One of the greatest revelations for me was the moment I realised what I was saved from when I became a Christian, but it wasn’t until much later in my walk when I realised the impact of sin on creation and my own life.
Some of my friends have criticised the bible as a book of rules that take the fun out of life. I remember sitting in the cinema as a 20 year-old and watching the Passion of the Christ and visually seeing what it would have looked like for Jesus in his final hours. It tore my heart and soul apart. I remember weeping uncontrollably at the sight of Jesus being beaten and ultimately giving his life for the forgiveness of my sins and for me to have a relationship with the Father.
In that moment, you don’t see the bible as just a book of rules that aims to ruin everyone’s fun, but rather Jesus’s sacrifice highlights the seriousness of sin and how much he was willing to go through to ensure we could be forgiven of sin and break the shackles of that sin that would keep us from living life to the full.
The abuse of grace
A big problem with the world today is that we have underestimated the impact that sin has had on the world and the consequences that it can bring to our personal lives. In essence, we don’t take sin seriously enough and I am not talking about the secular world, I am talking to the church, I am talking to my brothers and sisters in Christ here.
I feel modern day churches have this obsession with grace, and a few sermons today preach the grace of God over and over again, and I am so thankful to the Lord for showing me grace. I know the darkness of my deeds and I praise the Lord in heaven that he has rescued me from these, but, Christians also need those sermons that talk about the righteousness of God and how scripture calls us to be holy, to turn from our wicked ways and to seek a life that honours God.
I know that in my walk I have abused God’s grace, at times I have willingly done things I knew were sinful and in doing so slapped Jesus in the face because I so immaturely said to myself, it’s all good, Jesus died for my sins, past, present and future. What a terrible mindset. I often reflect on my Christian life and I cringe at the mistakes I have made; and worse, I am ashamed at my willingness to continue to knowingly sin, even though I know what Jesus had done for me.
Degrees of sin, how bad can it get?
I was recently talking to one of my students who had some objections to Christianity and in the process of discussing the Gospel with him he failed to see how someone lying deserved hell just as much as someone who had committed murder. In all honesty I agreed with him to a point, because I personally believe there are degrees of sin (however all sin make us fall short of God’s glory), but I reasoned with him that the bible is so serious about sin, because of the potential consequences that it brings forth in eternity and in reality.
I said to him, ‘You might think telling a lie isn’t so bad, but do it enough, what could it turn into?’
It starts off with a little white lie that in some cases turns into people bearing false witness about someone. White lies, big lies, falsely accusing someone of a crime can ultimately ruin people’s lives and that damage can have a ripple effect to all those around that person.
‘You might think being angry isn’t so bad, but hold onto that anger long enough, what can it turn into?’
It starts off with anger, then it turns into bitterness, then it turns into hatred and in some cases can turns into assault and murder.
Dead to sin but alive in Christ
When we became Christians, we became a new creation. We recognised the depth of our depravity, we recognised the love God has for us and we ultimately surrendered our lives to him, asked him to forgive us of our sin and began a life-long journey with Jesus that would help us turn our lives around in the hope of becoming more like him.
We all walk a unique journey with God, and we all have unique and different backgrounds that we came from when we received salvation. This also means that for some of us it will take a while to work through the baggage and sin that we were once so accustomed to.
Jesus died for us to release us from the shackles of sin that have held us in bondage for so long. When we gave our life to him, we died to our old life and began the process of walking away from the life that had initially separated us from God; we need to keep our eyes firmly on Jesus and what he did for us. I reject the notion that even though I am a Christian and because I am human I am bound to continue to sin – we are no longer slaves to sin!
God has given us the victory and we can truly move forward in repentance.
To carry on in our sin is absolute foolishness and I have been a fool. It brings consequences to this life that ultimately hurt us and those around us. Sin is self-serving, it breaks family apart, sends people to jail and causes people to treat each other without love or equality.
I love God for the grace He has shown me, but I fear Him for His righteousness. We have lost the fear of God and therefore the fear of the destruction that sin can bring to our lives. Let’s live in the fullness of what Jesus has done for us, bask in His mercy and love and lead lives that honour his sacrifice.
Jarred is an HPE and Mathematics teacher on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he is married to Haley and has three beautiful children Chelsea, Nathan and Ryan.