June 11, 2008

Sin suffers from a poor reputation.  The reputation varies a bit, but the variations seem to fit a few basic formats.  Sin is currently either lauded or or misconstrued.

For some folks, sin is considered a synonym for fun and exciting.  This is evidenced by Las Vegas’ moniker of Sin City.  How utterly grievous this must be to the Most High.  The hideousness of sin is declared beautiful.  The abject evil of sin is called fun.  The deadliness of sin is regarded as the good life.  Sin receives the praise and honor and glory that rightfully belongs to God.  The creature has denied to Creator only to embrace the very antithesis of his love and race and mercy and holiness and justice and righteousness.

For other folks, sin is a term used by the religiously misled (or even deranged) for the purpose of enforcing a flawed world view.  The idea is that by calling something sin, one person injures another by denying their inner being and predilections.  To call something sin is therefore heinous, small minded, and bigoted.  In this system the only sin is calling corruption and ungodliness according to the way God sees it and revealed it to us.

Today, I was told that in spiritual care, or even clinical care, identifying sin is only harmful.  To identify this sin which is ugly, evil, and poisonous to the mind and soul is the true sin (according to this model).  Therefore, the person in need should never be told of God’s righteous standards.

Now, I understand that sin can be preached in a harmful way.  If we focus on God’s wrath to the exclusion of the love and grace and mercy he extends to the sinner, then we are teaching a caricature of God’s truth.  But how can we effectively teach about love, grace, mercy, and salvation without explaining sin – both its nature and its pervasive hold on a fallen mankind.

So, I challenge believers to evaluate the way they present the Gospel truth to the world around us.  We must love as God loves.  We must extend mercy and grace as we explain his mercy and grace.  But we cannot remain silent about sin when he sent his son to die as an atonement for that sin.

We need to remember that God measures the seriousness of sin by the blood of his son, Jesus Christ.  If we have trusted in that blood to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, if we have been delivered from death into everlasting life – then we must speak of sin as often as God does in his word.


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