Thursday, March 01, 2007
Our house group is revising basic Christianity using Tim Keller's Gospel Christianity study guide. We are learning so much by going back to the stripped down beliefs of our faith.

Last night we looked at the problem of sin and learnt that there are three words used for sin in the Old Testament. I had never been aware of this before so wanted to share it. In Psalm 51, David uses all three words to convey the depth of his sin.

Avah - Twisted out of shape
Psalm 51:2a - iniquity
This describes a heart that is not centred in God and instead has its centre on distorted views of self, God and the world and wrong desires. It shows how deep an complex sin can be, yet it might not be committed deliberately or might be something good being misused or twisted into something bad.

Chatha - Missing the target
Psalm 51:2b - sin
This reminds that sin includes acts of omission are just as bad as sins of comission, the ones we do deliberately. We are called to live for God's glory, loving him with all our heart and soul and strength and loving our neighbours as ourselves. When we fail in this, we are equally sinning.

Pasha - Wilfully rebelling
Psalm 51:1 - transgression
God holds us responsible for our actions, however much we deceieve ourselves that we commit sin unwillingly. We act like Adam who blamed God for giving him Eve, who then blamed the serpent, all refusing to take the blame and the responsibility.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

Psalm 51:1-2

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