Giving Sin Sweet Names
One of the ways that we grow dull to the glory of Christ’s sacrifice is by giving our sin sweet names. How many times have you spoken of your sin as ‘a mistake’? Or as justified because of the way you’ve been wronged? Or as ‘not maximizing human flourishing’? Or as result of us being ‘broken people’? These are popular expressions, but how often does Scripture use these expressions? Never. All of these euphemisms take the rough edge off of how serious our sin is, but that is not the way God speaks of sin.
How does the Bible describe our sin? Our lust, lying, envy, murder, bitterness, and stealing? It describes it as spiritual adultery (James 4:4). As ungodliness and unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). As lawlessness (1 John 3:4). As falling short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As idolatry (Col. 3:5). As exchanging the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things (Rom. 1:23). As that which the Lord hates (Prov. 6:16). As works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). As rebellion against God (Ps. 78:17). As defiling oneself (Mt. 15:18).
Sin is ugly. Sin is deadly. And the fundamental reason why it is so serious is because it is always an assault against God. God has created all things, he sustains all things, and he created us all for him—to enjoy him and glorify him forever. But when we sin, we are not just breaking a command, we are breaking HIS command. It is despising the ways HE preserves you with good things. It is refusing to give the all-glorious GOD glory. It is saying we know better than HIM. Isn’t this what David prayed after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and committed murder? “Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” As D.A. Carson has said, sin is the de-godding of God.
In America, we are a nation awash in sin. The love of money, the rebellion towards parents, the pervasive envy, the selfishness, the greed, the murder, the prayerlessness. Just to zoom in on one sin, consider abortion: in the name of sexual autonomy, we as a nation have killed 60 million babies. That is the equivalent of the population of 26 states in America. We have seen videos over the past two years of dismembered babies on a petrie dish and doctors talking casually about its body parts. That is the blood that is on our hands. How can God be so patient with us?
And then I’ve thought, “God sent his Son on the earth to die on the cross and bear all of His Father’s wrath in our place that all who turn to Christ by faith might be forgiven of our sin, adopted in God’s family, and live with him forever in heaven.” How. Can. God. Do. This?
Friend, don’t give your sin sweet names. When you understand sin, you understand the Gospel. And what you come to know is this: God’s love is truly amazing.