Posted in , ,

The Midst of the Conflict

22 June 2011 by David

Q. 24. What is sin?

A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God —Romans 3:23

With apologies to the Westminster catechists, I think the catechism needs a little help here. Not that the given answer is wrong, but that it doesn’t quite get to the bottom of things. Sin, it says, is any variance from God’s law. But what is that?

God’s law is nothing more or less than a picture of his own character. In giving the commandments, he was telling us, “This is how I am. Do this, and you will be like me, as you must” (Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:15–16). None of us do, of course, which brings us to Romans 3:23, which paraphrased says, “I am the standard. You don’t measure up.”

With the bar set so high, we cannot help despairing of any hope. But remember, these are the middle chapters in the book. We’ve read the introduction, and are now in the midst of conflict. The resolution is coming.