The Decision to Sin and the Gift of Grace
Growing up I had a hard time taking responsibility for my actions. Everything bad was someone elses fault, and everything awesome was my doing. I am fairly certain that we all know someone like that, and am equally certain that nobody really likes spending time with someone like that. The issue is that when we have an attitude like this, it seeps into our relationship with God, and suddenly when we sin it's really not our fault, but it was due to circumstances or pressure from someone else. Ultimately when we sin and try to pass the blame onto someone or something else, we are really telling God that it was his fault for allowing us to be in a situation that He was not sufficient to fill all our needs.
Unfortunately James 1:14 says, " each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." (NIV) In short, we sin because of us, we sin because there is something evil inside of us that desires what God says is sinful. There is no person or thing that we can blame, and therefore the blame of sin comes to rest on our shoulders. God addresses this issue in Jeremiah 2 He says, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot even hold water." (v.13) It's important that you see both sins here, the first is that they have forsaken God, they have made the decision that He is not good enough. The second sin that God indicts is that they have dug their own cisterns, and goes on to say that these cisterns don't hold water.
Every time that we choose to sin, we are making the same mistakes that the Israelites did, we are telling God that He is insufficient, and are digging our own cisterns looking for satisfaction. That's the bad news, we have told a holy God that we know better than He does and we should be calling the shots. However, the story doesn't end there even though it should. God in His infinite grace and mercy sent us Jesus, to live the life that we couldn't and die the death that we should have so that we could have eternal life with God.
If your mind isn't blown, it should be. In God's law, sin warrants the death penalty. According to Romans 6:23a, "the wages of sin is death", this means that we have earned the death penalty. There is no amount of work we can put in to pay that penalty, there is no good deed that will pay the price for our sin. Then in steps Jesus, who offers us the gift of eternal life through His death and resurrection. While on the cross Jesus took the full punishment for our sins, so that if we turn from our sins and dedicate our lives to following Him, we can receive the gift of salvation.