The Insignificance of Sin
If the title doesn’t bother you or cause you some concern, then this article is for you. One might look at this title and assume that it is written by a non-Christian written for an audience of non-Christians. But what if I were to tell you that this is written by a follower of Jesus, written specifically for other followers? Now, are you worried? Are you thinking, “what a liberal crackpot this guy must be”? Before you close out this article and tune me out, listen to the case I am presenting. Then you are free to past judgment.
As a Christian we all would say sin is serious business. We know the verses, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” “For the wages of sin is death..” “Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all have sinned.” We get it. Sin is bad. We need to stay away from it, repent from it, seeks God’s forgiveness. On and on we can list all the bad things concerning sin and not one good thing. One sin = death. It is not the quantity or even the quality of our sins. All sins are deserving of death. As Christians, we affirm this truth and rejoice in the fact that Christ came to atone for all of our sins. He satisfied God’s wrath, thereby removing the penalty once and for all for those that have come to faith in Christ. We are free from God’s wrath, eternal punishment..all is good. But is it?
While we believe these truths and acknowledge in our hearts and our minds that sin is horrible, we still sin. Could it be that we know in our minds that all sin is significant, but in our practice, we live like some sins are insignificant? Case in point. Are we quick at times to acknowledge the sin in others while ignoring our own?
Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 7 “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's
We look at this passage and think about judgmental people and hypocrites. But could it also be pointing to another issue? Could this be a picture of a guy who sees the seriousness of sin in another’s life and yet doesn’t take his own sin seriously? His brother’s sin is significant and yet he thinks to himself “Mine isn’t so bad”. As Christians, we do see sin as significant.. other’s people sin.
Well instead of harping on this point, let me move to application. How can we deal with our sin and not fall into the “insignificant” trap?
See sin as God sees it. This goes beyond knowing a few verses. The closer we get to God, the greater our sin will appear. Or should I say, we see our sin for what it really is? Read Isaiah 6.
Stop sinning. - As Bob Newhart likes to say, “Just, Stop it!” (look on youtube for that). I know, I know, it is easier said than done. The good news is the bondage to sin has been broken. We do not have to sin. The bad news our flesh is still sinful. It takes work, effort, prayer, worship, fellowship, bible study. Did I mention work? Yes, you will fail, but there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from iniquity .”
The best way to avoid sin is to not give an opportunity to sin. Rom. 14:13 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its
Repent quickly and often. There is a reason Martin Luther had as his first of 95 theses, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ``Repent'' (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” We are to repent quickly. If we wait we open the door to excusing or justifying our sin, or even forgetting about it. In many cases, we try to conceal it. Allister Begg once stated that concealing sin is like hiding a corpse in a closet. Eventually, the stench will be so bad it will affect all who come near it. In other words, there is no such thing as concealing sin. Even if you have repented to God there may be others that need to be told. Who to tell and what to say requires wisdom. It is best to have some accountability partners in your life to help you in this. Godly people who can pray with you, advise you and hold you accountable on a regular basis in the many areas of life where sin can creep in. These men (for men and women for women) need to be available to meet regularly.
With all that being said, we will still sin. Praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has paid the ultimate price.
We may have confidence that God’s wrath has been satisfied and the eternal penalty of sin has been removed. But know this, while death has been defeated, sin is still damaging. Though there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, there are still consequences for our sin. God’s forgiveness is complete and perfect, His tender mercies are poured out on us daily, and He alone can restore and reconcile us according to His
divine will. If your sin seems insignificant to you right now, it may be because your God seems insignificant.
But our God is a great God there is none like Him. Trust Him, come to Him regularly in prayer and through His written Word. Do not isolate yourself from fellow believers. Engage in fellowship and worship. Find some accountability partners. Grow in your knowledge of who God is and who you are in Christ. Live to the glory of God!