New City Catechism

Devotional





Question: What is sin?



Answer: Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law—resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.



Commentary: From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it. This sin is committed daily by young children and ignorant peasants as well as by sophisticated persons, by solitaries no less than by those who live in society: it is the fall in every individual life, and in each day of each individual life, the basic sin behind all particular sins: at this very moment you or I are either committing it, or about to commit it, or repenting it.



We try, when we wake, to lay the new day at God’s feet; [but] before we have finished shaving, it becomes our day and God’s share in it is felt as a tribute which we must pay out of ‘our own’ pocket, a deduction from the time which ought, we feel to be ‘our own’. Scripture: 1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.