What do we do with sin?
What do we do with sin? John wrote in his epistle that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us 1 John 1:8). For too long this question has been asked only by theologians and scholars as they “pontificate” over spiritual things.
But the people who should be asking this question are those who are currently stewards of God’s grace, desiring that God’s “kingdom will come”—to our nation, to our churches, and more importantly, to our homes.
Unfortunately, the people of God have allowed the “elephant in the room” (sin in disguise) to go unchallenged. Did we really expect “the lost” (2 Cor. 4:4) to lodge complaints about sin? It is time to speak up!
We express concern over the difficulties created by the COVID pandemic and the financial uncertainties we now face. But what do we do with the sin that is at its root? Hate, greed, and selfishness?
As we struggle with the racial and political division in our nation, we demand respect, equality, and justice. In response to the rise in homelessness and poverty, we advocate for humane responses for those forced to live marginalized on the fringes of our society. But what do we do with the sin that is at its core–strife and indifference?
Many of the issues we face in society are as a result of sin.
Sin originates from thoughts and feeling that focus on activities that satisfy personal (and usually) selfish desires (James 1:14-15). These desires are then acted upon by the will (spirit and heart) which has the power to do what is good—or evil.
Social reform and political posturing cannot affect these human dimensions. What then is the remedy for the heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9)?
God has devised His plan of redemption to deal with the issue of sin.
Redemption is “grace-based”, no longer requiring God’s forbearance (Rom. 3:25), nor demanding redundant, ineffective sacrifices for the sins of men (Heb. 10:11). God became, through His Son, the just and the Justifier of him which believed in Jesus (Rom. 3:24).
Faith in the Son is the starting point of redemption and the end is a righteous soul (Rom. 5:21)—a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus replaces the stony heart of man with a new heart of flesh. He places His Spirit within man that will cause him to “do right” (Ezek. 36:26-27).
So what do we do with sin?
We must first recognize sin in our own life. We begin by aligning our will with the will and counsel of God (Col. 3:1-3). This requires that we read His Word, become fervent in prayer, and seek his guidance.
Secondarily, we must boldly speak out against sin in our society. It includes our witness to God’s expectation that we love one another (1 John 4:7-8) and seek to be “reconciled” (in right relationship) to each other (Eph. 2:14-15).
Finally, we are to advocate for all things (not just what fits our political preference) that glorify and honor God (Gal. 5:22-24). Sound simple? It is when we place God over our personal needs and agendas (Matt.6:33).
If you personally, are in the midst of sin, first confess and repent quickly. God is faithful to forgive and cleanse you (1 John 1: 19). Then reckon yourself dead to sin (Rom. 6:11) and no longer let sin have dominion over you (Rom. 6:14). That’s what we do with sin!