Thursday, January 29, 2009

Romans 5 -- The Sin Problem

Quite possibly the oldest doctrine of the Christian tradition is found dealing with the issue of sin. From early on in the Biblical record sin is a part of the struggle of humanity. Over the centuries many have interacted with sin in different ways. Paul wrote trying to find a balance between the antinominalist, those who say because of God's grace we can do whatever we want, and the legalists, who were giving us a list of do's and don'ts. In the end sin must be dealt with.

So what are we to do? We cannot deny the presence of sin on our world, yet we cannot be consumed with it. When we are consumed by sin we easily find ourselves there. When we are consumed by sin it becomes easy to think the only reason Jesus came to this earth was to eradicate sin. Cleansing of sin was certainly a crucial part of the ministry of Christ, but it was not the whole reason for the earthly pilgrimage. Still it cannot be ignored.

Is it possible that in the process of reconciling our sin, there is more than a legal transaction? Could it be that the work of transformation begins. Not transformation from a sinner to a saint, but the transformation from sinner to reconciled sinner patterning a life after the One who offers forgiveness. Sin is not simply a matter of making us unclean, it is a matter of creating a rupture in the relationship between God and creation.

Adam and Eve may have had the distinction of the first ones to sin. They certainly are not the last. We do know however that once and for all the issue of sin has been dealt with through Jesus Christ. We must remember this is more than a legal transaction.

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