The “S” Word


We don’t talk about sin anymore, or at least not much and rarely outside the doors of a church. The concept rankles our society—steeped as it is in the belief that Mankind is basically good.

Christians, while giving intellectual ascent to the problem of sin, live very much like everyone else. We say things like “an innocent child” and “he didn’t deserve to die,” as if sin didn’t somehow pollute babies and death wasn’t the end result of sin as God said it would be.

Occasionally I catch one of those “reality” TV programs called “Super Nanny.” The premise is, a family with out-of-control kids contacts the show asking for help. In essence, they need a crash course in child rearing. And truly, the families they show are in crisis. In the worst cases, the children are in charge completely. The thing is, these little ones are often of pre-school age. How does this happen unless children have innate pride and selfishness and greed and deception and rebellion?

This morning I heard an Alistair Begg radio sermon from the book of Proverbs about child rearing. Interestingly, he said the chief problem for today’s parents is their theology. They don’t realize that the oh-so-cute little bundle they brought home from the hospital is a monster. He’s right. How we discipline someone who is good would be vastly different from how we would discipline someone who is inherently sinful.

Truthfully, our belief in sin is as fundamental as our belief in God because it is sin that separates us from Him. If we have no sin problem, then God seems irrational or mean or non-existent. I just finished reading Philip Yancy’s Disappointment with God, which I’ve mentioned here a time or two. The stories he tells of people disappointed with God, who think He is hidden or silent, now make sense to me.

The fact is, God remains inaccessible to us because of sin. It mars us, soiling us to the point that we cannot have fellowship with Him. Sin creates an breach between us and Him. A breach no one can cross except the Sinless One.

Again, in contrast to popular thought, Christ did not come to show us the way to also live sinless lives. He came because we cannot live sinless lives. He came to give us new life, to create clean hearts, to eradicate our sin problem.

So no wonder the world doesn’t get Jesus. If there is no sinful man, only good people led astray by society or damaged at an early age, then why would anyone need Jesus? And how could he expect to know God?

Published in: on May 29, 2008 at 9:34 am  Comments (8)  
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