Sin is the Status Quo—False Concept 5

In a book on major biblical themes, Lewis Sperry Chafer reveals the following thought:

Every child of Adam is born with the Adamic nature, (and) is ever and always prone to sin, and … it remains a vitally active force in every Christian’s life. It is never said to be removed or eradicated in this life … [1]Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes, Dunham Publishers, p. 141.

How interesting that the nation’s number one purveyor of stylized selfishness, Robert Ringer, should say a similar thing …

You will always act selfishly, no matter how vehemently you resist or protest to the contrary, because such action is automatic. You have no choice in the matter. [2]Robert J. Ringer, Looking Out for #1, Fawcett Crest, p. 46.

I remember getting into my car after work and discovering a note taped to my steering wheel. It was an apology from one of the secretaries who’d had a rough day and had made some rather terse remarks. It read in part: “I’m sorry for having snapped at you—please forgive me for being human.”

Have you ever heard someone say after they did something wrong, “Well, I’m only human”? We are told today that sin is “only human.” Sin is kind of a natural thing by implication. “It’s just my nature.” I’m sure you have noticed Christians wearing buttons on their lapels or bumper stickers on their automobiles with slogans like “Christians aren’t perfect—just forgiven”!

This was the attitude that former President Carter displayed in his Playboy interview. Commenting on adultery, he stated: “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times … this is something which God realizes I will do … and He forgives me for it.”

Several years ago I was speaking at a youth missionary retreat in the mountains of Southern California. I was talking with a camper who had several questions concerning sin. We were sitting on the bunks reading from 1 John when another young man entered the cabin to hear these words: “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not ….” (1 John 3:6). With red-faced indignation, he proceeded to tell me that it was impossible to live without sin, that even Christians expect to sin every day in word, thought and deed. I paused for a moment and asked this young man if he believed sin was the most powerful force in the universe. He didn’t think so. What was the purpose of Christ’s mission? Was it not to set the captives free, to seek and to save that which was lost? Isn’t the message of the gospel, the good news, that Jesus has come to transform us by the renewing of our minds? He came not just to save us from hell, the penalty of sin, but from that which actually binds us—our sin itself!

Why do we preach a message of defeat? Why do we declare a doctrine of continuing bondage? The Bible states:

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin … 1 John 3:9

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Philippians 1:10

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John 2:3

Whosoever abideth in him (Christ) sinneth not … 1 John 3:6

Where do we get the idea that sin is only natural and human? Whenever a polygraph test registers a lie, it proclaims that sin is not natural! Whenever one feels remorse, sorrow, or guilt it tells us with eloquence that sin is not natural! To those who are of the opinion that the only thing that separates a Christian from the world is forgiveness, I can only surmise they have little time for the Word of God.

The arrogant slogan “Christians aren’t perfect—just forgiven” brazenly flaunted in the face of the world, is more accurately read, “My conduct is similar to yours—only I’m forgiven and you’re not!” What joy do you think God derives out of a “relationship” of that sort? Has He expressed in your relationship, or through His Word, that sin is the status quo for a Christian? What is the blood of Jesus Christ worth? Where is the power in the blood? Is it possible that we have actually accepted the fact that the love of God displayed on Calvary is an anemic force compared to the mighty power of sin?

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes, Dunham Publishers, p. 141.
2. Robert J. Ringer, Looking Out for #1, Fawcett Crest, p. 46.