Getting Real with Personal Sin: An Interview with Matt Chandler

Authors on the Line

Why is our first inclination to run our sins into the dark shadows and hide like Adam tucked up against a tree trunk?

We find it natural to hide our sins, even as Christians, but such an act contradicts our Savior’s death. “The gospel frees us to be authentic, to admit that our struggles and strengths have not been fully sanctified, and to allow others to apply the grace of God to areas of our lives that desperately need it" (55). Matt Chandler makes this observation in his new book, Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (B&H, October 1, 2012). It's a book he co-authored with Josh Patterson and Eric Geiger, and it’s a book dedicated to pressing the church to think about a pattern of community that properly reflects the grace of God in Christ.

And this is why getting real with personal sin is such an important matter for the Christ-centered church. In light of what the cross says about our sinfulness, in light of the grace offered to us, and in light of the Christian friends God has placed in our lives, why do we keep running to the shadows?

In the latest episode of the Authors on the Line podcast I asked Chandler that question. And he got real with us in his answer. In part he said:

Well, I can tell you why I run to the shadows. I want to be awesome. I want people to think that Matt Chandler knows his Bible better than I know it. I want people to think Matt Chandler is one of the greatest preachers ever. Those are wicked areas of my heart. At 38 years old, I have been following the Lord for 20 years now, and I think in some manner or another I am going to always be laying those things down before the Lord.

In laying those things down to the Lord, we confess our sins to God and to one another (James 5:16). “To believe the gospel is to run to God when you blow it,” Chandler said. “If there is no category for you to blow it, then I get confused on how all of this works.”

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Thumb author matt chandler

Matt Chandler serves as lead pastor of teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex.

Thumb author tony reinke

Tony Reinke is a staff writer for Desiring God and the author of three books: Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011), Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (2015), and The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness (2015). He hosts the popular Ask Pastor John podcast, and lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and their three children. He also blogs at

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