“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
In the early 1970s, renowned psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote a book entitled, Whatever Became of Sin? He warned that moral society would inevitably vanish if open discourse about sin was eliminated. Life in the 21st century has proven him right. We don’t hear much about sin anymore. In fact, the reason Christianity has become so irrelevant in our culture is because we no longer deal with sin—we tolerate it.
Tolerating wrongdoing and immorality normalizes it. We’ve seen that clearly on display throughout our nation but it’s true individually as well. When we listen to the shouts of the world more than the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit, we no longer see sin as sin. Eventually our hearts grow cold. Just because we don’t hear much about sin doesn’t mean God has changed His mind about it.
Why then do so many churches never mention sin at all? They seem to think that people won’t attend if made to feel bad about themselves. They focus instead on God’s goodness, as if sinful thoughts and actions have no consequences. The job of the local church isn’t to help members cope with their circumstances or navigate their feelings—it’s to help them live in the power of Christ through obedience to His Word.
The problem is that we view God’s grace more as a recovery mechanism for sin than the power to resist it in the first place. Why would God give us grace to do what Jesus died for on the Cross? Sin makes us weak spiritually, which is exactly what the devil wants. Although he cannot take our salvation he can entice us to live in disobedience. We become ineffective Christians as a result.
God’s grace is most realized when we resist temptation. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
What sin are you tolerating? It cannot master your life without your consent. God’s grace provides everything you need to resist sin and live each day in Jesus’ strength and power. The conviction of the Holy Spirit is like a surgeon addressing cancer. Although confronting it isn’t pleasant, ignoring it is perilous.