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With God, Learning From Sin Is Possible

learning from sin

You’ve seen those TV-detective shows where the pathologist examines a dead body, looking for clues to the crime. In the spiritual world sin brings death, God is the Great Pathologist, who shows us where we went wrong, and we find ourselves learning from sin. In the hands of the Adversary learning from sin is not possible, but in God’s hands learning from sin is. This, too, is part of God’s great redemption.

Here’s the pattern: I choose sin, which is bad enough. Worse still—afterward—the voice in my head tries to drag me deeper still. This is the voice of the Adversary: he chants enticement before my sin and shouts condemnation after. His is a voice skilled in subtle influence followed by paralyzing guilt. It’s a voice filled with accusation. He is a liar and the father of lies; lies are his native tongue. But even in the wreck of my God-awful choices there is another voice. After my sin comes another still, small voice. It sounds like a storytelling prophet trying to open the eyes of a privileged king. “Return to me,” it whispers, “and I will return to you.” It is the voice of Jesus asking Peter, “Do you love me?”

Learning from Sin

Sin always brings death, but Jesus is no mere medical examiner doing a post-mortem. He raises the victim to life.

This is the glory of God: he speaks to us even in our sin. The Great Alchemist turns our sin into the stuff of restoration. His message is restoration, and what’s more, he takes our defeat and turns it into the very fabric of instruction. Have you ever learned from your sin? God is not only ready to forgive; he is eager to teach. If we are open to God’s voice, even our sin become grace in his hands. He will show us the path and correct our steps, not by insisting on obedience but by revealing our hearts. Not by counting ours sins against us, but by teaching us a new way to live.

After I choose anger, Jesus wants to reveal its source, and heal the weakness that led to sin. After I choose greed, Jesus wants to reveal my insecurity, and heal the weakness that led to sin. After I choose lust, Jesus wants to reveal my desire, and heal the weakness that led to sin. After I choose judgment, Jesus wants to reveal my pride, and heal the weakness that led to sin.

Jesus is not the kind of person who simply says, “Go, and sin no more.” He also makes his command possible. What he asks, he empowers. He takes us to the source and gives us hope. Resurrection isn’t just for Jesus; it’s for us. It’s not just for the end of days, it’s so we can walk in newness of life. Sin puts us in the tomb; Jesus rolls away the stone—as often as we need.


This article about learning from sin originally appeared here, and is used by permission.