Monday, March 10, 2008

Seven New Sins, Same Saving Grace

Heard about this yet?:

The Vatican has outlined seven new deadly sins for our times, designed to make worshippers consider the increased impact their lives have on other people in light of globalisation.

The new lists condemns genetic modification, carrying out experiments on humans, polluting the environment, causing social injustice, causing poverty, becoming obscenely wealthy and taking drugs.

Pretty much all of the above fall under the rubric of falling short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), except perhaps being "obscenely wealthy," since trust in riches and love of money, not possession of riches and wealth in and of themselves, is what's at issue with financial sin.

Of course, I highly doubt anyone needs a new-fangled list of official sins to guard against. After all, we aren't sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. Probably a good 90 percent of our sins escape our immediate notice because they involve the heart, mind, and will, not necessary the mouth or other members set among our body.

It's out of the heart that all sin originates (Gen. 8:21; Psa. 14; Matt. 15:18-20; Mark 7:20-23; James 1:14-15) and only God can change the heart, replacing a hardened heart of stone with a heart of flesh which desires to honor and glorify God (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26; Acts 7:51; Rom. 2:29).

What then must we do? We are to throw ourselves at God's mercy, trusting in Christ's death in our place, accepting salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and then living our lives in accord with the Gospel, worthy of the calling, bearing fruit by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. It's then that we can bring the Gospel to bear on modern day twists on age-old sins.

Rather than fixating on all the evils plaguing modern day life, we must remain transfixed by the surpassing glory of Christ Jesus: triumphant over sin and death in the cross, risen again by the power of God from the dead, seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for His Bride the Church, and coming again in glory for the same (Col. 2:6-15; Phil. 2:9-11; I Tim. 3:14-16; Heb. 7:25; I Thess. 4:16-18).

This message, this deposit of faith "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) always has and always will be the witness of the church, the message of salvation that contains the "power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16).

Soli Deo gloria!

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