1 Corinthians 15:3

As we drove up to the beach, it was clear that it would be “one of those days.” The waves were crashing with such a mighty force that the mist grazed our faces as we stood on the sand. My heart was beating fast. As a teenager, it was the kind of wave day I dreamed about. I zipped on my wetsuit, put on my fins, grabbed my boogie board, and ventured into the water. Immediately, the strength of the tide began to push and pull me at its will. After being in the water for about thirty minutes, I started to get pulled out to sea. Regardless of how hard I kicked and paddled, I couldn’t make it back to shore. Spoiler alert, I survived, but only because a lifeguard on a jet ski came and rescued me.

Being in the waves and separated from the land was a terrifying experience. Separation is a terrifying experience in general. When Scripture talks about separation, the good news means that Jesus bridged the gap or separation that our sin created. Paul records it like this in 1 Corinthians 15:3, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures… (1 Corinthians 15:3) Part of the gospel is that Jesus “died for sins.”

The word sin conjures up all sorts of images and feelings in our minds. The word sin is the Greek word hamartia and it means “to miss the mark.” The etymology of the word is fascinating. It comes from two words: ha + meros. Ha is a negating word and it means “not.” Meros means “to be part of” or “together with.” Not a part of… not together with. Sin is separation. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wrote, “… but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Sin separates us from God, ourselves, others, and creation. Maybe the image sin ought to evoke in our minds is of us drifting further and further out into the ocean. Drifting further and further from the people God designed us to be — in relationship with God and others. He died so that he could carry us back to the shore. He died to once again give us union with our Maker. The Scriptures are clear, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). What a great promise.

Take some time today and confess your sins to Jesus and be reminded that he is the God who will always faithfully carry you back to shore. That’s the gospel!

Ryan Paulson
Lead Pastor

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