Tag Archives: sin

Imagine a World Without . . .

I think this is a terrific ad! And I agree with the idea of getting rid of cigarettes!

But let’s think about this a bit. Imagine a world without . . . [What would you insert here?]

John Lennon tried to imagine the wrong thing away . . . heaven!


Actually the Bible teaches that one day all sin will be a thing of the past! Won’t that be a great day?

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Posted by on June 25, 2020 in sin


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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Sinful Nature)

That “primeval well of the human psyche” is called our sin nature in the Bible! We are fallen, broken people whose natural tendency is to turn away from God and His truth. But, thanks be to God, He has rescued us in Christ. And though we still have our sinful natures, we now have the Spirit of God to help us turn away from those desires, plans, and priorities which run counter to His plan for our lives.

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Posted by on June 1, 2020 in sin nature


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The Harm We Do to Ourselves – A Pirate Story

A seaman meets a pirate in a bar, and talk turns to their adventures on the sea. The seaman notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook, and an eye patch. The seaman asks “So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?”

The pirate replies “We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as me men were pulling me out, a shark bit me leg off”

“Wow!” said the seaman. “What about your hook”? “Well…”, replied the pirate, “We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut me hand off.”

“Incredible!” remarked the seaman. “How did you get the eyepatch”? “A seagull dropping fell into me eye.”, replied the pirate. “You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?” the sailor asked incredulously.

“Well…”, said the pirate, “…it was me first day with the hook.”

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Posted by on March 29, 2020 in self


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Our hearts go out to all those who have been infected with the coronavirus. And we should each take steps to stop the spread of this pandemic. Now we hesitate before shaking another person’s hand, give another believer a holy hug, or think about running whenever someone is about to sneeze. We all can’t wait until this virus has run its course and is no longer a threat!

However, there is a virus that all of us have already. The infection of SIN. We didn’t get it through human contact, but by being born as humans into this broken, fallen, rebellious world. We are SINNERS by nature — and by practice. And the answer to this worldwide pandemic is not self-quarantine (as much as we introverts think we might like such). Nor is there any human cure. No amount of money or scientists thrown at the problem will solve it. This virus is lodged in our DNA until the day we die.

This malady, this sickness, has infected our very persons. Like a newly-discovered tumor, it is far from benign. It is cancerous, invasive, progressive, and lethal. Outside treatment, even of a radical nature, will not help. Without an inner healing, we are helpless and doomed to debilitation, decay, and death.

Sin has infected each of us, down to our very bone marrow. The tests have come back; the doctor says, “I’ve done a thorough DNA scan on you. I’ve checked the results twice. Unfortunately, I’ve got very bad news. You’re infected, the disease is progressive, and it will kill you. It is only a matter of time. We do not know of any cure. There is no hope. I’m sorry. You should complete your will if you haven’t already done so. I can recommend a good attorney if you need one.”

Overtly moral and good people can’t see their sin. Their true nature is covered up by their goodness. But, one thing they lack is true forgiveness, a spiritual washing.

The only vaccine that can bring us spiritual health is . . . the death of Another in our place. The Great Healer, the Lord Jesus, took our sin upon Himself and “became sin for us.” He does not, at this point in time, eradicate the infection which is in us, but He has paid for the penalty of our SIN.

Give thanks today for our Great Physician, the Lord Jesus! Recognize that you will never meet another human who is not infected. Be prepared to share the CURE which is CHRIST.


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Posted by on March 17, 2020 in sin


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Time for a Great Quote: Tim Keller on SIN

“Many have the impression that the Christian doctrine of sin is bleak and pessimistic about human nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I was brand-new in the ministry a young man came to see me whose wife had just left him. He was feeling angry at what she had done, guilty over his own flaws that had led her to it, and despondent before the whole situation. I said that what he needed more than anything was hope. He quickly agreed and asked how he could get some. As gently as possible I said that the good news was — he was a sinner. Because he was a sinner he wasn’t simply the helpless victim of psychological drives or social systems.

Years later I came across a passage in the sermon by Barbara Brown Taylor, who said more eloquently what I tried to say that day: “Neither the language of medicine nor of law is adequate substitute for the language of [sin]. Contrary to the medical model, we are not entirely at the mercy of our maladies. The choice is to enter into the process of repentance. Contrary to the legal model, the essence of sin is not [primarily] the violation of laws but a wrecked relationship with God, one another, and the whole created order. ‘All sins are attempts to fill voids,’ wrote Simone Weil. ‘Because we cannot stand the God-shaped hole inside of us, we try stuffing it full of all sorts of things, but only God may fill [it].'”


Posted by on March 13, 2020 in sin


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A Theological Check-Up: Do You Really Believe? Part 3: Sin

The inspiration for these posts is my appreciation of Paul Little’s books Know What You Believe and Know Why You Believe. Those are very helpful works — especially to new Jesus-followers.

My question for those of us who’ve been in this thing called Christianity for a while is this: As important as the WHAT and the WHY are in Christian belief, the issue really is IF we truly believe. IF we believe what we say we believe, certain behaviors ought to follow. “Faith without works is dead,” says the Apostle James. And the last thing the world needs to see is a dead Christianity!

What about the doctrine of SIN? Do we really believe what the Bible teaches about SIN? That we are born in sin (Ps. 51:5) and become quite proficient in practicing SIN. Do we agree that SIN is repugnant to God and that the only remedy to our SIN was the substitutionary death of the Son of God for us?

In speaking of “original sin” (meaning the original rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden), Chesterton claimed original sin to be ‘the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved’. Sin was a fact, ‘a fact as practical as potatoes.’”

How easy it is to minimize our sin, to euphemize our rebellion, to excuse our evil. I heard of a preacher who made a reference to the list known as “the seven deadly sins.” He said that many asked him after church for the list! I understand the following ad was in the Holland, Michigan, Evening Sentinel: “Wanted — Man or woman for part-time cleaning. Must be able to recognize dirt.” The Bible helps us recognize the dirt in our lives.

SIN is real — and often preceded by temptation. In fact, I wrote a book entitled When Temptation Strikes: Gaining Victory Over Sin. I agree with Stephen Brown who said, “Sin is not what you want to do but can’t; it is what you should not do because it will hurt you and it will hurt you bad.”

If we are serious about SIN, then we will follow the biblical prescription of repentance and confession! And we will not only hate sin, but will consciously be in the process of killing sin. Colossians 3:5 says: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” And we will agree with Sam Milolaski that “Unless God is angry with sin, let us put a bullet in our collective brain, for the universe is mad.”

Today’s Challenge: When was the last time you confessed known SIN? Aren’t we to confess our sins daily? Write out a prayer of confession, admitting both what you’ve done or thought and what you’ve not done or thought.


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Posted by on March 10, 2020 in theology


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A TV Interview of Me from 2009 on “When Temptation Strikes” (Part 1 of 3)

Friends: Just thought you’d find this three-part interview interesting. YouTube edits my interview into 7/8 minute segments. Blessings. Larry

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Posted by on March 1, 2020 in temptation


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“You REALLY Believe in HELL?! But WHY?” (Ten Reasons) (Reason 5) The Doctrine of SIN

Why in the world would someone believe in hell? And what exactly does it mean to “believe” in hell? These are a couple of the questions we want to answer in this ten-part series of posts. We’ve looked at REASON #1 — I got saved out of a fear of hell. We’ve also thought about REASON #2 – Hell makes sense. We’ve also considered REASON #3 — How does the doctrine of hell relate to the doctrine of God? We also touched on REASON #4 – How does the doctrine of eternal lostness relate to the doctrine of Man?

Let’s look at REASON #5 this morning — How does the doctrine of eternal hell relate to the doctrine of sin (hamartiology)? SIN explains a lot in life: our brokenness, the fractured condition of society and politics and governments, our sense of guilt that we try to cover up with entertainment or drugs or sports, our need to self-justify, our habit of favorably comparing ourselves to others less “sinful”, our need to euphemize the very concept of transgression or iniquity or rebellion, our empty hope that our good will outweigh our bad at the judgment of God, etc.

SIN cost the Son of God’s life on the cross! SIN plunged the whole universe into a fallen condition (creation “groans”, waiting for the New Heavens and the New Earth, Romans 8:19). To minimize our SIN must minimize the cross. Did Christ’s sacrificial death overpay to redeem us? No! He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, I Peter 2:24. The Second Person of the Divine Trinity took upon Himself a perfect human body for the express purpose of paying the SIN-debt that we owed! No other religion offers that kind of Savior.

J.C. Ryle’s justly famous volume, Holiness, begins with a statement to this effect: “He would make great strides in holiness must first consider the greatness of sin.” Ryle, writing at the end of nineteenth century was merely reflecting what Anselm of Canterbury had written in the early middle-ages. Attempting to answer the question, Why did God become man (Cur Deus Homo), Anselm has a famous line put to one character (aptly called Boso) which goes like this: Nondum considerasti quantum ponderis sit peccatum. Roughly translated that means, “You have not yet considered the gravity of sin.” Boso’s inability to see the necessity for the Lord Jesus Christ to become incarnate in order to save His people lay in his reluctance to place sufficient emphasis upon our need of salvation. Our problem is sin. It has been so since the Garden of Eden; and it remains so to this day.” (



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Posted by on February 15, 2020 in hell


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Still Another Great Quote from Pastor John Piper: A Definition of SIN!

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Posted by on October 1, 2019 in sin


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Time for a Great Quote from Thomas Watson: Sin & Atonement

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Posted by on July 11, 2019 in Uncategorized


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