Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cosby on Sin

Gordon Cosby, founder and pastor of Church of the Savior in Washington D.C., articulates what sin is in answer to a question posed by Jeff Bailey as they talked about God's vision for the church.

You talk a lot about the need to "detox from the culture." What do you mean by that?

It's a way of describing sin. Sin has very little meaning to the average modern mind, so I use the expression, "Detoxification from the culture" to describe what we really mean by sin - sin being the inability to transcend ourselves and to live for others. What the Bible really means by sin is that we are addicted to the values of the world, the systems of the world. Jesus said that if we stay with the world's systems, the way the world views life, it leads to death. The realm of God which Jesus embodies and which he describes in the Beatitudes is the way that he says leads to life. We are so addicted to the culture that we don't even know it. We don't even know that we need detoxification. We don't know that we need an intensive recovery program!

From Cutting Edge, Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall 2001.

As eye opening as this metaphor is, we need to remember that the root is spiritual. Although we must acknowledge our participation in this evil and sincerely desire to change, it is neither our will power nor our religiosity that is able to break this addiction. As the old hymn might be re-written, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus, can take away this ‘love for myself at the expense of everyone and everything else.’”
Good comment! This addiction to self is in our genes that we inherited from Adam. Obviously, we can't change our genes in the spirit realm anymore than we can change our genes in the physical realm. However, the Creator has chosen to bring forth a new creation, with new genes, born from above by the Spirit, not from beneath by man with his genes from the old creation.
The question is, will we receive this new creation, which is Christ in us, the genes of Jesus, or will we choose to remain with our old Adamic self-centered genes?
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