John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Have you ever thought about why sacrifice is necessary for atonement for sins? For that matter, have you wondered about what sin really is?
I used to just think “sin” meant anything you do wrong – like it was just broken rules. I’ve come to realize, though, that I didn’t have a very complete definition of what sin really is. But first, let’s back up even further.
Scripture begins by saying God created. HE created all that we are, all that we feel and experience, and all that surrounds us. He created us – in His own image. How incredible is that?
As in the description of the book, Love Isn’t Selfish, “Because scripture tells us clearly that God is Love (1 John 4:8), we know that God, by very nature, is relational. Love is an action, emotion, state, and characteristic that requires interaction with another being. Love does not exist alone. Scripture also tells us that we have been created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). We were created to love Him in return, though loving Him will never be forced upon us because love isn’t selfish.”
Love isn’t selfish. Love is about the other. Sin is what blocks love – it’s anything that stands in the way between you and God. It’s any time you choose self over love. God IS Love. Sin is selfishness.
To boil down the gospel, maybe that is a good way to start. God is love, and sin is selfishness. When we make willful selfish acts, the only way to demonstrate our love again is to sacrifice something, so we’re no longer focusing on self.
That can be a difficult concept, right? Yet, we return to the original thought in this post. Sacrifice. The act of putting your own wants and desires behind the needs of another. Not being selfish.
So God is love, and sin is selfishness. Sacrifice demonstrates love because sacrifice is selfless and God, in His infinite love, gave us His only Son as a sacrifice for OUR sin. All we have to do is sacrifice whatever stands in the way of accepting His forgiveness. Pride. Control. Fear of not “measuring up.” We have to choose to let go and accept God as our Savior, Father, and Lord. We have to choose to follow and serve, sacrificing our own selfish desires when needed.
The gift of forgiveness has already been given. All we have to do is accept and live accordingly, putting God’s will before our own!