Join us on Sunday at
8:30am, 10:00am & 6:00pm

Trivialising Sin

We live in a society that has an alarming tendency to trivialise sin. Sin is seen to be a good thing in our society, a time of self indulgence. In an advertising brochure for holidays that I saw this week they had a “Seven Deadly Sins” package. The package brochure issues the invitation:

Enjoy your journey through these delightfully devilish packages and when you have decided which sin (envy, revenge, lust, vanity, gluttony, sloth or decadence) you would most like to commit, telephone us…

So why write about it and promote their idea? Some would say its only fun. But that of course is the problem. Sin can often be enjoyable, at least for the moment, and mostly leads to awful immediate consequences and always to long term ruin.

That day in history which we call Good Friday demonstrated for all time the attitude we ought to have to sin, especially our own.

A direct line is drawn in the Bible between the cradle and the cross, between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Jesus, whose name means Saviour, would “save His people from their sins”. He would rescue us from sins penalty, power and presence.

Our sin is bad – both in its actions and consequences, and it results in God’s judgement. Evidence of this is the fact that we die. Physical death is a consequence of our sin and a graphic reminder (indeed warning) of eternal separation from God.

But at the heart of the Christian gospel is the news that Jesus died and in so doing experienced separation from His Father, so that, if we own up to God as a sinner and accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we may be pardoned. Sins penalty is removed from our account by Jesus’ death and resurrection. The cross of Christ shows us the gravity of our sin and the rich generosity of God.

Such free pardon must never lead to carelessness in conduct. Our constant reflection on the crucified Saviour, together with the attendant strength of the Holy Spirit will mean that sins power will be systematically and progressively decreased in our daily experience.

Ultimately when the Risen Lord Jesus returns again and ushers in the New Heaven and New Earth sin will no longer be present. Thus we should never want to trivialise or encourage each other in sin.

The cross of Christ is central to the purposes of God. For it is there alone that guilt can be justly dealt with and it is there that any temptation to nurture, cherish or knowingly continue in sin must surely be soundly and deliberately put away.