Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Seriousness of Sin

My sister and I are reading through the book Respectable Sins together, by Jerry Bridges. In the last chapter we uncovered the seriousness of sin in our lives. It was very convicting for me.

Bridges describes sin in the following way:

“Left alone, malignancy tends to infiltrate and metastasize throughout the entire body and will eventually cause death…. Sin is a spiritual and moral malignancy. Left unchecked, it can spread throughout our entire inner being and contaminate every area of our lives. Even worse, it often will “metastasize” from us into the lives of other believers around us.”

He goes on and says:

“Sin, however, is much more than wrong actions, unkind words, or even those evil thoughts we never express. Sin is a principle or moral force in our heart, our inner being. Our sinful actions, words and thoughts are simply expressions of the principle of sin residing within us, even in those of us whose hearts have been renewed.”

Sin is tragically dangerous, an infinitely serious offense. Yet, we easily fail to recognize it as that. There is a tendency to compare one’s thoughts, words and actions to others, rather than Biblical standards. It’s easy to belittle our sin this way. When our worldview is man-centered sin can seem less serious, less damaging and even less like sin. 

“Even the smallest sin is an act of rebellion against God. Every sin is an act of cosmic treason, a futile attempt to dethrone God in His sovereign authority.” ~R.C. Sproul~

As we begin to develop a God-centered perspective, sin takes on an entirely new meaning. When comparing sin to an infinitely holy God, we will see our sin for what it is, an assault on His very majesty. Sin is a blatant rejection of our Creator’s Lordship in our life.

“The wages of sin is death” Romans 3:23

The Bible takes sin very seriously, and we need to do the same.

The first place to start is by recognizing the sin in our lives. Simply praying for the Holy Spirit to unleash Himself in our lives and hearts  and begin convicting us of our sin is a great place to start (but I warn you, be prepared). The Bible tells us to examine ourselves. It isn’t easy, but as I have begun to take inventory of things in my own life, I was surprised by the number of sins I hadn’t even considered as “wrong”, primarily because they weren’t “hurting anyone else” – I failed to consider Jesus.

I praise God that for those of us who have been saved by grace, through faith there is good news. For we know that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Sin is serious, and as Christians we are on a journey of sanctification, that process can be painful and full of moments of examination and conviction, but what makes that process possible and bearable is the price that Christ alone has paid. The great news is that the larger we see our sin, the larger we’re able to see the Cross and what Christ has done for us.

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