Sin is a topic that is often discussed in theological circles, as it should be, but often we do not contemplate the weight of our sin. Romans 3:23 informs us that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. But what does that mean? How bad is it to fall short of that glory?
We know that the shortcoming that is our sin causes us to deserve death (Romans 6:23). It is a judgment and a sentence that is reserved for the most heinous of crimes in human laws, but it is given to even the “smallest” of offenses in the Law of God.
Granted, the term “smallest” is thinking in human terms, not God’s. To understand how God sees it we must understand the nature of His holiness. God is 100% holy and cannot tolerate anything that is not also 100% holy. It must be punished. It can be no other way for not only is the Father holy, He is just and justice demands punishment for sin.
This means that, on our own, nobody escapes. Nobody is saved on their own. We do not have the ability because we are born into sin. Satan dealt a crushing blow to humanity when he successfully tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But make no mistake, the sin was theirs and theirs alone.
This may cause us to think that Satan was victorious. That is hardly the case. Satan is condemned. He had already lost before the incident in the Garden. He is on borrowed time before his eternal and ultimate damnation, a fate that is sealed. Nothing happened in the Garden of Eden that was not permitted to happen by the Father. Ultimately, this event shows the holiness, justice, and mercy of God in one swoop.
His holiness and justice were demonstrated by the sentence of death, both physical and spiritual, that was given not only to Adam and Eve but to the entire human race.
However, His mercy was demonstrated thousands of years later with the death of Christ on the cross. The cross was the perfect display of mercy. A display that will never be matched by any other. A holy and righteous God took our place and paid our penalty for us.
The weight of our sin is also the weight of our eternal debt to Christ. It is a debt that can never be repaid. A debt that we recognize by our service to the King of Kings that we might no longer be under the weight of our sin and shame.