In the world of archery, you need several things - a bow, an arrow, a target, and a pointy hat with a feather coming out of it.
The goal of the archer is to use the bow to launch an arrow into the target’s center while looking good in a stylish hat. The closer to the center, the better the shot. When an arrow misses the center, the term used is “sinning”. The archer will say that he ‘sinned to the left” or “sinned to the right”. Using this information, he will adjust his technique before shooting the next arrow - hoping that the next one will hit the mark.
The term “sin” has been stolen by Christians to refer to the idea of missing the mark with God. It is meant to show us that we need to adjust our lives back to God.
To understand how we should view sin, we first remember that everyone was created by God to be His children. When Adam sinned, mankind had to leave God’s presence because we were no longer in His target area. And this is why God hates Sin.
Psalm 11:5 - The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.
(Note: God does not hate the person, but He hates the violence within the person because it moves the child He loves farther from His arms).
So He gave instructions - He told us how to choose to move toward Him.
Just as there were two trees in the garden - through scripture, we see a choice in location that symbolized our choice to move towards God or away from God. When the Bible talks about someone going East (such as Able - Gen. 4:16) or Babylon (which was East of the promised land where Tower of Babel was - Gen. 11:1-9), it is saying that people are ‘sinning’ away from God. But when it talks about the promised land or Mt. Zion, it is talking about people choosing to move towards God.
The ‘target’ we are aiming for is God, Himself.
But there is so much that distracts our flight. It is impossible for us to hit the center without help - we are broken arrows. No one can do it.
Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
This is why we need Jesus - who knows the way to the target and He never misses. He not only helps us ‘shoot the arrows’, He helps us consider how we have ‘sinned’ and how we can correct so that we shoot better next time.
The key is - we need to shoot again (In Christian terms, this is called ‘Repenting’).
The lie from Satan is that since we missed the mark (‘sinned’), we are no longer good enough for God and need to just give up. The truth - You can never miss the mark so badly that Gods cannot bring you back.
When you give up, you are actually saying that you will accept the path of the last arrow you sent. It may start little off the mark, but the longer it ‘sins’ the farther from the mark it gets. You cannot continue on that path and hit the mark. You have to stop, and reshoot again from the beginning (repent).
Jeremiah 8:6 - I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle
Acts 2:38 - Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
We will miss the mark again and again - but when we get up ‘repent’ and trust God - we will get closer every day because we will be more like Christ every day (the one who never misses).
Helping each other do this is discipleship.