R. C. Sproul – Why don’t Christians care about sin?

from a Ligonier conference-  LigonierMinistries

Alistair Begg responds:

The believer does not understand the notion of Union with Christ.

If we don’t preach the Gospel to ourselves all day, every day, then we will fail in some arena. And one of the areas of failure is a fast lane into antinomianism. So peopele then,  under the disguise of a superabundance of the grace of God answer the question with which Romans 6 begins, and answer it wrongly. „Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” They answer, „Yes.” And off they go. You know- „Shall I take my body and join it to a prostitute?” What kind of question is that? That’s a question for a Christian. Because the Christian has ben united with Christ. The Christian is in union with Christ and  we don’t understand what it means to be united with Christ, then all we’ll be left with is either legalism on the one hand, or lawlessness on the other hand.

It is since then, you have been raised with Christ to seek those things that are above. It is about who you are in Christ, because your nature and your status have been changed, because you’ve been raised to the heavenly places that these things are not impossible, but are now incongruent. And, I think part of the problem is that people do not know who they are in Christ.

R.C. Sproul responds:

I think, also, there’s a hidden premise in the question that can be very distorting. The real question is: Why don’t Christians care about their continuing sin? It is absolutely impossible for a person to be regenerate of the Holy Spirit and not care at all about sin. In that sense, there’s no such thing as „the carnal Christian”, who can receive Christ and be regenerate, and have no repentance. That is impossible. That is as unbiblical as it gets.

But, why don’t we care to the degree we ought to care? We care, but we don’t care enough. And it’s because our hearts are still lust til fully sanctified. And, God the Holy Spirit, in His convicting power has not fully revealed to us the sinfulness of our sin. Exhibit A is David. After his ghastly act of adultery and proxy murder of Uriah was trying to cover it up. Was He was a believing man and he’s down in the dregs of evil, and yet he doesn’t really show a whole lot of concern until God sends that prophet to him and tells him the story. And when the light dawns, when Nathan says, „Thou art the man,” David sees the evil of his sin and writes Psalm 51. Psalm 51 could never have been written by a human being who didn’t care about his sin.

But, here’s the blessing, if God revealed to me right now, the full measure  of the continuing sin in my life, it would destroy me. God is gracious and gentle in correcting us gradually. That is one of the things that is nice about progressive sanctification. Because if He gave it all at one time, we’d be dead.

5 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. Roger Tharpe
    ian. 18, 2013 @ 09:01:10

    The question may have been posed „Why don’t Christians fight sin harder?” When sin affects us in divorce, lying, cheating, stealing etc.. We Care! We do not fight sin harder within our lives, similar to Paul beating his body into subjection because there is no fear of God. There is no fear of God because the men of God are not praying like they should. They spend more time writing books, promoting the next conference, selling tickets at church like a football game and not spending nearly enough time in worship, prayer and fasting. These things bring God’s power and without individual time spent in these things. No power. Peter had power. Paul had power. Where is the power? – http://www.rogertharpe.wordpress.com

    • rodi
      ian. 18, 2013 @ 10:43:43

      that’s a good point. Maybe I’m biased, but, I see a lot of emphasis put on the fact that sanctification is progressive from our preachers, but I don’t think they’re seeing the result of their emphasis on the „progressiveness’ part in the real lives of the average Christian who interprets the word progressive as – passive, not really urgent and not something I have to do on my part. In the rampant divorce and sin rates of the christian church, it feeds into the secular idea that sins are addictions- which renders one powerless against them. Again, that’s not what they’re saying, but that’s what us, as sinners may be interpreting- that no one can be pure until Jesus returns for us, and that is not true. Jesus, in the beatitudes tells us it is possible, „Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 And „Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” So, Jesus tells us we have to hunger and thirst for it ourselves, and God will respond by filling us with righteousness.

      The disappointing thing to me is that there are no biblical quotations in their responses, from Jesus, or say, from Paul’s many exhortations to not live in the flesh, but to strive to be holy.

      To your point, these answers were more theological than practical, and maybe that’s because of the conference setting and the audience being predominantly pastors, but, I sure wish there was a clearer message/exhortation (like the apostle Paul would have given, had he been asked).

      • Roger Tharpe
        ian. 18, 2013 @ 11:03:21

        There is a book I am reading currently called Deceptive Diagnosis which is about sin being called sickness. By David Tyler and Kurt Grady – http://tinyurl.com/b28b6ol You can check out the link and purchase if you’re interested.

        • rodi
          ian. 18, 2013 @ 11:44:08

          Looks like a good book, however at this time I could not possibly bring any more books home 🙂 My dad gave me a few hundred recently. But, I am glad to see this point of view called out, especially these points:

          ~~~The „deeds of the flesh, which are immorality impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing” (Galatians 5:19-21) were all redefined using psychopathological words.
          ~~~Christians have jettisoned their commitment to the Bible and embraced psychology.
          ~~~The doctrine of sin is understandably disliked by the world. Moreover, what is alarming and tragic is the opposition Christians have for the doctrine of sin. There was a time when sin was clear and definite.
          ~~~Becoming more like Christ each day does not require medication; it requires submission, humility, reconciliation, forgiveness, and most of all repentance. It requires a steady diet of God’s Word, an environment bathed in His presence, and consistent work for His Kingdom.
          Thanks for the link, it’s good to know the alarm is being sounded, out there.

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