Are You Taking Sin Seriously?
Or are you ignoring sin in your life?
Are we losing the battle against sin?
- 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month. — covenanteyes.com
- About half (51%) of Americans say they have spread a piece of gossip at some point. Women (55%) are more likely than men (46%) to say they’ve done this. — YouGovAmerica
The list could go on to include drugs, alcohol, lying, pride, abuse of a spouse, and “such like.”
Hearing about that makes me uncomfortable.
In my short time as a preacher, I have observed an interesting phenomenon. It makes people feel good about themselves to hear a sin condemned that they don’t practice or struggle with. However, hearing a sermon about a sin that affects them or one they are struggling with makes people very uncomfortable.
And I understand this — I see it in myself as well.
The danger is this: We don’t like facing those things that make us uncomfortable, so we tend to push them aside and ignore them. But when sin is ignored in our lives, it turns deadly.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14–15)
The folks who had crucified Jesus with “lawless hands” (Acts 2:23) were made quite uncomfortable by the preaching of the gospel (Acts 2:37). In fact, some were so uncomfortable with the gospel of Christ that they killed the one who preached to them (Acts 7:51–60).
But if we never face our sin, then we will never understand our need for the gospel and God’s forgiveness.
So will you take sin more seriously?
As we’ve been studying recently in Romans, the grace of God does not mean we can continue to live in sin (Romans 6:1–2).
We weren’t baptized into Christ to provide us with a “get out of jail free card” to engage in whatever sin we feel like enjoying.
We were immersed into Christ and raised up to walk in newness of life to be set free from sin (Romans 6:7) — to remove sin from the throne of our life (Romans 6:12).
If we do stumble and sin despite our best efforts not to, we have an Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). But we must put forth every effort in Christ not to sin at all. That’s the emphasis when John says, “these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.”
Sin is something that we must take seriously.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)