Mentioning sin today may make you unpopular. But are people no longer sinners? Is sin no longer being committed? Have we progressed from such things?
It doesn’t seem so. We haven't changed because what has infected us has not changed: sin.
Smartphones, Google Glass, alternative fuel and other technologies haven't improved human nature. In many ways, some have facilitated new expressions of sin (e.g., Internet pornography, sexting).
While we tend to think of “sinners” as people we don’t like or who are "worse" than ourselves, the Bible says all of us are spoiled by sin (Romans 3:23).
That’s not easy to digest, but sin is a central piece of the Bible's message. Remove sin and the message becomes nonsensical. Why? Because sin is our biggest problem.
The stock market, our health, what political party is in office, our marriage, kids, career or how well the Tigers do this year are all important. But these are not our greatest concern in life. Sin is. It's our problem with God. It’s His problem with us. Yet, He provides a solution.
Unless sin stays as part of the message, then the solution God gives is pointless. For instance, sin separates us from God, but Jesus Christ makes a way back to Him (John 14:6). Our sin brings God’s judgment, but God offers forgiveness (Eph. 1:7). Sin leads to our death, but God presents us with eternal life (Rom. 6:23).
Neither is sin simply “mistakes” we make, but rather deliberate actions that come from our corrupted nature within us. Actions resulting from pride, greed, lust, idolatry, lying, arrogance, selfishness, etc., aren't just what "other" people do — these are in all our hearts (Mark 7:21-23).
Committing sin is breaking God’s law. This means God is our greatest danger. An honest look at the Bible reveals that God is very loving. It also reveals He is holy and therefore judges sin — every sin. If this is so, what hope do any of us have if we faced the Judge of heaven and earth with our sins?
The answer to that question is why I am a pastor: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While I don’t “enjoy” talking about sin to people, I relish proclaiming the hope that is in the Gospel.
The Gospel ("Good News") is that Jesus can take away our sins and give us eternal life. He paid our debt to God by dying on the cross in our place. Then He came back to life. Believing in Jesus is the exclusive way someone can escape God’s judgment.
As commendable as they are, being good, charitable, religious, spiritual, or following the 10 Commandments, the Golden Rule, or anything else simply will not save us (Eph. 2:8-9).
As a pastor, and a saved sinner, I urge you to be reconciled to God and receive forgiveness for your sins. Accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only power for salvation.
Neither sin nor our need of salvation is outdated. Thankfully, the Gospel saves today just like it always has. It is as modern today as it ever was.
— By the Rev. Justin Smith, pastor of Emmanuel Free Church in Spring Lake Township