If I’m Forgiven, Why Can’t I Keep Sinning?

I was recently privileged to speak at a conference in Quezon City, Philippines. The question and answer session yielded some interesting questions like this one: “If forgiveness is guaranteed and there is no longer any condemnation for me, why not sin?” This was my answer in the context of the sermon I had just preached. Transcript If forgiveness is guaranteed and there is no longer any condemnation for me, why not sin? I think Paul anticipated this in the book of …

Sin Is Immaturity

There is a lot bound up in every sin. Sin is missing the mark—an arrow that has veered so far to the left or the right that it has flown past the target. Sin is transgression, disobedience toward a known law or standard. Sin is iniquity, premeditated rebellion against God. And lately, especially as I’ve been examining my own life, I’ve also been seeing sin as immaturity. Sin is a failure to grow up. We expect that children will behave …

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When God Removes the Asterisks

We like to whitewash our historical heroes. As we look to the great men and women of faith who lived and died before us, we face the temptation to rejoice in their strengths and to ignore their weaknesses. The same is true of our contemporary heroes. Though it is right and good to have human heroes, we soon learn they all have flaws. There is not one who has lived and died without sin. A thorough study of any person …

Have You Committed The Unpardonable Sin?

Have you ever wondered if you have committed that one unpardonable sin the Bible talks about? A lot of people spend a lot of time really concerned about this, so it may do them good to listen in as I talk about why I think it’s unlikely they have committed it. Transcript I think every pastor, probably every Christian, at one time or another, is asked about the unpardonable sin. We read in scripture about one sin that can not, …

For the Pastor Knee-Deep in Immorality

A couple of weeks ago we received the news that another—yet another—well-known and highly-admired pastor had been removed from ministry after his elders learned he was involved in an extra-marital affair. Such incidents are all too common, though I suspect the frequency is related as much to the shrinking of the world as any great explosion of immorality. The internet allows us to find affinity with a greater number of people and, in the same way, allows us knowledge of …

The Utter Horror of the Smallest Sins

You’ve probably heard it said that all sin is the same. There are some who argue that there is really no such thing as big sins or little sins, no distinction between acts of depravity and mere peccadillos. That charge is easily answered— the Bible often distinguishes between various gradations of sin, so that some are regarded as more serious than others. The Old Testament law, after all, laid out very different punishments for different sins. Later, Jesus distinguished between …

Bring Her Out and Let Her Be Burned

“Bring her out and let her be burned!” This dramatic pronouncement of judgment gets me every time I read it. And through long familiarity, it has become one of my favorite Bible passages. That’s weird, I know. Yet it’s not a favorite in the sense that I’d recommend it as a life verse or a tattoo or the inside of a greeting card. It’s a favorite in the sense that it speaks so truly about the state of humanity. And …

Life Has Not Been Easy

There is something satisfying about complaining, isn’t there? Even though we know it’s sinful, we still find a sick satisfaction in it. For some reason, airing our grievances seems to be a form of therapy. It does not take much to reveal the discontentment that lurks just beneath the surface of our lives. I can’t say life has been particularly easy in recent weeks, and too often I’ve found myself complaining about some of the circumstances I am in. Some …

4 Grave Dangers in Every Sin

I have preached the truth a hundred times to others and a thousand times to myself: You can’t sin without consequence. That’s not the way God has structured his world. It’s not the way God has structured his people. For Christians, the ultimate consequences have been fully paid by Jesus Christ, but this does not mean there is no reason to fear immediate consequences. Here, with an assist from a favorite writer, are four grave dangers in every sin. The …

The Scariest Book I’ve Ever Read

There was a time in my teens—a brief time, thankfully—when I dabbled in horror books and movies. In what is probably not an atypical experience for teenagers, I developed a strange interest in the macabre and found pleasure in getting frightened. This led me to explore a few terrifying novels and films before I decided I ought to heed my conscience and turn to more worthwhile endeavors. I don’t remember a whole lot about the stories anymore, but do remember a number …