Does sin separate you from God?

Well? Does it? I know it feels like sin separates us from God. I know that sin separated Adam from God. I know that apart from Jesus we have no reconciliation towards God. But what about right now, in this moment, does sin separate me from God? Is a believer, follower, disciple of Jesus ever separated from God because of sin?

I don’t think so.

Think about it, how can something that has been permanently dealt with continue to separate us from God? How can sin continue to separate me from God? Did Jesus know about my present sin when he died on the cross? So even though I experience the feeling of distance today, provision for sin’s ability to pull me away from God has already been dealt with.

Roman 8:31–39 tells us that nothing separates us from God. Paul goes on to say “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God”

“nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God”

Obviously, when we sin we need to repent. But let’s try to understand why. I grew up believing that when we “repent” we are “turning around and walking back to Christ.” The image I always imagined was that when I sinned I was walking away from God, and when I “repented” I turned around and walked back towards God. But there is no gap to close by my “walking back” in repentance. The greek work used for repentance literally means to “change ones mind.” To “change one’s mind” give us a very different picture than to “change direction and walk back.” There is no gap that get closed between us and God in our repentance because we are securely found in Christ.

We repent, not to get back to God, but to live in accordance with who we really are, in Christ, a new creation.

So why do we feel separated?

Shame. It is the shame we feel because actions that cause us to withdraw from communion (think relationship, not grape juice and crackers) with God. Whenever we feel disconnected from God, ask yourself, do I feel any shame? Chances are they loss of connection is on our end, self-imposed.

But isn’t God mad at me when I sin?

Romans 5:20 tells us that when “sin abounds, grace abounds more.” To me that communicates that wherever there is sin, there is a landing place for more love and grace.

So next time you feel disconnected from God, know that:

  1. God isn’t mad at you. All of that got taken care of on the cross.
  2. Your distance is potentially self-imposed, are you feeling shame anywhere? Stop being silly.
  3. God’s invitation is that we would “boldly approach” Him.

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