Guilt Serves a Purpose
In conversations with some who have read my new book, The Gospel of Yes, the question comes up about whether or not I’m taking sin seriously enough.
With my emphasis on the positive aspects of following Christ, have I down played the real danger of sin? I could see how someone would think that, but honestly I don’t think I have.
In fact, I think I take sin much more seriously than most people.
In Romans 14, Paul writes that ANYTHING that doesn’t come from faith is sin. That’s a pretty high standard for sin. Here’s what I think he means…
- ANYTHING that doesn’t come from the conversation between Christ and me is wrong.
- ANYTHING that doesn’t bring me closer to Him, make me more like Him, or allow His purposes to work through me is WRONG.
- ANYTHING that’s outside the Yes of Christ to me and my Yes to Him is sinful.
As I understand it, sin is more than doing wrong.
Sin is anything that keeps Christ from revealing His full Yes in me.
And that leads to my second point…
Guilt, while serving a valuable purpose, doesn’t motivate us to change.
Feeling bad about something, however justified, doesn’t move us to change our behavior and thus, our lives.
Only hope does that. The vision of the Risen Christ held before me in authentic worship gives me hope that I too can be resurrected from my daily deaths of disobedience to a new life in Christ.
Just as the tomb couldn’t trap Jesus, through His power, I can’t be held by my mistakes and failures.
Things can be different. Life can be different. I can be different.
Faith is the assurance of things HOPED for… the confidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1).
Yes, we need to preach about sin, but most people know they’re messed up. People come to church to hear if there’s a way out.
“Is there any hope for me?”
Yes, there is. Jesus died for sinners. He was raised from the dead to bring us Hope.
The gospel, I believe, is good news.
It’s always been The Gospel of Yes.