7–9

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