Sunday, September 21, 2008

the root

The plain truth is that a right understanding of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity. Without it such doctrines as justification, conversion, sanctification, are “words and names” which convey no meaning to the mind.

The first thing, therefore, that God does when He makes anyone a new creature in Christ is to send light into his heart and show him that he is a guilty sinner. The material creation in Genesis began with “light,” and so also does the spiritual creation. God “shines into our hearts” by the work of the Holy Spirit and then spiritual life begins (2 Cor. 4:6). Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies and false doctrines of the present day.

If a man does not realize the dangerous nature of his soul’s disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies. I believe that one of the chief wants of the contemporary church has been, and is, clearer, fuller teaching about sin. ~ J.C. Ryle, Holiness

To be clear, we must be Christocentric in all our thinking and being. The words above are not our focus but understanding the concepts both come out of a right relationship with Christ as well as facilitate a right relationship with Him. I become concerned when fellow believers wrongly diminish all He is or all things of faith to concepts of love or social action or any number of ways we try to redefine God. He is greater than all of that. So love, social action, etc. are also important but like the above, they are not our focus - Christ is.

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