Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave
Edward T. Welch
It is one thing to acknowledge that we occasionally do wrong; it is something else to acknowledge that what we did was sin – it was against God…
Even among Christians, sin is not always seen as our deepest or primary problem. For example, if I were to reflect on the problems of my day, they might include my finances, children, wife, health, weight, reputation, lack of lasting contributions, car, leaky faucet, or environment-endangering lawn mower. Even when I am an obvious wrongdoer, I still can think that sin is not my primary problem. It is one of those problems that come up occasionally; it is not, I feel, a core feature of my very being.
Yet the fact that I do not feel like sin is my primary problem does not prove anything. Sin by its very nature is more often quiet and secretive than loud and public. For every overt episode of rage, there are dozens of jealousies, manipulations, white lies, and malicious thoughts, none of which immediately register on the conscience. And, according to Scripture, the greatest sin of all is even more covert: I do not love the Lord my God with my whole mind and heart. If our failure to consistently worship the true God is the key feature of sin, we are sinners all.
Notice what happens when we lose sight of these biblical teachings. If sin is not our core problem, the gospel itself – the thing of first importance – is marginalized. The good news that Jesus proclaimed and offered is that there is forgiveness of sins, not through our own attempts to please God, but by placing our confidence in Jesus himself, in his death and resurrection. If sin is not our primary problem, then the gospel of Jesus is no longer the most important event in all of human history.