It’s been a few weeks since I wrote the first article in this short series on sin. Holiday craziness and post holiday sickness are to blame. But we’re back and ready to continue the conversation on sin. Talking piece #1…crazy man taped to airplane chair.
The man you see sitting comfortably in his chair apparently went crazy on a flight from Iceland to JFK. He spit on other passengers, tried to choke the woman sitting next to him, and screamed that the plane was going to crash. So the crew, with the help of some attentive passengers, did the only reasonable thing they could think of…they taped him to his seat for the remaining two hours of the flight. Wild stuff!
Without knowing exactly what was going on with this guy, it should be no surprise when things like this happen. We live in a crazy world. It’s a world filled with sinful people acting in sinful ways. If we’re not careful, we can get overwhelmed with the amount of “crazy” surrounding us. One of the dangers in studying sin is that we can over emphasize its role and activity. Yes, we as humans are pervasively infected with sin. J.C. Ryle writes,
Sin, in short, is that vast moral disease which affects the whole human race, of every rank, and class, and name, and nation, and people, and tongue; a disease from which there never was but one born of woman that was free.
This is our condition, and it’s a desperate one. We need to understand and appreciate the bad news of this condition. If we don’t, then we will never fully appreciate the good news that follows. There’s a cure! Let’s listen to Mr. Ryle again:
We need not be afraid to look at sin, and study its nature, origin, power, extent, and vileness, if we only look at the same time at the almighty medicine provided for us in the salvation that is in Jesus Christ.
It’s necessary to study and understand sin. We need to see that we are sinners. We need to recognize that even our best deeds are tainted with sin (Isa.64:6). But this truth must not destroy us. It must not lead us to walk around with heads down; defeated, crushed, miserable. There’s good news. Though sin abounds…grace abounds more (Rom.5:20). We have been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. Ransomed, redeemed, transferred from the land of darkness to the land of light. For those who trust in Christ, sin is no longer lord and master. Christ now sits in that position.
Yes, we live in a world where men need to be taped to their seats every now and again. But we can take heart and know that there is a force at work in this world who is bigger, stronger, and mightier, than anything that may come against us.