September 1, 2023

Whatever Became of Sin?


Whatever Became of Sin?

  • 1973 book by Dr. Karl Menninger
  • Psychiatric couches filled with people who feel guilty
  • Society has lost a sense of awe or respect for God
  • Everything is done on TV – desensitized
  • Even churches soft-pedal sin – don’t want to alienate church-shoppers – no sermons on hell


Sin's Power Lies in Deception

  • Genesis 3:13 – And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
  • We think it's okay to do something, but then, our conscience starts bothering us and we feel guilty.
  • 1 John 1:8 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
  • We don't like feeling guilty, so we take steps to avoid feeling sinful.

Steps to Avoid Feeling Sinful

  • Excuse or rationalize it – “Everyone’s doing it” – “It’s okay under the circumstances”
  • Self-justify – “I couldn’t expect more of myself” – “I made the best choice I could” – “My intentions were good” – “I’m basically good at heart”
  • Blame others – Family, society, government, genes, birth defect, temperament – we are victims of evil not doers of evil.

Compare – “I’m not as bad as _______”

Insist We’ve Done Nothing Wrong

  • Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned
  • Yes, I’m a sinner, but this isn’t a sin.
  • Sear conscience
  • I see nothing wrong with it = I don’t want to see anything wrong with it
  • It’s extremely difficult dealing with someone who won’t admit that they’re wrong!

Pretend We’re Sinless

  • Criticize others to show that our standards are high
  • We have blind spots
  • We don’t recognize our own sins, though we pick others’ out quickly.
  • Don’t think about it – It’s too disturbing – tune guilt out – it’ll go away.
  • Don’t face self-examination – “I'm not an analytical person” – "I don't question my faith; I just believe that God will do the right thing."

Change the Nature of Sin

  • Call sin by another name – an affair, alternate lifestyle, sex trade worker, sexually active, living together, termination of pregnancy, freedom of choice, medical assistance in dying
  • Dress sin up as a virtue – new morality, liberation, free thinking, throwing off the shackles of outdated moral codes, progress past annoying, silly restrictions
  • Make sin legal – sex trade, abortion
  • Get three experts to agree that what we’ve done is all right.

Balance Virtue and Sin

  • Assume that God isn't hard on decent, respectable people, and that being fair and honourable, kind and patient, and reading the Bible and praying supposedly make up for being greedy, selfish, and covetous.
  • Do something good to make up for something bad.
  • But how to make up for the good that we should have been doing while we were making up for the bad that we did?
  • Isaiah 64:6 – All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

React Against Righteousness

  • Resent it when we or those whom we love are referred to as sinners.
  • Accuse those who believe this of being narrow-minded, judgemental, unloving.
  • Decide that what we are doing or what our loved ones are doing is not sinful, now acceptable.

Change Our Theology

  • Believe people are basically good – sin is just a “temporary lapse”
  • Jeremiah 17:9 - The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.
  • Assume that God forgives and loves without restriction, and that everyone goes to heaven.
  • Ignore what the Bible says about what is sinful – or make it mean what we want.
  • Continue to feel guilty and consider it the punishment for wrong-doing.

Proper Way to Deal With Sin

  • 1 John 1:9-10 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar.
  • If sin weren’t serious, why else would God send Jesus to die on the cross?
  • Invite Jesus to take control of our life and show us further areas that need cleansing

Jesus Will House-clean

If we haven’t yet received His life-changing Spirit, we can pray:

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Saviour and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.”

Jesus Will House-clean

If we have previously received Jesus, we can pray:

“Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me this sin of _________. I now confess it before You. Thank You for forgiving me. I ask You now, once again, to take the throne of my life. Fill me, control me, and empower me with Your Holy Spirit. Continue to make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.”


  • Don’t deny your sin, excuse it, duck it, or hide from it
  • Get it out in the open and let God deal with it
  • That’s God’s chief business – the angels rejoice when we repent!