Nate’s Notes — Sin is Unbelief

John 10:5-9 NIV 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Few college football coaches have made a point against drugs as effectively as Erk Russell of Georgia Southern College. He arranged for a couple of good ol’ country boys to burst into a routine team meeting and throw a writhing, hissing, six-foot-long rattlesnake onto a table in front of the squad. “Everyone screamed and scattered,” Russell recalls. “I told them, ‘When cocaine comes into a room, you’re not nearly as apt to leave as when that rattlesnake comes in. But they’ll both kill you!”

We know that drugs and snakes can be deadly. Do we truly believe how dangerous sin can be in our lives? Do we grasp that it is just as deadly as a rattlesnake? The English word sin is a translation of various Hebrew and Greek words. When I think about sin, I usually consider that it is missing the mark or a violation of God’s law. I might also consider it as a spurning of God’s love or an act against His nature. I almost never consider sin as a lack of faith. Isn’t the opposite of faith unbelief? What relationship does sin have with faith?

Hebrews 3:7-10 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’

Faith is trusting in God’s character, acts, and promises. Many of the Israelites rebelled against God and Moses. We are to be careful not to follow their example. We also know that if we love God, then we will obey His commands. It takes faith to have self-control and trade the momentary pleasures of sin for the eternal rewards of faithfulness and obedience. The more we trust the Lord, the less we will disobey Him. The more faith that we have, the more strength we have to resist sin. The more filled we are with the Holy Spirit, the more we will stand against our sin nature, the world, and the Devil.

Keith Simons explains the concept:

This sin is called unbelief. But by ‘unbelief’ here, I do not mean the doubts of a sincere person who really wants to know God. I mean the opposite. The people whom Moses led were not sincere. They did not want to have a relationship with God. And their problem was not really doubt. They knew about God. Their problem was the decisions that they chose to make about him. They refused to accept his authority over their lives.

Another name for unbelief is lack of faith. Faith means active belief and trust in God’s word. It is impossible to have faith unless we first hear God’s word (Hebrews 3:7). But if we then refuse to trust and to obey, that is unbelief.

Prayer: Father, you are perfectly holy, just, and righteous. May we have the faith and wisdom to grasp that sin is unbelief.  Help us grow closer to You as through obediene. Thank you for sending us Your Son and Spirit. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.