Redefining sin

By Dave Henning / September 21, 2013

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints . . .” -Ephesians 1: 18

Timothy Keller continues his discussion of sin in Chapter 3 of The Prodigal God by noting that most people define sin as failing to keep God’s rules of conduct.  While that failure certainly is sinful, Jesus’s definition goes well beyond that, as He focuses on the elder brother.  When religious people fixate on living very moral lives, Pastor Keller contends that their goal is not Jesus, but getting leverage over God and putting Him in a position where they think He owes them. As the author explains, in essence that attitude is rebellion against God’s authority:

“If, like the elder brother, you believe that God ought to bless you and help you because you have worked hard to obey him and be a good person, then Jesus may be your helper, your example, even your inspiration, but he is not your Savior.  You are serving as your own Savior.”

Sin, then, is not just breaking God’s rules, it’s putting ourselves in God’s place as Savior, Lord, and Judge.

Today’s question: Do you consciously or subconsciously believe that God owes you for your years of faithful service?  How would adjusting your attitude transform you?

Tomorrow’s blog: “Redefining lostness- elder brother style”

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Dave Henning

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