September 15, 2008
The Greatest Burden
At different points in life, everyone carries a burden of one kind or another. Some suffer after the death of a loved one; others face rejection or loneliness. But the burden that impacts an individual more profoundly than any life circumstance is the emotional and spiritual weight that comes from sin.
Biblically, “sin” means an action or thought that deviates from the Lord’s standard of righteousness. Since no one is perfect, sinfulness affects us all; allowed to linger, it will fester and destroy lives.
Iniquity results in separation from the heavenly Father (Ps. 66:18). God is perfect and holy; just as light and darkness are incompatible, His perfection cannot function with our imperfection. This is why He does not answer the prayer of a person living in sin. What’s more, sinners are under God’s wrath (John 3:36) and ultimately sentenced to eternal death, or unending separation from Him. This righteous judgment would leave all humanity hopeless. But the Father, because of His great love, provided a way to Himself.
He sent His Son Jesus as a sacrificial lamb: His blood paid the penalty for every wrong committed throughout history. Christ is the substitute for everyone who trusts Him as Savior. In other words, Jesus is the bridge to God. In John 14:6, He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
God graciously saves those who receive Jesus. Though believers still sin, they are forgiven. Have you allowed the Lord to free you from the weight of iniquity?
Extra column: On the Burden of Sin
“In weighing our sins let us not use a deceitful balance, weighing at our own discretion what we will, and how we will, calling this heavy and that light: but let us use the divine balance of the holy Scriptures, as taken from the treasury of the Lord, and by it weigh every offence, nay, not weigh, but rather recognize what has been already weighed by the Lord.” —Augustine of Hippo
“Sin is not weakness, it is a disease; it is red-handed rebellion against God and the magnitude of that rebellion is expressed by Calvary’s cross.” —Oswald Chambers
“We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin . . . But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of sin. The guilt is washed out not by time but by repentance and the blood of Christ.” —C. S. Lewis
“Looking at the wound of sin will never save anyone. What you must do is look at the remedy.” —D. L. Moody
“By nature I was too blind to know Him, too proud to trust Him, too obstinate to serve Him, too base-minded to love Him.” —John Newton
“Any time we attempt to meet our own needs or accomplish anything without God, we sin and set ourselves up for failure.” —Charles F. Stanley
This Bible combines the wisdom of Scripture with the principles that guide Dr. Stanley's life and empower his ministry. Order your copy.