Is Lack of Satisfaction in Christ the Root of All Sin?
|Copyright © 2003 - All rights retained by author|
|Written by: C. W. Booth|
Is Lack of Satisfaction in Christ the Root Cause of Sin?
Several times within the past year I have heard different preachers give the admonition that "All sin is a result of not being satisfied enough with Christ." As surprising as the admonition itself is, it is always presented without benefit of a single Scripture reference from which one may readily see how the presumptive statement is derived.
The assumption that "all sin is a result of not being satisfied enough with Christ" has no Scriptural equivalent. However, if one assumes that James 1:14,15 is correct when it says that all sin is the result of our own lust, we can begin to see where some might be tempted to derive the assertion about satisfaction.
Permit me to explain. If we believe that James is right and all sin is a result of lust, and then we assume that lust is merely the negation of being satisfied in Christ, then we can see how logic can be used to build the phrase that "all sin is a result of not being satisfied enough with Christ."
Such an exercise in logic, instead of providing us with something useful in our Christian fight against sin actually provides us with little of practical use and also creates a logical contradiction.
Satisfaction is the genuine result of being loved by God. Satisfaction is me-focused. Christ provides "me" with satisfaction. He provided me with salvation as a free gift. He provided me with a renewed spirit. He provided me with satisfaction. I did nothing. Therefore, if I sin because I lack satisfaction, is that my shortcoming or Christís? What exactly can be done with the notion that I am "lacking satisfaction" since I did nothing to win that satisfaction in the first place?
On the contrary, God tells us we actually sin because we lust (James 1). How can one use that information? Just as James says, by recognizing that the logical outcome of lust (illicit desire) is sin, we can fight the temptation by reminding ourselves that if we fail to overcome the lust, we will disappoint God (Ephesians 4:30). This is love--concern for others.
Love is other-focused. Love is understanding that our sin grieves God, and this in turn will invoke our guilty consciences. Love is the greatest of Godís commandments (Matthew 22:38). If we love God, we will obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:20, John 14:15). We love Him because He first loved us and gave His life for us (1 John 4:19). Therefore, we obey Him and conquer sin because we do not wish to disappoint the One we love.
We also know that the consequence of sin is guilt, and potentially, so is punitive discipline (1 Timothy 1:19). Such discipline is designed to lead us to sorrow, which in turn leads us to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Why does sorrow do this? Because we come to realize that the One who first loved us, and the One whom we love, has been grieved.
It is my personal belief that this is why we find no mention in the Bible of sin being caused by a "lack of satisfaction." Sin is a result of our lust. Love for our Lord is the antidote to our lust. With every temptation comes a means of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). That escape is remembering our love for God and the grief we will cause Him, and to remember that every sin carries with it the fear of discipline. Fortunately for us, His creatures, God is faithful and will forgive us our sins when we repent (1 John 1:8).