For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, ESV).
The Bible teaches personal sin. The Greek word for sin means “missing the mark,” and placed in a scriptural context, “sin” is missing God’s holiness.
We find the Bible’s description of holiness listed as the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians …
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
Anything that misses God’s desire for us to enjoy love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control … is sin.
In this list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, there are three groupings of three. Confused? Let me give a visual …
Grouping #1: Love, joy, peace
Grouping #2: Patience, kindness, goodness
Grouping #3: Faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Three groupings of three!
I define each “grouping” by asking the questions below …
Grouping #1: Emotional health
Are you acting in love? Do you have joy right now? Has anything stolen your peace?
Grouping #2: Relational health
Do others note patience in your actions? Are you kind or manipulative in your relationships? Would others say that you are a good person?
Grouping #3: Disciplined health
Are you faithful in relationships? Do you have gentleness in leadership and personal interactions? Do you have self-control with your calling and goals?
If we don’t have emotional and relational health, others begin to see unfaithfulness, caustic words, and a lack of self-discipline.
And we begin to have lots of problems!
Often, we don’t notice our slide from holiness to sin.
Others see it before we do, and we get defensive when confronted. There have been recent studies on the accumulation of “small stresses” that build quietly until a major breakdown or mishap.
Holiness isn’t an offensive residue from an outdated fundamental religion that no longer fits the progressive culture. Holiness is the key to happiness. We can’t live in satisfaction without emotional and relational health.
Our “holy” disciplines allow us to maintain this happiness.
Let me review: Holiness is good, and sin is bad because sin destroys holiness, and when holiness vanishes, our wellness and contentment in life disappear too.
Unfortunately, the philosophy of this age has a terrible theology of sin, teaching that sin doesn’t exist, leaving us to our own devices for our happiness. Culture even says, “Turn to sin for love, peace, and joy.”
Let’s stop eating rotten fruit and consider the holiness of our emotions, relationships, and disciplines!