Editors note: The purpose of this series is to help our readers understand what sin is, how serious sin is, and how great the grace of God, who offers redemption to sinners from sin and new life in Christ.

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sin-shorterSin is no friend. It is a viper and a thief. It is our enemy and foe. Yet, we all fall prey to its “Siren’s voice.” We too easily entertain, harbor, and allow it to take up residence. All the while we are affording it the opportunity to rob our soul of its great comfort and pleasure.

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden enjoyed fellowship with God. This was their delight and their very life. Yet, when Adam chose to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, mankind lost communion with God. In fact, man lost more than that. If Adam had trusted God and chosen to refrain from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he and Eve would have led mankind into that glorified state in which man will enjoy a constant, continual, and uninterrupted fellowship with God. This is symbolized in the Garden by the very curse of death and man being barred from the Garden and specifically the tree of life. It is made even more apparent in Revelation 22 in the new heavens and new earth. John sees God in the center of His people and the tree of life in their midst. And that tree bears fruit every month for the nations. It is here that God’s people will see Him face to face for all of eternity. The soul of every man cries out for this communion with God–what was lost and what could have been. Out of God’s sheer mercy and grace, He sent His Son into this world to redeem a people for Himself, so that the picture in Revelation 22 would become a reality. It is the future for all those with faith in Christ–to once again enjoy communion with a holy God, but this time never to be interrupted. But in this life it can be interrupted in one sense.

John Owen, probably the most helpful writer in the history of the church on the subject of sin, said, “As sin weakens, so it darkens the soul. It is a cloud, a thick cloud, that spreads itself over the face of the soul, and intercepts all the beams of God’s love and favor. It takes away all sense of our privilege of our adoption; and if the soul begins to gather up thoughts of consolation, sin quickly scatters them.” Notice that Owen does not say that for the Christian sin takes away our communion with God. It does not annul, vanquish or destroy it, but it does steal our sense of its reality. In this way our communion with Him can be interrupted. Make no mistake, dear Christian, sin is an enemy.

What Christian has not found this to be true? We speak a harsh word to our spouse or tell a lie to our friend and it is not just our relationship with them that is hindered, but our very relationship with God. Our sense of peace and joy become fleeting, His love feels distant, and our anxiety increases. All because sin was entertained. It is a thief, which comes in and steals. It is an enemy, an enemy that not only seeks to destroy us and those around us, but takes aim at our very relationship with God. Like a hand in front of our face, sin obscures our view of His glory. It diminishes our life in Him. It steals our joy. It attacks our peace.

If only for this reason alone, sin must be considered an enemy. An enemy we dare not play with. It takes aim at the very core of our being, the very center of our lives, the very heart of our faith. It is not something to entertain, coddled, or excuse. It must be seen for what it is–an enemy seeking to disrupt our very relationship with the One we most need a relationship with. May we fight against it by the power of the Spirit, the grace of God, and all the strength we have until He comes again upon the clouds. Then, we will not only enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with Him for all of eternity, but also the sense of it forever. How I long for that day.