November 24, 2010

What is Sin?

So this will probably be another short one.  But I have been wrestling for a while now with the whole concept of sin.  What is sin?  I can go to the Bible and from there determine what actions and inactions are sinful, but is that really what sin is?  How does fit with the Gospel?  Jesus came to die, not from my wrong actions and/or inactions, but from my sin that condemns me to Hell.  But how can we call actions a heart condition?  We seem to teach something that is contradictory, like there is a disconnect between our doctrine of sin in reference to actions and our doctrine of sin in reference to salvation.  And this has bugged me.  If sin is merely to "miss the mark", to do what I ought not, or to not do what I ought, how can I be saved from it?  I still do things I ought not and fail to do that which I ought.  Even the Apostle Paul wrestled with this problem!  
But.  What is the mark that we are missing?  It is the mark the the Holy and Sovereign God of all the universe has established.  To sin is to, in essence, to rebel against the Almighty.  RC Sproul calls it Cosmic Treason.  I do believe this to be an apt term.  But it is not a reference to mere actions.  Men judge by actions, but God judges the heart.  And the root of sin lies in an idolatrous heart.  Idolatrous in the sense that when I choose to sin I have placed some person or thing in a place where my worship is directed to them, instead of the God.  And all of these in turn end up being self worship.  To quote Jonathan Edwards' Law of Free Will, “Free moral agents always act according to the strongest inclination they have at the moment of choice.”  So anytime I choose to sin, my hearts inclination, my hearts desire, the cry from within me is that I worship my desire as opposed to that of Almighty God.  To boil it down, the essence of sin is not what I do or don't do.  It is a condition of my heart.  A condition that worships me instead of worshiping Jesus.  And this deserves the wrath of God.  I posted a link to a DA Carson video, he goes over some similar comments, and he is far smarter and more articulate than I am.  I suggest watching it.

November 20, 2010

A quick thought on Christian thought.

Okay, so it's late, so I'm gonna keep this short.  But I'm gonna ask you a few questions and ask you to think through them critically, because I believe your answers to them will radically affect your beliefs...let me rephrase, they do radically affect your beliefs, this will simply aid us in identifying this circumstance.  When we read the Bible we often come up with questions.  This is good, and healthy.  Questions encourage thought and when we question and subsequently find answers our thoughts are more firmly established, faith is built, etc.  But there are times when we come to Scripture and are troubled by what we find.  Times when God exercises speedy justice and we question His fairness.  Times when we see something go unpunished and question His justice.  Times when we come up against a doctrine (eg, predestination) that seems to contradict our view of who God is and/or how He operates.  In times like these it is of extreme importance to keep in mind that things such as love, grace, justice, mercy, holy, and other words we use to describe God are just that descriptive.  Our words do not constrain Him.  Even when He uses a word to describe Himself (eg, holy) we ought to remember that He defines it, it does not define Him.
I suppose my pint here is this.  By all means question.  People who are afraid to question are afraid of the truth.  Many great men in the Bible from the prophets, to kings, even Jesus Himself questions God the Father. There are things of God that we will not understand this side of glory, and others that we will only understand when we honestly and deeply question and take those questions to God Himself.  But be prepared for the answer you will receive.  God will not change for us.  But we are obligated to change in light of who we are and who He is calling us to be.  That is where nearly all honest questioning leads.  A heart change that leads to life change.

About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (