“The more I learn about my sin in my own heart, the more I want to know God’s grace.” – A.W. Tozer
The Contrast of Sin and Grace
There is a large and ever growing sentiment among many Christians, that we don’t need to make much mention of sin. That instead we should singularly focus on the attribute of God’s love and His great willingness to forgive.
There is however a glaring logical problem to this train of thought… What is the object for which God is willing to forgive? What precisely is He forgiving us, if we have not yet defined an offense?
This is so obvious to me, that I struggle with the notion that it actually needs to be spelled out in detail.
If forgiveness is offered to someone, it was offered because that individual was wronged. If the person who was offered forgiveness had no clue that they had committed the offense, this offer of forgiveness would seem strange and out of place. “Forgive me for what? What did I do?”
The measure of the offense would also shed more light on the weight of the offer of forgiveness. For example, “You made me late for work. Its okay, I forgive you.” This offense seems relatively trivial until it was revealed that by making him late, he was also fired. This changes our perspective of the situation doesn’t it?
In our previous example, the knowledge of the severity of the offense and it’s consequences also informed on the weight of the act of forgiveness itself. We are now able to see just how much more meaning is displayed by the act of forgiveness, once we realize the gravity of what was done wrong.
God Is Loving
Yes He most certainly is. Though, just how loving is He? How do we know? Scripture tells us that He loved us so much He gave up His Son to the cross….. wait isn’t that just a bit extreme? What do you mean, He loves us so much he killed His Son to prove it? Or from the perspective of Jesus, that He loved us so much, He committed suicide to prove it? – as Paul would put it. “By no means.”
So why did Jesus have to die? It all comes down to this. What is our great need for Jesus dying on the Cross? The reason I believe we want to avoid talking about Sin, is because we are all guilty of it. Jesus died on the cross for the same reason criminals go to jail. A law was broken… and not just any law… God’s Law. We are all criminals (sinners) in God’s eyes. How do you expect to get away with a crime against the most Holy Judge of all creation? God wouldn’t be a good judge if he let Hitler get away unpunished for the crimes he committed. What we fail to understand is that our sin is no less ugly in God’s eyes than Hitler’s crimes. People, especially in our American culture today have this idea that “I’m not a bad person.” So in the same way, God wouldn’t be a good God or good Judge if he simply just let us get away with our sin. SO the Dilemma we run into is… if God is good… He MUST judge me…. how then can I be saved.
Sin is a terrible offense to God and I don’t think we can even begin to wrap our minds around it. Scripture tells us the wages of sin is death. The Law has been broken, and a penalty must be paid. This is where Jesus becomes so necessary. This is what make his gift of “Forgiveness” so wonderful. Jesus went to the cross in our place so we wouldn’t have to bear the weight of the Full Wrath of Almighty God. God was serious about Sin. By understand how heavy God treats sin, we get a fuller picture of just how Great and Amazing God’s Grace really is.
No Sin No Cross
Many who espouse the idea that we should refrain from talking about sin must by necessity also refrain from mention of the Cross. The Reason again is obvious.
If sin was not important to God, He would not have sent His Son to die because of it.
If we don’t mention how terrible of an offense that sin is to God, we can’t really get an true idea of how much his offer of forgiveness really was.