Of all species created in the world, humans serve as the highest thinkers and were created with souls to be filled with the Spirit of God. Throughout the human life span, God gives His creation free will to live and be as they choose—though He makes attempts to woo people towards Him out of love. He has even gone so far as to give the world His only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice (John 3:16 NASB) of atonement to bridge the gap between Himself and the world. In the lives of people, two key themes exist to destroy the relationship of man with God and to mend the relationship of man with God. The two themes are sin and redemption. Sin is the antithesis of redemption and serves to destroy; but, redemption can cover all sin and bridges the divide between God and man.
Part One: Sin
Sin is identified in the world by a variety of names and each holds a different measure of severity according to what it is called. Some people have sin known as addiction, deceit, manipulation, fornication, and murder. In the world, there is no standard of consistency and “sin” is left as a subjective matter. However, in the Bible, Scripture is clear and plain about sin. Sin is equal across the threshold of wrong—a lie is as bad as murder. Sin is the identifier which separates us from God (Romans 3:23). No matter the worldly value attached; being detached from God is immeasurable. Ultimately, sin is the greatest life problem that Christians have to face and work towards overcoming. When sin creeps into the life of a believer, Satan uses that opportunity to discredit the authority and command of God. Sin is a behavior that works against God, displaces God, and puts someone or something above God—whether intentional or not.
Sin is identified throughout the Bible; beginning in Genesis with the fall of man. After the fall, sin perpetuated through Adam’s family at the beginning of Creation and manifested itself violently in the heart of Cain—Adam’s oldest son. As soon as God addressed the problem of sin committed by Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, again God was faced with the disobedience of mankind through Cain. In Genesis 4:4-10, Moses recounts the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Though time is not given, God commanded Cain before he killed Abel to master the sin that was crouching at his door. However, Cain did not master the sin in his heart and he killed his brother. Additionally, sin is identified as a rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), foolishness (Psalms 69:5), sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed (Colossians 3:5-6), and anger, quarreling, jealousy, dissension, drunkenness, and envy (Galatians 19-21). Sin a destructive behavior that tears down the potential of people from becoming the faithful servants and leaders God desires.
In our current day, sin would appear to be overtaking the world. But, when pictured through the right lens, we should see that sin has ruled the hearts of countless people throughout the beginning of time. Each generation loosens their values to some degree and the generations that follow slowly digress—but we are not hopeless thanks to Jesus.
Part Two: Redemption
The word redemption means a restoration and the idea behind it is “be to delivered” from something. The main theme of the Bible surrounds the heart of redemption. Redemption is the manner by which sinners are bought back and released from the slavery of sin through the grace of God. Theologians look at the Bible as a metanarrative and a metanarrative is the big picture of the whole story. The big picture of the Bible is the theme of redemption and God’s gift to mankind through Jesus. For people, redemption is offered to everyone through Jesus Christ and He is the Savior who died on the cross for the sins of all, was buried, and then who rose again on the third day and who is currently alive in Heaven. The greatest power of redemption is that it frees people from sin and allows them the opportunity to have a relationship with God as Adam and Eve did before the fall.
Biblically, redemption is most clearly defined in the New Testament as believers know it today. Jesus, who is identified as the Redeemer in the Gospels, intercedes on behalf of believers to God, the Father (Hebrews 7:25). It was Jesus who died for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28) and Jesus, the Great Shepherd, who laid down His own life for the sheep (sinners) (John 10:15). Because Jesus is the Redeemer, mankind is able to have salvation and be free from sin and the consequences of sin (death) (Romans 6:18) and have the freedom to have a relationship with God. And, although mankind if free from sin, mankind is not free from the temptation of sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). Though we have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), He loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us (John 3:16). Love is at the heart of redemption and it is an immeasurable gift. Redemption is an incredible opportunity to live life as God intended it and to be in fellowship with Him.
Sin and redemption are polar-opposite words that are joined at the heart in that redemption can overcome sin to give life—true everlasting life.