Monday, October 17, 2005

Recapturing Our Sin

Speaking from a Christian perspective: I am finding the need to recapture the understanding of the meaning and devastation created by the sin of mankind. I go to church and hear these types of statements "it is only the blood of Jesus that forgives us", "what can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus", "we have to call sin sin and not compromise to the world in our preaching." Those are great things to say, sing and think, but without taking time to reflect on the true meaning and consequences of sin they are empty words. Too often I hear words without the depth of reflection. I can't remember the last time someone preached a sermon about the depth of mankind’s sinful depravity. For this I think there are few reasons which do have some merit.
First, the objection by so many to a sharp edged sermon on sin is the fact that people will claim "we have been set free from sin", "we are washed in the blood of Christ, our sin is gone". Which is true of all the sins for which we have repented of, but what about the sins we find ourselves stumbling into everyday since we believed in Christ?

What about the doctrine of progressive sanctification? I would rebut that while all of the previous comments about the forgiveness of God through Christ are valid, I think most people don't want to be reminded of their depravity, previously or currently, and this is a good way to avoid having the conversation. All people get good at avoiding situations that are uncomfortable. We all want to think of ourselves as good people. But, we are not good people and that is why Christ, Fully man and Full God had to sacrificially die a vicarious death for all of mankind of to have any hope of restoration of full relationship with our Creator.

I have come to think that recapturing the understanding of the incredible depth of our depravity b/c of sin is a very good thing. When we stop to remember how bad we have been and how much more we need to be changed by the power of God it makes God's grace and forgiveness come fully into the light of Truth. Romans 5:8 tells us that while we were still "sinners", literally translated it means God Haters, God commended His love toward us and sent Christ to die for us. Amazing Grace! That is some kind of love. Even with all of my sins after believing in Christ as Lord and Savior I still have assurance that he is with me, to change me not to overlook my yet existent sins. I must acknowledge to Him how depraved I am. How weak my faith is. How unworthy I am of any of His attention or care.

In this state I see myself for who I am and who God really is. “What is man that you should be mindful of him?” The answer from a just, merciful, and graceful God seems to be this, “Man is my creation, made in My image, a reflection of Myself.”

Remembering our sinful depravity only makes the goodness of God shine brighter and an ever darkening world. Reflecting on how much forgiveness God has had on your soul. Then try not to praise Him.


Sojourning said...

Some really great thoughts, Mark. Thanks. That literal translation -"God haters" makes Christ's sacrifice seem even more incredible. He loved us while we hated Him. Wow!
God Bless

jo! said...

"We all want to think of ourselves as good people"
we also want to think of ourselves as wiser than others, strong, and impervious... but we aren't. It's something I've been coming to terms with. Not that I'm cocky and filled with illusions of immotality, but I've been asking myself 'How is it that someone with a heart after God's own heart could have tripped up so bad?' But the answer is right there in that question; it is in the same way a man of humility and great faith tripped up, because he's human.

good post.