Dr. Dan Hayden • 

I’m not very good with a bow and arrow. The first time that I shot an arrow was at Fort Wilderness Camp in Wisconsin. I strung the arrow, pulled it back and let it fly. I not only missed the bullseye – I missed the target!

When the Greeks looked for a word to express the idea of sin, they borrowed a word from the field of archery that meant “to miss the mark.” Now, that is the word used in Romans 6:23 where it says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The word “sin” is based on the word that means “a division or a share.” Then the negative word alpha is added in front of it, so the word then meant “no division or no share.” The idea is you do not get to share in the prize because you missed the mark.


Picture an archery competition where there is a prize for the winner. The first archer pierces the bullseye with his arrow, but the second archer misses too far to the right and misses the mark. Well, the first archer would get the prize and the second archer would not get the prize—there would be no share in the prize for him. Now that is the idea of this word, no share because you missed the mark.

That is the word the Bible used for sin. The mark is God’s holiness and His righteous perfection and all of us miss that mark by how we live our lives. So, there is no share in the prize of heaven for us—no eternal reward. When we miss the mark the only thing we get is death—eternal separation from God. There is only one person who ever hit the bullseye, who lived a perfect life living up to God’s standard of holiness, and that person is Jesus Christ. That is why He is the savior, because He did not miss the mark.

Now you know the real meaning of the word.

Hey, we have all missed the mark, so none of us get the prize. That is why we need Jesus!