Sin reveals God’s glory. That is quite a statement. Did I say sin? Yes, sin. It isn’t exactly a word we think of when we think of God’s glory, is it? When we talk about God’s glory, we usually focus on the parts that also encourage us. We usually focus on how great His love is for us. We think about how big God is and yet He has time for us. We usually avoid thinking about our sin in relation to God’s greatness or God’s love. In fact, we are tempted to run completely away from the topic of sin when we want to think about the love of God. We might be afraid of making people (or ourselves) feel guilty and worthless. We might think that thinking about sin will make God look more vengeful rather than loving. However, we must be wary that in our desire to emphasize God’s love that we overlook the truth that our sin reveals about God: that forgiveness is the proof of the marvelous depth of the love of God.
Consider a human picture: a mommy or daddy has been telling their child that they are loved. They smile at them, they take them fun places, and they hug them every night as they tuck them into bed. At first, everything is wonderful. Then comes the terrible teens. The child is now disrespectful, resentful, and disobedient. They are willful, selfish, and hurtful. Yet, mommy and daddy still show love and affection. There are still smiles. They still go with them to fun places. They go to the child’s concerts, science fairs, ball games, etc. The parents even seek to continue to give hugs and affection (as much as the teen will let them!) Their love is constant. Then, one day, the teen wakes up. They are now 23 years old. As they come out of their adolescent stupor, they look back on the years of their parents’ love. They don’t just see their parents love, do they? There is a context. It is the context of their misbehavior. That context shows them what love means. That context shows them how much they begged for their parents to stop loving them, and their parents refused the offer. The love came anyway.\ Knowing that, they now know what kind of love to give in return. They know what kind of love to give their own spouse and children. They know how to love.
This is what I realize as I look at what the Bible says about sin. It isn’t a description of how bad we are primarilly (isn’t it just like our adolescent spirits to make it all about us?). It is about God! God’s love. God’s willingness to reach out when we reject Him. God’s unending call to the world that ignores Him – I love you. I died for you. I smile on you. I call you my own.
In a book that is filled with challenges to Christians to get off the fence and stop sinning, the Apostle John marvels in this, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” (1 John 3:1) After all the challenging words about how sin cannot coexist with faithfulness to God, John never stopped marveling on the love of God. The sin could not drown out the glory of the love of God. The love shone all the more brighter through it. We may not see it because of the blindness of sin, but when our sight returns may we see as clearly as they did this glory of God’s love in the midst of our sin.
So, next time you read about or hear a sermon on sin, remember these words:
What wondrous love is this
O my soul, O my soul
Would cause the King of bliss
O my soul, O my soul
To shed His own blood
For my soul.
Something to think about,