Sin Is Social

Sin is social: although it is first and foremost defiance of God, there is no sin that does not touch the lives of others. Even secret sins of the heart and mind adversely affect others, since by subtly changing me, they change my relations with others. Secretly nurtured lust, for instance, soon affects a man’s or a woman’s relations with the spouse and with other human beings. That is one reason why God’s judgment is poured out on people to the third and fourth generations of those who hate God (Exodus 20.5): sin is social. Judgment comes not only in the death of every generation, but in the sweeping condemnation of the flood (Genesis 7-8), in the repeated cycles of war, pestilence, and famine (e.g. Judges, the exile), and ultimately in hell itself, about which Jesus says so much. Sin is so warping that it corrodes every facet of our being, our wills and affections, our view of others and thus our relationships, our bodies and minds. Sinners incur guilt, yet they need more forgiveness and reconciliation to God (though never less), since the results of sin are so pervasive: they also need regeneration and transformation.

D. A. Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008), 48.

Knowledge of God Teaches Us To Pray

The more we reflect on the kind of God who is there, the kind of God who has disclosed himself in Scripture and supremely in Jesus Christ, the kind of God who has revealed his plans and purposes for his own “household,” the kind of God who hears and answers prayer — the more we shall be encouraged to pray. Prayerlessness is often an index to our ignorance of God. Real and vital knowledge of God not only teaches us what to pray, but gives us powerful incentive to pray.

D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1992), 201.

Our Only Hope of Life in the Presence of a Holy and Loving God

Truly to grasp that the eternal God, our Maker and Judge, has out of inexpressible grace sent his Son to die the odious death of an abominated criminal in order that we might be forgiven and reconciled to him; that this wise plan was effected by sinful leaders who thought they were controlling events and who were operating out of selfish expediency, while in fact God was bringing about his own good, redemptive purposes; that our only hope of life in the presence of this holy and loving God lies in casting ourselves without reserve on his mercy, receiving in faith the gift of forgiveness purchased at inestimable cost — none of this is possible apart from the work of the Spirit.

D. A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2003), 66.

HT: Of First Importance