On Sunday we talked about the seriousness of sin. Not a fun topic, but a revealing one. What I realized is that Jesus takes sin far more seriously than I do. I’m much more likely to ignore it, to cover it up, to forget it, or to compromise with it. Jesus calls it sin and deals with it.
At first I struggled with why. Why is there just not “grace” to all problems? Why do we have to name the sin, confess the sin, and repent from the sin? Why does it have to be so…personal.
Well, the answer should be clear. Because sin is personal, and it’s personal to Jesus. Sin brought him to death on the cross because that is where all sin leads to death. That is why Jesus is so insistent on dealing with it, because he doesn’t want us to go through the death he went through. He doesn’t want us to feel the force of death, sin, and darkness. So he comes to us and challenges us to name our sin, repent, and live in life. The goal of Jesus isn’t to be harsh, the goal is to bring healing.
So on Sunday we ended with challenging ourselves to ask Jesus if there are any areas of sin, compromise, or darkness that we need to confess. I then challenged all of us to confess any areas of sin to a friend. Why make that step? Why not just confess it to God and be done? Well because sometimes our uneasiness of desiring to go to a friend in community reveals something about us. Dietrich Bonheoffer writes this, “Should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution. And is not the reason perhaps for our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the fact that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness”. If we want to avoid death we cannot live on self-forgiveness. If we want to live in life we need to do this together with community, and we can’t shy away from naming our sin.
Is it easy? No, naming our failures, regrets, guilt, and shame is rarely easy. The question though isn’t whether it is easy. The question is whether or not it is freeing…and the answer to that is absolutely…
Big Idea: Sin is serious business
- “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit”
- I take sin far less seriously than Jesus.
- Jesus takes sin seriously because Jesus died because of it.
- Jesus doesn’t call it compromise, he calls it sin
- The path to growing with him, involves dying to sin.
- Whenever you are walking away from Jesus and his truth you are walking into the darkness.
- Doing leads to becoming.
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What surprised you? What made you think? What did you take away? What did you feel when you first read the passage? Were you surprised, shocked, or okay with it? When have you been tempted to compromise? What happened? Are there areas in your life now that you need to confess and change? How might you do that? Who are going to confess them too?
Discussion Questions for Young: Families Take a moment and ask them to tell you what they think sin is. Get any of their answers. Then tell them that a good way to think about sin is any action, thought, or desire that doesn’t look like Jesus. Share with them how when we don’t act like Jesus we miss the point, but that if we confess our sins Jesus will forgive us. Ask if there is anything to confess and make sure you confess your sins too. Share together and then walk forward together.
Challenge for this Week:
Confess and Repent of Any Sin to a Trusted Friend