Sin is viewed morally.
We think sin is bad stuff we do. We measure how much sin is in our life or in other’s lives by what they do. They get drunk. They swear. They look at porn. Etc.
We then look at ourselves and somehow manage to miss most of our sin but yeah, we’ll throw in a “I gossip sometimes” or “yeah, I do covet new stuff.” Since gossip and coveting are minor in comparison to murder and homosexuality, we chalk ourselves up as being “pretty good.”
When we think of conversion we think about drunkards giving up drinking, smokers not smoking, thieves not stealing, homosexuals not homosexualitizing.
We imagine that the Gospel is all about people coming to not sin.
Now, I think getting over sin is a huge result of the Gospel, one probably not talked about enough in the modern “do whatever you want, it’s all grace, baby” American church. The Gospel does indeed give us power over sin, not just forgiveness of past sin.
But our fixation on the physical, moral proofs of sin dooms us.
The real point of the Gospel is to transform the heart. Sin isn’t just stuff you do–sin is a state of being. Sin is not loving the Lord your God with all your, heart, soul, mind and body.
To those who think they are in perfect sinlessness, do you really claim to be loving the Lord with ALL your mind, soul and body? Really?
“All” is a huge word.
“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” The Gospel transforms us, not by working on the exterior, by taking away an urge to puff a few Marlboro’s. No, the Gospel has bigger work to do–it wants your heart.
When the heart is changed, when you begin to see the Love of God through Jesus Christ and the beauties of the Gospel, the heart changes and loving the Lord your God becomes a big issue.
As this big issue develops, sin will fade away. We too quickly emphasize physical proofs, distracting from the main point. It’s the heart. That’s what it’s about. What is on the inside is demonstrated by what is going on with the outside.
But you start on the inside. Love the Lord your God.