This article is an excerpt from The Gospel Project: God the Creator, available for purchase from lifeway.com. The Gospel Project takes adults, students, and kids on a chronological, Christ-centered journey through the storyline of Scripture. Preview one month free at gospelproject.com.
You can feel your heart in your throat. Your mind is so fixated, so focused, and at the same time it seems like it’s not working at all. Your conscience tells your wayward heart: “No! You should not do what you’re about to do!”
Perhaps you are with your friends, and you feel a word of gossip churning in the pit of your stomach. Perhaps you are alone and feel the lure of a pornographic website. Perhaps you are angry, and even though you know it’s wrong and hate when this happens, you can’t stop the volcanic rage bubbling up inside of you.
Whether it’s sexual sin, gossip, lying, anger, stealing, or something hidden, such as pride, covetousness, or idolatry of the heart, we understand the alluring and enticing power of sin. Knowing we should resist, we do it anyway.
The Bible exposes the ugliness of sin because the Bible magnifies the beauty of salvation. You see, when it comes to sin, we’re never in danger of understanding our sin too much; we’re always in danger of understanding our sin too little. A shallow diagnosis of a sickness doesn’t lead to a cure; it leaves us with incomplete remedies that provide no hope of getting well.
God takes sin seriously. We might think that humanity is already a lost cause or that sin has irreparably harmed the human race to the point that God would throw in the towel and be indifferent to temptation. But that’s not what God is like. God is not indifferent to sin because God is not indifferent to humanity. Love intervenes. And the intervention shows us that God cares deeply about each and every act of sin in this world. Every unjust act matters and will be accounted for. No good or evil deed escapes His notice.
God cares deeply about every act of sin in our lives. And so He speaks truth to us in love. But in our sinfulness, we reject that counsel. Evil desires give birth to evil deeds.
The promised mercy of God is what overcomes sin, and this is why we look to God for salvation and for power for our mission. As Christians, we see ourselves in light of the cross. The cross is where God displayed the fullness of His justice by pouring out His wrath toward sin. The cross is where God displayed the fullness of His mercy by extending grace to us through His Son. And now, we seek to slow the spread of sin by pointing others to the God who forgives, the God who transforms, the God who grants repentance (see 2 Tim. 2:25).
Excerpted from Matt Carter and Halim Suh, The Gospel Project: God the Creator © 2015 Lifeway Press®. Used by permission.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.