My Photo
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a follower of Christ!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sin Vs. Sins

O.k. So thanks to the recommendation of my fabulous brother (Mark), the encouragment of my fantastic accountability partner (Rebecca) and the generosity of my wonderful linkgroup co-leader(Scott) I am now reading The Journey by Billy Graham. Yeah I guess it took that many people, a whole sermon series inspired by it and a span of 2-3 months for me to actually pick it up but regardless...It's on my night stand.
Anyway, mostly it is a book about a Christian's general journey of faith. Bill Graham brings the reader from a point of understanding that there is actually a God to ...well, I haven't finished it yet but I suppose to a life walking in faith and following Christ. It is very simple and an easy read. All stuff I have heard before and has served as a great reminder. However, I got to a place in the book where Billy Graham said something I had never heard before. Not that I have heard everything about Christinanity before but this book I had set in my mind to be about things I should know. And when I got to this point I was surprised and it got me thinking. Ok so this is what he said:

"When we use the word "sin," we usually think of our misdeeds-actions or habits we know are wrong. But those are specific sins, and they are the result of sin, the deeper spiritual disease that infects our souls.
Sin is the cause; sins are the effect. Sin is the tree; sins are the fruit. Sin is the disease; sins are the symptoms. Something is radically wrong with us-and that "something" is sin. Through self-discipline we might get rid of some of our sins, but our basic problem of sin remains untouched and untouchable, lurking just beneath the surface and ready to strike at any moment."

When I read this I was taken back by it. I guess I had never thought of the difference before. It is funny that I read this when I did, too, cause just this sunday Horizon Towson did communion. I always feel unworthy to take the cup and bread. I am reminded of Christ's death on the cross and just how sinful I am. The closer I am to God the more my sin is revealed to me...the more aware I am of my sinfulness.
I am in process in thinking about this...I welcome anyones feedback. Thanks


Blogger Jonathan said...

Nice post...

I particularly like how Graham describes sin, and the nature of how sins derive from it. The way tree was described as the root or source definitely got me thinking.

Genesis 2:17
“but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

God tells them not to eat from the tree just like Graham mentions. This passage I think is appropriate as it shows this, but also lays in the penalty, which is death. I guess there are two things we can't escape. 'Death and sin.'

Then when he mentions how sin is a spiritual disease to our souls. More thoughts... I almost see sin as a virus embedded at birth. Viruses from my knowledge are not curable; as they linger and resurface as they wish. Very similar to sin I guess.

So as we move closer to God, the enemy torments us from within? The embedded nature of our flesh, a disease that is inescapable. Sin.

Thanks for getting the wheels turning. I sense a LG discussion topic a brewing.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Check this out. I can only remember one Sunday School lesson from my short stint of going to the Young Adult Sunday School class at RBC... and it was taught by your dad and it was basically that teaching. How funny is that?

7:17 AM  
Blogger The Confessor said...

Hey, Jenn. thanks for the recent comment on my blog and the encouragement. I'll be looking forward to exploring your blog too.

7:21 PM  
Blogger The Confessor said...

Everyone should read Bonhoeffer's take on the tree and the nature of the fall. You can find his take on it in his "Ethics". It's great and will really deepen your grasp of the nature of sin.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Jen, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this.

Once one of my Greek professors took some time for us (inspired by Romans 5.8-21) to describe in a fresh way what Jesus did for us by his sacrificial death on our behalf.

Imagine Adam.. living with God in a perfect environment... pure harmony in every way. At this point, there was no sin. All Adam had to do was obey... however, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey they opened the floodgates of sin into the world. By the time Jesus came around, the whole earth had been flooded with sin for many generations.

But with the cross and resurrection, Jesus held back the deluge... and more than that, he reversed the flow. This time, the deluge (or flood) is GRACE. Sin came into the world with one man's sin... and with Jesus, freedom from sin comes through one man's righteousness. Or as Paul says:

Romans 5.15: "But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!"

How great is the love the Father has shone to us! How unspeakable is His gift!

Thanks for the post Jen!

Hey, in case you haven't heard, I have switched my blog to a new address:

I don't have comments installed yet, working on that... but I do hope you can check it out. Love you, Jen!


8:21 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Very helpful...had a great conversation with Mark about this. It's difficult to balance an identity as both saint and sinner. Though we are sinners, we are cleansed by the blood of the cross and our sins are payed for. Thus we are saints...however this doesn't nulify sin in our lives. Mark made a good point about Paul stuggling with this very thing in Romans. Complicated... Confessor I will check out that book. Thanks guys!

10:10 PM  
Blogger Jeff Mount said...

At first, I know that idea was kind of depressing and discouraging to me. So you mean my actions can change...I can start treating people well, being generous, etc. and I STILL haven't overcome sin??? Frustrating.

But at the same time, like Dave said, the deeper the roots of sin go, the more overwhelming and amazing that Christ's forgiveness is. He's not just forgiving actions. He's forgiving a state of being that we're in. Christ doesn't just treat the symptoms...he heals the disease.

I guess the disparity continues when I see that, though the disease is healed, the symptoms linger (and sometimes seem to take over).

5:09 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home