Hamartia … this is the original Greek word for “sin.” Last week we started discussing what this word really meant back in ancient times. We saw this didn’t mean “breaking rules” but simply a mistake by which a person would tragically miss their purpose. This was used by Aristotle in many of his stories.
Of all words in Christianity, the word “sin” is crucial for us to understand. A lot of the whacky theology in the Western church stems from a misunderstanding of this word “hamartia.”
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“Christianese – Hamartia (Sin) Part 2” Show Notes
What did hamartia (sin) mean in ancient cultures? It was used a lot by Aristotle in Greek tragedy:
Sin is simply the disease/mistake/weakness of mankind where he believed The Lie … that he could find meaning and purpose in life independently of God. We have “missed the mark” … missed our purpose and intention. We were supposed to be on a plane to New York and find ourselves on a plane to Los Angeles.
Let’s put in this correct definition into some common scriptures:
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning missing my purpose by thinking I’m the center of the universe (sin) and righteousness and judgment; concerning missing my purpose by thinking I’m the center of the universe (sin), because they do not believe in Me … (John 16:8-9)
When you see the word “sin,” think of missing my purpose by thinking I’m the center of the universe. And what about this verse:
What shall we say then? Is the Law independent self which made me miss my purpose (sin)? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know independent self which made me miss my purpose (sin) except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But independent self which made me miss my purpose (sin), taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law independent self which made me miss my purpose (sin) is dead. (Rom. 7:7-8)
I don’t know about you, but that makes so much more sense to me. Sin isn’t about breaking rules … it is about a mindset which makes me believe I can find my meaning and purpose independently of God. As a review of last episode:
So what is “sin”? It means we have missed an objective. It means that we find ourselves somewhere that was not our intended destination. If we fail to live up to our purpose … our intention … then we are much closer to what this word means. And more often than not, it is a thinking aspect, nor a moral one.
“Christianese – Hamartia (Sin) Part 2” Episode Resources
In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:
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