Sin is Real

August 30 — Romans 6:19–23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

When I graduated from Bowling Green State University, our commencement speaker was an elderly, quiet spoken psychiatrist who was recognized worldwide for his practical wisdom. Dr. Karl Menninger was approaching 90 when he spoke that day but I will always remember how struck I was by his words. Dr. Menninger told us, “You must recognize that there is a definite right and wrong. Determine to follow what is right and you will succeed.”

It was not long after that day that I came across a copy of a book written by Dr. Menninger entitled Whatever Became of Sin. In that book, he expanded on the seed thought he had planted in our minds the day of my commencement. He spoke of how society had fallen into a rut of relativity, where any sense of definitive good or bad, right or wrong was lost. We have, in its place, developed a “comparative scale” where, if we are not as bad as the other person, then we are okay. Dr. Menninger rightly insisted that such a trend was destructive, that we need a definitive sense of right and wrong, and that we need to recognize the reality of sin.

Too many today do not realize the danger they are in. They do not recognize that, as Ephesians 2:1 indicates, they are “dead in trespasses and sins.” Unfortunately, those of us who know that the spiritual death of sin is real and have found the cure through Jesus Christ have too often allowed these wandering souls to go on in their sin without even trying to lead them to the Great Physician who “forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases” (Psalm 103:3). It is time to correct that weakness in the Church. We need to proclaim to our world that sin is deadly, but that sin is also curable!

In Romans 6:19–23, Paul explains how much better a life surrendered to Christ is than a life that is enslaved to sin. While many people will “brag” about how they feel after spending the weekend doing what would fall soundly in the “sin” category, the truth is that they don’t enjoy the “aftershocks” of living that way. As Christ’s disciples, we have learned that there is a better way to live — the way Paul describes — where the benefits are out of this world!

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s share this good news with our friends and family. Commit Romans 6:23 to memory and share it with them — explain it to them in a way they can relate to and respond accordingly. Love them by telling them the bad news (sin is deadly) and the good news (Jesus wants to cure you of sin)!