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3 Bad Ways to Talk About Sin

Problem three: An impoverished view of God’s holiness and grace. 

There are some who really don’t believe God punishes or disciplines us for sin—or even gets too upset about it.

On the other hand, some think grace is cheap or about some counterfeit like tolerance or acceptance.

Tolerance and acceptance can be totally appropriate, but they aren’t grace.

In the same way, God isn’t the holiest among us all. He’s altogether holy. Everything He does is right.

Similarly, His grace isn’t ordinary. Because of His holiness and greatness—His grace is also infinitely deeper—and expressed in perfection through His offering of Christ for our sins.

Our sense of righteousness is, at best, a shadow of His, and our grace is but an echo of His.

We shouldn’t say “sin is sin,” that speaking of it will drive people away from God or lower God to the moral standards of humans.

When we do, it not only impoverishes our views of sin and grace—it reduces the Gospel to a humanistic gospel, which is no gospel at all. Sin, grace, holiness, lost, found, redemption, mercy … these are good words we need to speak of often and in Gospel concert, if in fact we want to reach people.

Question: Which of the three aforementioned sin myths are most prevalent in the church today? I would probably go with number three. How about you? 

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Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California--a fast-growing plant launched in 2011. Tim is also the purveyor of New Vintage Leadership - a blog offering cutting edge insights on leadership and theology and the author of numerous articles and one book: Jesus, the Powerful Servant.