We are fundamentally broken people, and we live in a fundamentally broken world. Few of us have any reservations about proclaiming the world’s brokenness—it’s obvious in today’s headlines—but most people resist the idea of their own sinfulness. In fact, many pointedly reject Christianity as a shaming device. No one wants to carry guilt and shame, so we deny any voice that acknowledges it. We redefine morality and get angry at any religion that suggests we’ve fallen short.
Rejecting the idea of sin won’t get rid of it, though. Even when we try to liberate ourselves, the guilt remains. Deep down, we know the world is broken, and we know we’re part of the problem. Every one of us. How can we get past it?
While the world tries to get past guilt by denying it, Jesus helps us get past it by facing up to it. Go ahead and admit it, he says. All those things you wondered about—those things you hoped were justifiable? Just go ahead and assume they really do fall short of our original design. The world says, “How dare you call me sinful!” and stays enslaved. We say, “Yes, I’m that and more,” and are set free.
That’s really the only way to freedom. Yes, every last one of us is thoroughly wrong about our own inherent goodness. But our value? That’s a different story. Every last one of us is thoroughly loved, forgivable, and designated for freedom. Embrace the truth, then let go of any guilt it produces. The gospel is given to set us free forever.
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