The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
3 Things You Need to Know about Sin
After reading some recent reports in the news, these 3 big ideas came to mind about sin.
1. Confront Sin
Sin can be in word, thought, and deed (sins of commission) or by not doing what you should do (sins of omission). Sin is not neutral; it ultimately destroys and never leads to life (Gen. 4:7; Rom 8:1-8; 1 Peter 5:8). As John Owen famously said, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.”
Sadly, we see the sins of omission every day:
- We see it in friendships when people gossip about the dumb stuff their friend is doing rather than having the hard talk with the person.
- We see it in small groups when they enable each other to stay on the surface and never get down to real, heart-level issues. After being in a group together for years, adultery, porn addiction, abuse, and any number of other things can sinfully be allowed to exist for the sake of comfort.
- We see it in marriage counseling, most often in husbands. The husband’s sin of passive omission can lead his family into debt, his wife into committing adultery, or his wife into never receiving the care she needs for sin committed against her in childhood.
Loving Jesus, loving your spouse, loving your friends, loving your people looks like confronting sin with truth and love. There is no greater contempt for someone than to leave them in their sin.
You’ve got to confront sin in yourself (Rom 8:1-11), in your spouse (Gen 3), and in your friends (Gal 2:11-14).
2. Sin Will Come Out
Sin always comes out. 1 Timothy 5:24-25 says this, “The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.”
In our era of reputation management and people pleasing, we need to see this. Sin, either because it seeks to destroy or because God will use it to discipline us, will come out. Some people’s sin is flagrant, they wear it on their face. Other people’s sin comes out years down the road, when they least expect it.
Your sins do not define you. Your identity is as a redeemed, reconciled, justified, cleansed son or daughter of our loving Father.
Many men stand idly by, like their father Adam, believing the lies that if they just ignore it, it will go away. They can just deal with it next time it comes up or "it's just how the other person is.” At the bottom of it all is selfishness and the idol of comfort. It does not love the person the way the cross shows us to. The cross shows us that God saves by first condemning, God heals by first wounding, God builds up by first crushing, God makes alive by first killing. You cannot get to the gospel without suffering, and trying to circumvent that is what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace.” The sin of omission is giving someone else cheap grace. It belittles both sin and Jesus.
3. Jesus Killed Sin
That’s the incredible thing about Jesus: he killed sin. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, he lived the only perfect, sinless life. At the cross, he paid the penalty for our sin to redeem us from sin’s bondage, reconcile us from sin’s estrangement, justify us from sin’s guilt, and cleanse us from sin’s filth.
More so, through the gift of a new heart and the presence of the Holy Spirit, it is his kindness that convicts us of sin and leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). It is the Father’s love that disciplines us (Hebrews 12:7-11). Jesus doesn’t passively show us contempt, he actively shows us love. Better yet, when we confess those sins, we receive forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Because of that, you, if you are a Christian, have freedom from the fear, shame, and condemnation of sin. Your sins and the sins done against you do not define you. Your identity is as a redeemed, reconciled, justified, cleansed son or daughter of our loving Father. You can be bold in confessing and confronting real sin because the grace God gives is real.
What We Can Do To Kill Sin Before It Kills Us
- Be with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is faithful to work through the word, whether it is read or preached. A bold prayer could be, “Jesus, show me the things I need to repent of and the people I need to repent to (Ps. 139)”
- Be in community. Pastor Brad House has a good post on this here.
- Create a culture where the truth is told and heard. Nathan Burke has a great post on this here.