Written by Dawn Rutan
I’ve been thinking about sin lately, and I’m not the only one. It so “happens” that the sermon at our church this week was on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Just a few days ago, Desiring God posted this article by Garrett Kell, If They Fell, So Can You, which is well worth reading.
What factors may cause us to give in to temptation?
- We don’t recognize something as sin, such as the more subtle sins of pride, gossip, or envy.
- We may have adopted the world’s standards in regards to sexuality, relationships, and money.
- We let ourselves become vulnerable through fatigue, stress, and busyness.
- We have slacked off in pursuing God through Scripture, prayer, and worship.
- We have become relationally isolated from fellow believers.
- We keep our sin secret due to fear and shame.
- We feel unique because we can’t see the sins that others struggle with.
- We judge our private sins to be less of a problem than someone else’s visible sin.
The solution to all of those is abiding in community with the Body of Christ to keep one another accountable. Together we pursue God and bring truth to light—the truth about God and about ourselves.
Another recent article by Jared Wilson on The Gospel Coalition quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together:
“He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!”
Wilson goes on to say, “I know people are mean, I know people are judgmental, I know people act weird and get messy and cause problems and are really inefficient for the ways we normally like to do church—but if we believe in the gospel, we don’t have a choice any longer to live in the dark. How about we stop being shocked to find sinners among the ‘pious’ and start shocking the fearful with grace?”
I wonder what the church would look like if this were the common experience? I’ve seen it happen on a small scale among a few friends, and it always makes me long for more. It’s hard to live in true Christian community if we’re all hiding secrets from one another. Dare we risk walking in the light?
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 ESV).
© 2018 Dawn Rutan. The views stated may or may not reflect the beliefs of the pastor or leadership of Dulin’s Grove Church.