While discussing Jesus and salvation with my six year old this past week, I was asked the question,
“Daddy, what is sin?”
My simple answer to my six year old went something like this...
Sin is what we call it when we do not live the way God created us to live.
See, God created us and said that we were very good, but sometimes we forget who we truly are, and we live in some other way contrary to how we were made. That is sin.
But Jesus came bearing good news.
Jesus insists that we do not have to live this way, it's not who we are.
Sin is a problem, but it does not define us.
See, this is a radically different understanding of sin and salvation than what I often heard. Apparently what i should have told my precious little girl is that she is a dirty rotten sinner... That she was born that way... For sin is literally part of her DNA passed down to her through me.
In John’s version of the gospel, Jesus comes across a woman who was caught in adultery and who, according to the law of the land, deserved the death penalty. After Jesus runs off her accuser and her would be executioners, He then tells the woman, “Your sins are forgiven...”
Understand that Jesus forgave someone found guilty of a crime which deserved capitol punishment.
There was no confession. There was no pre-forgiveness repentance. There was only love, grace, and forgiveness (for repentance is a product of grace, rather than a condition for grace).
But then Jesus says something very important to the woman. After He reveals to the woman that her sins are forgiven (note this forgiveness of sins came before Jesus had died on the cross) He tells the woman “go and leave your life of sin.”
Understand that this was not a condition for forgiveness, rather Jesus was proclaiming good news.
The good news that this woman did not have to live the life she was living.
The good news that her sin didn’t define her... it’s not who she was created to be.
The good news that He didn't see her as dirty and rotten, rather He saw her as she was intended to be.
So what I want my children to know about God...
What I told my 6 year old little girl just two days ago and what I will tell my children every chance i get, because I know there will be plenty of people in their lives to tell them otherwise...
God created you.
God says you are very good.
God loves you.
God forgives you.
You don’t have to live that way.
For THAT is truly, GOOD NEWS.