That Pesky "S" Word

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I once won a contest by spelling out the word, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (from Mary Poppins, for those of you old enough to remember). At least I think that was the word. At any rate it was a really long one!

Here’s a short word that most people can spell but don’t seem to be able to say: SIN. It’s a simple word, one syllable, no complications—at least you wouldn’t think so.

Jesus, addressing the crowds in Jerusalem, said: “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24).

Wow, twice in one sentence. That must have been difficult!

All sarcasm aside, while it wasn’t hard for Jesus to say (after all, He had come to save us from our sins), it seems that the people of the Lord’s day had a similar problem to ours—acknowledging sinfulness.

I’m not talking about going around beating our breasts and bemoaning the fact that we are evil (though a little more of that might be appropriate). A redeemed sinner rejoices in his, or her, redemption, not in his, or her, sin.

I suppose what concerns me is the number of times I have interviewed people for baptism, for example, who never mention how Jesus saved them from their sin. They talk about commitment, about nothing else working for them, about knowing God better, but they seldom, if ever, mention the “S” word.

Why not?

The consequences of those sins are what Jesus saved us from. Those sins sent Him to the cross. Forgiveness doesn’t come until we acknowledge those sins. Do I need to know what those sins are? No!  But the whole basis of our salvation revolves around admitting that we are sinners and that we have asked Jesus to forgive those sins. There is no shame in acknowledging what the whole world already knows!

Jesus was very “in-your-face” about sin, the consequences of those sins, and the remedy. Why shouldn’t we be?


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