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9/19/13 at 05:02 PM 0 Comments

12 Ways Sin Helps Us Understand the Bible

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Photo: Flickr/Marcin Wichary - Creative Commons

By David Murray

Is there any greater help to interpreting and understanding the Bible than a deep sense of one’s own sin?

1. When I feel my sinfulness, I am much more motivated to search the Scriptures for grace to help in my time of need.

2. When I am convicted of my sin, I doubt my own wisdom and rely more upon the Holy Spirit.

3. When I see my sin, I understand the character of God better – His frightening holiness and His refreshing love.

4. When I’m confronted with my sinful inability, I have no doubts about my need of sovereign electing grace.

5. When I grasp how bad my best deeds are, salvation by faith without works becomes fascinating and utterly compelling.

6. When I’m utterly condemned, all new perspectives on justification look ridiculous and I get a far deeper insight into the old but ever new perspective of justification by faith alone.

7. When I mourn my spiritual deadness, the resurrection of Christ is not only a doctrine but my only source of life.

8. When I sense my immeasurable guilt, I have no difficulty whatsoever in grasping the existence and eternality of hell.

9. When I absorb the enormity of my enmity, substitution is no longer a theory of the atonement but my only and enthralling hope.

10. When I see the untrustworthiness of my heart and mind, the inerrancy of Scripture becomes a matter of life or death.

11. When I perceive the deceitfulness of my own heart, I understand so much better how to minister the Word to other similar hearts.

12. When I behold the ugliness and vileness of my sin, my eyes are opened to behold more of the glory and beauty of Christ.

A deep sense of sin gives deep insights into the deep things of the Bible.


David Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, blogs at Head Heart Hand, and is author of the books Christians Get Depressed Too and How Sermons Work.

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