I just started reading Michael Horton’s book, where he points to a USA Today article last year titled, Has the ‘notion of sin’ been lost? I actually remember reading an except from it, now that I’ve read the whole article. There are 656 comments on the article, pro and con.
Growing up old-time pentecostal rather than evangelical, we talked a lot about sin. So, I’ve never been one to forget about the notion. On the contrary, I’ve had to learn, and continue to learn, to not think about my mistakes. One of the valid reasons that people find sin distasteful is because sin sometimes becomes the focus. When I focus on sinning less to be a better person, usually by strength of will, I tend to get discouraged and sin more, not less. When I trust God in my weakness, I often find myself feeling better about myself and not desiring to sin as much. Yet, even knowing that by experience, it’s so easy to focus on myself and try harder.
The following quote hits the mark.
“People who trust in themselves and in their own merits are, as it were, blinded by their own ‘I,’ and their hearts harden in sin. On the other hand, those who recognize themselves as weak and sinful entrust themselves to God, and from him obtain grace and forgiveness.”
That was by Pope Benedict XVI. I’m not Catholic, but amen.