Blog Posts on The Power & Effects of Sin

‘Divergent’ Lesson in Human Depravity

David Mathis
‘Divergent’ Lesson in Human Depravity

It’s rare to find a major motion picture that paints humanity, as a whole, to be this bad.

Not only was it human evil that nearly destroyed the world in some great war, but now it is human depravity that threatens to undo it all again. They sought to guard against this very thing when they divided society into five factions: Abnegation to counter selfishness, Erudite to stand against ignorance, Amity against aggression, Candor against duplicity, and Dauntless against... Continue Reading

Don’t Raise Good Kids

Jon Bloom
Don’t Raise Good Kids

Parents, don’t raise good kids. I’m a recovering good kid, and I’m here to tell you that the gospel isn’t for good kids.

I was pretty easy for my parents to raise. I was generally compliant, had a buoyant, warm personality, didn’t get into any serious trouble, was liked by my teachers for the most part, usually did respectably in school, was a leader in my church groups, and had plenty of friends. My adolescent, wild-oat sowing would only generate smirks and eye rolls.

My folks and most... Continue Reading

Pornography: The New Narcotic

John Piper
Pornography: The New Narcotic

The new narcotic. Morgan Bennett just published an article by this title. The thesis:

Neurological research has revealed that the effect of internet pornography on the human brain is just as potent — if not more so — than addictive chemical substances such as cocaine or heroin.

To make matters worse, there are 1.9 million cocaine users, and 2 million heroin users, in the United States compared to 40 million regular users of online pornography.

Here’s why the addictive power of... Continue Reading

Is Anyone Sad for Ariel Castro?

Jonathan Parnell
Is Anyone Sad for Ariel Castro?

On August 1 Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for kidnapping three girls he locked in his home for a decade, which included torture and rape, and the murder of an unborn child. Yesterday, a little over a month after this sentence, Castro was found dead in his jail cell. He had hanged himself.

And I wonder, is anyone sad for Ariel Castro?

Reports have already appeared on the “little sympathy” this suicide engenders from the public. Anderson Cooper, a... Continue Reading

Whatever Is Not from Faith Is Sin — Really?

John Piper
Whatever Is Not from Faith Is Sin — Really?

People from the time of John Chrysostom (347–407) have tried to limit the meaning of Paul’s words in Romans 14:23, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Chrysostom cautions, “Now all these things have been spoken by Paul of the subject in hand, not of everything.”

Leon Morris follows this limitation and says,

Whatever be the truth of actions done before one becomes a believer, Paul is not discussing them here. His concern is with the believer who sometimes... Continue Reading

Know This Dreadful Deformity of Your Soul — And Your Deliverance

John Piper
Know This Dreadful Deformity of Your Soul — And Your Deliverance

This is a lesson in self-knowledge for the sake of worship and righteousness.

Something terrible and profound happened to all humans when Adam sinned. All except Jesus, that is, “who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Something came into the world that had not been there before — something very powerful and very deadly in everyone of us.

But it was not exactly a “thing.” Yet it was more than the bad things we do. Sin and sinning are not the same.... Continue Reading

Envy Hunts in a Pack

Joe Rigney
Envy Hunts in a Pack

Picture your bathroom. Now picture your toilet. Now, you know that space behind the toilet, the disgusting place where nobody goes? The place that, if you should happen to drop your toothbrush, it means that you’ll just have to buy a new one? Okay, that place is like your heart. Or at least the sinful parts of your heart. All kinds of junk lives back there: lying, back-biting, lust, pride, bitterness, anxiety, envy.

Sanctification is our effort by God’s grace to clean behind the toilet,... Continue Reading

What Christians Do About Modern-Day Slavery

Ben Reaoch
What Christians Do About Modern-Day Slavery

If you are a believer, be reminded that you were a slave. Jesus redeemed you from that slave master called sin. And he has given us freedom. Therefore, as freed slaves, we should have a heart for those who continue in bondage — whether spiritual or physical, and in many cases, it’s both. It should be our desire to continue in the path that Jesus set out for us in his earthly ministry: to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to set... Continue Reading

Learning from the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History

David Mathis
Learning from the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History

It was the day after Christmas, 1862, in the town square of Mankato, Minnesota, that 38 Dakota warriors were hanged at the order of president Abraham Lincoln. After 150 years, it is still the largest mass execution in American history.

Mankato is about 80 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. In 1862, it was a frontier town in the thick of growing tensions between the quickly multiplying white settlers and the increasingly marginalized Dakota natives.... Continue Reading

A Lesson for All from Newtown

John Piper
A Lesson for All from Newtown

Murdering a human being is an assault on God. He made us in his own image. Destroying an image usually means you hate the imaged. Murdering God’s human image-bearer is not just murder. It’s treason — treason against the creator of the world. It is a capital crime — and more. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6).

As usual, Jesus takes this up in devastating terms. None of us escapes.

You have heard that... Continue Reading