Please learn the true meaning of sin. Sin lives within every heart. It bends the way we think, feel and act. In the beginning, sin crept into our world and let in his friend death, and to this day sin leads humans by the hand into the arms of eternal death.
Most Christians grow up thinking of sins as outward actions that they really should not do. Some sins are small: lying, cursing, gossip etc. Other sins are big: murder, stealing, and adultery. As long as we limit the small sins, avoid the big sins, and ask God to forgive us, we are good.
We believe that we are active, and sin is passive, even dead. Sins lie on the ground like potholes that should be avoided.
The Bible teaches something much different. We first meet Sin in Genesis 4 when God warns Cain, “sin is crouching at the door.” Romans gives us a full treatment on Sin, describing it as a power that lives within us, enslaves us, and even after we are saved sin remains right there with us. Sin pollutes our best actions, and restlessly seeks to divert our path away from God.
Think of Sin as cancer. Your actions, words and feelings reveal the presence of the cancer within. Those things should be dealt with, for if they go unchecked the cancer will grow faster. But they are not the primary enemy. Sin is the enemy.
You may define sin as self-centeredness. That selfishness has many faces, but whenever I allow it to control my moods, words, or actions I am sure to be motivated by sin and moving away from God.
Paul Tripp says this: “The DNA of Sin is selfishness. Sin inserts me into the middle of my universe, the one place reserved for God and God alone. Sin reduces my field of concern down to my wants, my needs and my feelings. Sin really does make it all about me.” (Dangerous Calling, 98)
Therefore, sin takes all forms. Laziness, drunkenness and fornication certainly spring from my selfish desires. But if I read my Bible to feel better about myself, or go to church because I would feel guilty if I didn’t, then those actions come from sin as well.
Attacking the actions will only result in sin changing shapes. I need more than new actions; I need power.
Good news. The Gospel is God’s power unto salvation. It strikes at the root of sin, and replaces it with a newfound love for God. When we place our faith in Christ, we no longer live as slaves to sin. We now belong to God. We have a new owner and a new spouse.
Ricky Jones has spent the past two years as a church planter and pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before that, he was a campus minister with Reformed University...