Last Lord's Day we looked at "Who needs to be justified?" from Galatians 2:16. (If you missed it, catch up here!)
As I was standing at Splash today waiting for my seafood salad to come up, I glanced down at the pile of newspapers on the trash can and noticed this article in this morning's USA Today . . . Has the notion of sin been lost?
Seemed to relate to last week's message and upcoming Easter. Worth the read. Several pastors/theologians that I read, including Michael Horton, Al Mohler, Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll, are quoted in the article.
(In fact, the article contains a great, pretty right on quote by the pope. But in substituting the sacraments, is he not just exchanging one set of merits for another, one works based approach for another?)
Here's some tidbits that jumped out at me. . .
"People are quick to toe the line on traditional thinking" that there is sin "but interpret that reality in a very personal and self-congratulatory manner" — I have to do what's best for me; I am not as sinful as most.
Indeed, 65% of U.S. adults say they will go to heaven, and only 0.05% believe they'll go to hell, according to a 2003 Barna telephone survey of 1,024 adults . . .
"We find a comfort zone of morality, a kind of middle-class middle level where we think we are doing well. We cut the grass. We don't double-park. But we ignore the larger issues of sin.
"Instead of violating the law of the Creator, it becomes more a matter of etiquette. … We want our kids to play well in the sandbox and know their place in line. We want people to do things decently and in order. But it's etiquette of morality without the ethics. The end result is that when we do things we wish people wouldn't do, there's no sense of guilt or shame."
What this means is that, by and large, we are slipping into moralism: "I'm not that bad. God isn't that holy and just. I can please Him. He loves me. I obey, therefore I'm accepted." The primary issue is not that we are not as good any more because we are relativizing sin . . . the issue is in relativizing sin, we will not see our need for Christ.
If we don't sin, then we don't need a Savior. If we don't see ourselves as headed for God's courtroom, then why would we flee to Christ, our Substitute? Christ died for no reason. Easter is meaningless.