Archive for the ‘Sin’ Category

The Hardest Truth To Get Across

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Sin

Here is one of my blog post’s from the Campus Outreach Blog:

Truth: Romans 3:23– for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The hardest truth to get across to people is that they are sinful at their core and that their sin is horribly offensive to God. D.A. Carson says this in his book Scandalous, “The hardest truth to get across to them is not the existence of God, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Jesus’ substitutionary atonement, or Jesus’ resurrection… No, the hardest truth to get across to this generation is what the Bible says about sin… It is so hard to get across how ugly sin is to God.”

This is one of the main objectives in ministry. Show people their sin from the bible and pray that the Spirit would convict them of their depravity. Why? Because this is how God has ordered salvation. They only way that anyone has ever put their faith in Christ and treasured him is when they feel the offensiveness of their sin towards God and the utter helplessness of their current condition. The people who come to Christ are the people who are broken over sin and see that they can’t live up to God’s perfect standard. They not only say, “I need Christ,” they say, “Christ is all I have!” If you don’t see your unrighteousness you won’t ever embrace Christ’s righteousness on your behalf.

This post is a reminder to others and to myself to continue laboring to see your own sin and help others see theirs. It is the hardest truth to preach to others and to self but it is the pathway to joy in Christ. The good news is so sweet when the bad news is proclaimed correctly. As D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy.”

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Repentance Laments Over Heart Sins

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Sin

“The true mourner weeps for the stirrings of pride and lust. He grieves for the “root of bitterness” even though it never blossoms into overt act. A wicked man may be troubled for scandalous sins; a real convert laments heart sins.”

-Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance

Sin is Progressive

Posted: January 6, 2010 in Sin

One of the attributes of sin is that it is progressive. Sin starts as a seemingly harmless snowball, but before long that snowball gets momentum and starts plummeting down the hill. It becomes larger, faster and more destructive. Tim Challies says, “This is the very nature of sin, isn’t it? Sin is al­ways progressive in nature. If you give it an inch, it soon seeks to take a mile. Sin is never content, but always seeks and desires more.”  Hebrews 3:13 warns us not to get “hardened” by sin, implying that it’s usually an ongoing process of becoming calloused by sin’s deceitfulness. And James 1:14-15 shows the progressiveness of sin clearly, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

The implications of this particular attribute of sin are vast. One huge application would be to fight sin at its earliest stages and at the root. Wouldn’t it be easier to stop a baseball size snowball than to try to corral a 1 ton snowball that is moving rapidly down a hill? Wouldn’t it be easier to pull a sapling of sin from the ground (root and all), than to try to take-down a mature oak tree? At sin’s first disquieting it must be fought and not taken lightly.

I’ll leave you with a quote from J.C. Ryle:

Young men [and women], resist sin in its beginnings. They may look small and insignificant, but mind what I say, resist them, make no compromise, let no sin lodge quietly and undisturbed in your heart. There is nothing finer than the point of a needle, but when it has made a hole, it draws all the thread after it. Remember the Apostle’s words, “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough” (1 Corinthians 5:6)…

There are two ways of coming down from the top of a ladder; one is to jump down, and the other is to come down by the steps: but both will lead you to the bottom. So also there are two ways of going to hell; one is to walk into it with your eyes open–few people do that; the other is to go down by the steps of little sins–and that way, I fear, is only too common. Put up with a few little sins, and you will soon want a few more. Even a heathen could say, “Who was ever content with only one sin?” If you put up with little sins then your path in life will be worse and worse every year. Jeremy Taylor very clearly described the progress of sin in a man:

“First it startles him, then it becomes pleasing, then easy, then delightful, then frequent, then habitual, then a way of life! Then the man feels no guilt, then obstinate, then resolves never to repent, and then he is damned.Sin starts out as a ripple on calm waters, but before you know it will turn into a tidal wave that can’t be controlled.”

Do You Have a Growing Distaste For Sin?

Posted: December 24, 2009 in Sin

Any disquieting of sin that merely hates the consequence of sin is from the flesh or the world; any conviction of sin that hates the sin itself is from God and the working of the Holy Spirit.

Here are a few thought-provoking quotes from Owen, Washer, and Piper about the Christians’ disposition towards sin:

“When men are wounded by sin, disquieted and perplexed, and knowing that there is no remedy for them but only in the mercies of God, through the blood of Christ, do therefore look to him, and to the promises of the covenant in him, and thereupon quiet their hearts that it shall be well with them, and that God will be exalted, that he may be gracious to them, and yet their souls are not wrought to the greatest detestation of the sin or sins upon the account whereof they are disquieted — this is to heal themselves, and not to be healed of God. This is but a great and strong wind, that the Lord is nigh unto, but the Lord is not in the wind [1 Kings 19:11]. When men do truly “look upon Christ whom they have pierced,” without which there is no healing or peace, they will “mourn” (Zech. 12:10); they will mourn for him, even upon this account, and detest the sin that pierced him.”  – John Owen

“The sign of a genuine work of God in the heart is that you begin to hate the sin you once loved, and to love the righteousness you once ignored.”  – Paul Washer

“So the mark of the born-again person is, ‘I hate my sin.'” – John Piper

Ed Welch on Addiction

Posted: November 20, 2009 in Sin

A short video posted by CCEF (Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation):

“CCEF faculty member Ed Welch talks about how addictions bring us to a crossroads in life. Only Christ can help us make the right turn. An introduction to his small group curriculumCrossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction available through New Growth Press (http://newgrowthpress.com)”

Having an Accurate View of Yourself

Posted: October 22, 2009 in Sin

You have an inflated view of yourself; I have an inflated view of myself. We are blinded and duped by our sin to think we are better than we are. We compare ourselves with others to commend our own performance, we see more sin in others than we do ourselves, and we make excuses and blame shift instead of taking ownership for personal sin.

The Church of Laodicea had an inaccurate view of themselves and Jesus’ words to them are startling: Revelation 3:17 “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

They didn’t realize their condition, they think they are rich and in need of nothing. They are actually wretched, poor, and blind. Their error was that they were ignorant of their true condition.  In short, Christ calls the church to repent and to let Christ in their lives to provide food, salve (for sight), gold, and clothes because they are needy.

We as Christians should not fear our sin being exposed, because we have Christ who made satisfaction for ALL our sins. No where in scripture does God turn away a sinner who is acknowledging sin and falling on Christ work. Where sin is truly acknowledged and confess, grace and the Spirit are present.

Accurately viewing yourself is not self-hatred, rather it is always orienting yourself to the gospel because you rightly see the incredible depths of your sin and also the unfathomable acceptance and love you have from God in Christ. This is cause for celebration!

Whenever a sinner accurately assesses his sin, the angels in heaven rejoice, and so should we.”

-Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow

Rearranging the Flesh

Posted: October 20, 2009 in Sin

One of the pitfalls that can happen as a Christian fights sin is rearranging the flesh. It simply means that you exchange one sin for another and declare your previous sin conquered. Even though it may look like you’ve made growth or progress, you really haven’t mortified (put to death) any sin because it just manifests itself differently.  You haven’t begun the process of putting to death the deeds of the flesh because only the behavior has been addressed and not the heart issue. John Owen describes this well in his book, Of The Mortification of Sin in Believers:

A sin is not mortified when it is only diverted… A man may be sensible of a lust, set himself against the eruptions of it, take care that it shall not break forth as it has done, but in the meantime suffer the same corrupted habit to vent itself some other way… Men in [old] age do not usually persist in the pursuit of youthful lusts, although they have never mortified any one of them. And the same is the case of bartering of lusts, and leaving to serve one that a man may serve another. He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of others, let him not think that he has mortified the sin that he seems to have left. He has changed his master, but is a servant still.”

True growth over the power of sin comes progressively by gospel mortification, and this can only happen by the Spirit.