Sin (by David Peterson)
Jesus sets up a wise and holy plan on how to deal with people who sin when he says in Matthew 18:15-17: “Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Jesus’ plan is one of compassion but He directs us to be direct with sinners and approach them with love.
The venerable theologian and pastor John Piper once wrote: “What is sin? It is the glory of God not honored. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The person of God not loved. That is sin.”
This summary of sin is complete and in short it comes down to disobedience. These are all things the wise and saved person is to avoid.
In 1910, hymn writer Julia Johnston wrote the hymn “Grace Greater Than Our Sin”. Here is the first verse and refrain;
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!Yonder on Calvary's mount out-poured–There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God's grace,Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;Grace, grace, God's grace,Grace that is greater than all our sin!
Johnston correctly alerts us all that our sin is completely pardoned and cleansed through the loving grace of Christ Jesus.
Let us pray: Forgiving Jesus, your love for us knows no bounds, and your grace covers our sins. Confront us when we sin and teach us accountability so we live our lives out of love and obedience to you!