September 15

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Luke 15:1-10

Sin always has consequences, and they are always disastrous.  Sometimes physically disastrous. Always spiritually disastrous   If we are not aware of this, it is because we know nothing of a life without sin. Sin is missing the mark, being less than we could be. Preferring self-centredness to God-centredness. A break in relationship with God. Prophets like Jeremiah warned the people of their day about the disastrous consequences of sin to the nation. A life without sin would be a life in complete awareness of God’s presence and love, a life lived in perfect trust and confidence in God, a life lived in conformity to the will and purpose of God.  But “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, at the heart of the Christian Gospel is the announcement that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). To save people from living apart from God. To save us from our addictive selfishness. To save us from the disastrous consequences of our sin. To save us for life under God’s love and leadership. A right relationship with God, and based on that, a right relationship, as far as it is possible, with other people. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance, that is to a change of direction, a getting back on track. This is the Gospel of God’s grace reaching out to sinners everywhere, speaking of acceptance and forgiveness, of new beginnings and the taste of what life was always really meant to be about. To hear this Gospel, one has to realize that he or she is a sinner, one who has been missing life’s target. The self-righteous person cannot hear it.  It is a message for both the individual and for the community.  A change of heart, a change of direction can always take place if we cooperate with what God is seeking to do in and through us.

  • What are the consequences of sin?
  • What is the difference between sin and sins?
  • If repentance means changing direction, what part does guilt and confession play?
  • What is there is Luke 15:1-10 to prompt the comment, “To hear this Gospel, one has to realize that he or she is a sinner”?