At one point in my life I worked for a pharmaceutical company. The job I enjoyed more than all the others I did there was conducting investigations. Because we were manufacturing medicinal products for human consumption, each product had to be manufactured according to strict governmental guidelines. Any anomaly in the manufacturing process could jeopardize the saleability of the product and potentially cost the company millions of dollars. Therefore every time something went wrong in manufacturing, the incident had to be carefully investigated to determine its impact on the product. Some investigations were quite simple and easily resolved. There were some investigations, however, that were quite extensive and would involve several departments within the company.
When conducting an investigation, one thing we always had to look for was the root cause. In other words, what was the underlying factor(s) that caused this anomaly to occur in the manufacturing process? Once that was determined we could come up with a preventative action to keep the problem from reoccurring in the future. Determining the root cause and coming up with a preventative action sometimes required some very creative thinking!
With this investigative process as a basis, I have a question I would like to ask:
What is the root cause of all the pain, heartache, and woes of our modern society?
The answer might be easier to determine than what you think.
Determining the Cause
What causes a man to humiliate and beat his wife and children?
In one word: sin.
What causes one race to hate another race enough to try and wipe them from the face of the earth?
What causes the rich to hoard their money while hungry people die all over the world?
What is the underlying cause of the epidemic addiction to pornographic material?
What causes one country to oppress another country?
What is behind the ever escalating divorce rate?
What causes a pregnant mother to consume alcohol and destroy the future of her unborn child?
What causes a Pastor to run off with his secretary, leaving behind a broken family and a broken and confused congregation?
The list could go on and on. Regardless where you look, or how deep you look, sin is the primary root cause of the ills in our society on every level.
What is Sin?
If sin is the root cause of our woes then we need to outline what it is. Simply put, sin is closing our ears to God and deciding for ourselves what is right or wrong.
Think about it.
What caused the first sin? Adam had been very clearly instructed by God to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet both he and his wife closed their ears to the voice of God and followed the suggestion proffered by another voice. That one act plunged us into the dilemma we now find ourselves in. From that day until this, every sin ever committed has been the result of man thinking he knew better than God as to how life should work. Running as fast a he can with his fingers in his ears, man has forged his way headlong into his own destruction. All of this is the result of sin. Plain old, unadulterated sin.
Fortunately for us, God implemented His own plan of preventative action. Even though we didn’t love Him, He loved us and sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place and pay the penalty for our sins because we stood as condemned rebels before God. As a result of this benevolent kindness, the way has been opened for us to re-establish a relationship with our Heavenly Father. More than this, through the substitutionary death of His Son, God also broke the power of sin over mankind. We don’t have to live under the tyranny of sin any longer. On top of all that, God has also given us the gift of His Holy Spirit. When we believe on the Name of God’s Son, God sends His Spirit to live inside us. The Holy Spirit then empowers us to live in constant communion with God so we can live our lives under His direction. Living in relationship with God will prevent sin from corrupting us and using us to spread its corruption. The result is a life that bears the fragrance of Heaven instead of the stench of the corruption brought about by sin.
Implementing the Preventative Action
How do we implement God’s preventative action in our lives? It starts by being honest. We must admit that we have lived our lives in rebellion against God, thinking that we knew better than He about life. We must also believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Remedy that God has provided for the problem. God proved this by raising Him from the dead three days after He died, and exalting Him to His own right hand to reign as King. As we turn from our rebellious life and bow to Jesus as our King and Savior, God will wipe away our debt of sin, place His Holy Spirit within us, and bring us into His family as His children. This is love beyond comprehension. This is God’s remedy for the sin problem. And we get to experience it all simply by living in the Reign.