Why does God care about sin? What is sin that God would give it that much attention?

November 28, 2018

Why does God care about sin? What is sin in the first place that God would give it that much attention? Some sins are obviously hurtful to others and it therefore makes sense that God, the Lover of mankind, would care about them. But others don’t seem to hurt anyone and some might even seem pleasurable. What is the problem with those? Also, why did God put those specific commandments in place? What criteria did God use to select the commandments? For example, why is adultery, fornication or masturbation a sin? Why is judging a sin even if the person is actually guilty of the offense? We can shed light on all those questions when we properly define what sin is. The word sin in Greek is ‘Hamartia,’ which as we know means ‘missing the mark.’ But what does that mean? Which mark are we missing? The word ‘hamartia’ can be divided into two parts: ‘Ha’ and ‘Martia.’ ‘Martia’ comes from the word ‘matyria’ which means ‘to witness.’ So as a Christian I am supposed to witness for my God through my faithful good deeds. And these good deeds are possible since we are created in God’s image. In other words, since I am created in God’s image, I can witness to Him through my deeds. The ‘Ha’ in ‘hamartia’, however, is a negation of the ‘martia.’ So ‘hamartia’ is a negation of my witness to God. Meaning, it is falling short of being in God’s image. It is to miss the mark, to err, to be imperfect. St. Athanasius says: “There he who had been ‘in the image and likeness’ was changed into something imperfect…” So, we are meant to encounter God, glorify God, witness to God through His Image within us. But sin keeps us from witnessing. So God’s commandments are not chosen haphazardly. They are chosen that we may be granted life through them because sin makes me unlike God and therefore outside of God who is the Source of Life. Sin, in a sense, is spiritual poison. Judging is failure to love. I fail to be like God who is Love. I therefore miss the mark. Adultery, fornication and masturbation are also outside of God. We have already explained why these sins are outside of God in a couple of videos to which you can find the links in the description below. 


Since the creation of humanity, God’s image took a serious hit, if you will. This is pretty obvious during the time of Noah and throughout the Old Testament. But, of course, God didn’t want to leave humanity erring and separated from Him. So after fulfilling His salvific work, God asks us to be renewed through baptism and receiving once more the Holy Spirit. In these sacraments, He recreates us. In regards to baptism, in John 3, Christ talks about us being born again through water and Spirit (being recreated). In Titus 3, St. Paul says that we are saved through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. So we are regenerated. In Acts 22:16, St. Peter talks about baptism having the power to wash away sins. St. Paul also in Romans 6, in discussing baptism, he says: “…that our old man was crucified with Him [in baptism], that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” This is why in the Creed, we confess one baptism for the remission of sins, because we are renewed through baptism. It is a renewal of the corruption within us. Now, it is time to be perfect as our Father in heaven is Perfect; it is time to be retransformed by being once more in God’s image and likeness. That is what St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that we are beholding the glory of the Lord in a mirror and are being transformed, through His Spirit, into His image from glory to glory. St. Cyril agrees, he says: “He [God] desires,  then,  the  nature  of  humanity  to  be renewed and  reshaped  into  its  original  image  by  communion  with  the  Spirit so  that,  by  being  clothed  with  that  original  grace  and  being  shaped  again  in conformity  with  him,  we  may  be  found  superior  to  and  more  powerful  than sin,  which  reigns  in  this  world,  and  we  may  devote  ourselves  only  to  the love  of  God.” So why does God care about sin? Because, sin is something unlike Him, because it distorts God’s image in us and therefore separates us from Him. It is a spiritual poison that separates us from the Source of Life. Its wages therefore lead to death. But, God wants us to live. He created us for immortal life. He therefore gave us the sacramental life of the Church that we may be retransformed and abide in Him once more. Remember know your faith, live your faith and teach your faith and glory be to God forever, amen.  

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