Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
I have become aware of the illuminating power of God’s words and I’d like to help you to know what I know.
Unless we understand what sin is we may be blind to reality.
“So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” [1 John 1:6-7, NLT]
Every week I sit in support groups with teens who try to support other teens through the challenges they face. One of the biggest challenges they express is, “How can I help?” It’s hard to know how to lovingly express, “You’re lying to yourself!” It’s important for all of us to stop lying to ourselves about the pain we’re causing ourselves and others.
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” [1 John 1:8-9, NLT]
God wants to set us free. Not free from fun, but free from the traps that so easily entangle us.
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” [2 Cor. 7:10, NLT]
Death can be slow like a crumbling relationship or an addiction which is burying it’s first roots. Death can be catastrophic like a car accident caused by a drunk driver, someone impatiently running a “very yellow light”, or a teen texting.
God warns us again and again, “Stop, before something worse happens to you.”
Teens — even those who do not believe in or accept the reality of Jesus Christ or sin — routinely admit a spiritual awareness that they “have been given a second chance” after a near catastrophic mistake.
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” [Rm. 2:4, NLT]
Or, you can read it this way:
“…Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” [Rm 2:4b, MSG]
Why Does “Sin” Matter? Because you matter, your decisions matter, and God’s place as Creator and law-giver matters.