Friday, December 21, 2007

Why sin is sinful

1) It denies the satisfying power of knowing God

'this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and the one who you sent Jesus Christ.' (John 17:3). Eternal life is not about merely living forever, just as tje joys of Heaven are not about some sort of eternal orgasm. Eternal life means to know Jesus. And this life is satisfying. There is nothing that we need that God withholds from us. If He dresses the flower in beauty how will He also not give us all we need? The answer is that He will. And He knows we need ti. Notice i'm saying need not want, i haven't gone prosperity gospel bonkers. We sin more often that not because we don't believe this. Whether it's in the material arena, in the sexual arena or in the lying to friends arena, when we sin, we deny that knowing God is satisfying. And that makes sin sinful, and horrible and detestable. The Bible is not a rulebook to deny us a good time, but a guide to joy in Christ. A joy that will never fail.

2) It's idolotry.

I find it easy to read of the failings of Israel and Judah in the history books and sneer at them for their stupidity. But how am i any better when i sin? They had the wisdom of Soloman to teach them about God, but something much much better than Soloman is here...Jesus! This is really the inevitable consequence of my first point. What happens when you seek pleasure in something not of God? You turn it into an idol. This is why God is supreme in His own affections, because if anything else was God would be an idol worshipper and would cease to be God. We worship the living God, so lets honour Him by finding all our satisfaction and joy in Him rather than something that makes us feel or look good.

3) It denies the goodness of creation.

Ever wondered why porn shops don't have windows? I guess it's a lot about not being able to see in, but a lot more about not being able to see in. We were made for bigness, for beauty. The Lord has written eternity on our hearts. This is why we sit and wonder at creation, why we lie awake in the middle of the night wonder what's 'out there'. Because we know something is. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to say 'look how great i am'. We are, like the Trinity 'extasis in hypostasis'. Happiest to and when we look outside of ourselves. Sin is a suicidal inward turning of ourselves away from the sun, and the Son. We were created to look outside of ourselves for greatness and satisfaction, not towards us. Sin not only denies the goodness of God, but of creation.

4) It can cost us everything (or most things)

Paul tells Timothy to want to be used for honourable purposes in God's house. I long for that. Now this doesn't mean i'll preach to hundreds every week and that millions will download my podcast, i think it just means long, wholehearted, faithful servie in God's house. Sin will tear us away from these dreams, make us drink at the cracked cistern of the world with it's lies and deceptions. If we want to fight the fight and run the race we must compete, by grace, according to the rules. The life giving self denying, joy giving rules. Sin not only turns our attention away from these things, but may mean we lose our heart for them alltogether.

5) Sin is never satisfied.

I refuse to believe that murderers or sexual aggresors wake up one morning and decide to commit those acts. It must start somewhere and then grow out of control. God told Cain that sin was creeping at the door. Sin whispers to us, we must not listen. Soon we will need more and more stuff to be satisfied, more and more pleasure, more and more deviance...and we won't even know it's happening. Just one more will never be enough, it will only make it worse. Just one glance only feeds our appetite. Sin is a all consuming monster, not an animal that can be filled. It wants all of us all the time.

6) Alas, and did my saviour bleed.

Sin, my sin, your sin, cost Jesus His life. Owen in 'the mortification of sin' (buy it, read it, weep) says that the most effective way of hating sin is to remember primarily what it did to Jesus, not us. Think of the nails in the hands, the thorns in the skull, the sobbing gasps for air. Every pain wracked breath and cry to kill my sin. Think of Jesus, the eternal and beautiful son of God coming to earth and being born in a stable, suffering, sweating, sleeping, losing but ultimately winning for us. Dwell on the love that communicates. And train your mind to fight and hate sin.

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