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A Bone to Pick

A Bone to Pick

SEPTEMBER 28, 2023

/ Articles / A Bone to Pick

I’ve got a bone to pick with sin.

I came to faith in a church where they didn’t sugarcoat what sin was. And because of that, I was never under the delusion that it was something I could manage of my own strength.

It was a boulder that was crushing me. No, killing me. Even that’s not strong enough. I was already dead, it turns out.

Fast forward to today and I have the great pleasure of preaching the Word of God just about every Sunday. When you do so you open yourself up for questions and even criticism. That’s okay, I kind of signed up for this.

One criticism I love getting though is this one: “you don’t preach against sin enough.”

Here’s why I love it: it reveals so much about the human soul.

I believe sin is a much bigger problem than those who think I don’t preach against it enough.

The well-tuned ear will pick this up in my preaching.

I don’t preach against sin in the way they expect me to for the same reason I don’t preach against mountains.

There’s nothing I can do to move them (Jesus just reminded me that’s not entirely true, see Matt. 17:20, but He said He’d forgive me this one illustration).

I don’t preach against sin because it’s an immovable mountain. It’s too big and there’s too much of it for me to do anything about it.

So, I preach about its reality. I preach about its deceptive nature. I preach that trying to preach against it won’t end it.

It’s a cancer and as much as I hate cancer I’ve made peace with the fact that there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

It requires a bigger solution than my simply being against it.

So, I’ve made peace with it. Only in the sense that in admitting my helplessness to solve it I’ve surrendered to the One who has solved it.

It’s only those with a really small view of sin that are against it in the traditional sense.

I’m against the ants that invade my bathroom. And I know I can solve that problem with a couple little poison traps.

The sin that threatens to destroy me is too big for me to solve.

But I’ve embraced the One who already solve it. And I’ve resolved to try and preach that sin is a bigger problem than I can solve. But Jesus is still bigger.

With man, it’s impossible. But with Jesus all things are possible.

Your sin—and my sin—is a mountain, a boulder, a leviathan that’s crushing you and deepening the chasm between you and God. I’m against it all right, but my posture of resistance is futile if Jesus doesn’t step in front of me. It’s much too heavy.

But He bridged that chasm, He let my sin crush Him instead. So, I’ll keep lifting the solution up high, even if some criticize me for not obsessing about the problem.

Sean Nolan

Sean Nolan

Sean was an atheist until Jesus used his wife, Hannah, to preach the gospel to him. They have four children: Knox, Hazel, Ransom, and JET. He used to play in […]

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