Topic: sin


The Joy of Mourning Sin

One of the great struggles of the Christian life is falling into sin. We profess to follow Jesus, but our moment-to-moment behavior contradicts us. The awareness of our sin can rob us of much of the joy of Jesus, or paralyze us in guilt, even going as far as to […]


Enjoy the Freedom of Your Redemption

You’ll never defeat this. My mind recites this line like a broken record when ugly, deceptive sin threatens to trap me in its patterns. Because God has rescued me from my former way of living, I know I need to stop engaging in behavior that defies his will, and live […]


Three Wise Principles for Dealing with Scandals

Joab, the hotheaded commander of King David’s army, had been out on a raid when Abner came to visit David. When Joab returned and learned that David had received Abner with grace, he was furious, for Abner had led a rebellion against David and killed Joab’s very own brother. So […]


What to Do With Your Shame

I sighed, staring at the mess that had accumulated upstairs. We are in the midst of renovations, and there are unpacked boxes that we have nowhere to put. I said I was annoyed with the mess, but I was actually ashamed — ashamed when people asked to see upstairs or […]


The Cure for Bitterness

Have you ever been wronged by someone, and then found yourself seething with anger and bitterness? In our broken world filled with sin, this is not an uncommon experience. Maybe a friend has betrayed your trust and left you feeling wounded. Maybe someone misunderstood your words and assumed the worst, […]

God's Will

The Only Way You Can Do God’s Will

I can’t. Our culture despises those two little words. Hatred for weakness and inadequacy is why we tell our kids never to say, “I can’t.” It’s why we love the inspiring words of Thomas the Tank Engine: “Yes, you can!” The belief that we’re capable of anything, if we set […]

Let’s Talk About Your Worry

Yep, we’re gonna talk about worry. You’ve heard the command: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… (v. 25) But a good friend of mine told me to always ask, “What’s the therefore there for?” What was said before this to birth Matthew’s imperative? Earlier in […]


What’s Wrong With Self-Condemnation?

It’s been a hard day. You’re finally sitting down on the couch; the lights are dimmed and the curtains are shut for the night. Everything has stilled; and though the house is quiet, it’s not peaceful. As you hug your cup of lukewarm coffee to your chest, the voices begin […]


The True Colors of Perfectionism

I brushed the last of the dirt, sawdust, and fur into the dust pan, gently flicking it along. My back was sore from sweeping, but my desire for spotless floors overcame it. Back aching, I walked over to the window and pushed the curtains open. I turned around to examine […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (April 20, 2018)

If You Love God, Listen to Him: Five Reasons to Read the Bible Every Day (Jimmy Needham, Desiring God) If we want to be about the work of God, we must first be about the word of God. God’s word reveals to us his priorities and values. It shows us what breaks […]


The Seven Bitter Fruits of Sin

I was having breakfast with someone who was witnessing to a colleague at work. “You know, Colin,” he said, “this guy lives like the devil, but he is good at heart.” I said, “Wait a minute. How can he be good at heart if he lives like the devil? Surely, […]


15 Unforgettable Quotes on Holiness from T4G18

Editor’s Note: I attended the Together For the Gospel conference this year in Louisville, Kentucky. I praise God for the men he has raised up to disciple his church all over the world and for their instruction this week, particularly on the topic of holiness. In this article, I am […]


Come to the Light

If we confess our sins, he [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) We are all sinners. Every member of humanity is born dead in their corruption and sin (Ephesians 2:1). Mankind walks harmoniously under the sway […]


The Surprising Solution to Gossip

We are needy people who crave words that bring life,Remember Rachel Lynde, the “town gossip” in Anne of Green Gables? While none of us want her blabbermouth reputation, we often don’t mind listening in as a gossiper shares her juicy news…   “Did you hear the Davises are moving? I […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (April 13, 2018)

Are We Proclaiming a Hell We Don’t Deserve—and a Christ We Do? (Peter Gurry, The Gospel Coalition) No one will ever be punished in hell for being unlike you in some superficial way. No, they will be punished for being so profoundly like you. That’s what is really shocking about hell. […]


The Power of Our Criticism

One weekend, I was on a spiritual high after a church event and couldn’t wait to share my joy and excitement with a friend. Before I had the opportunity to fully express this joy, I was interrupted: “Did you have to pay for the event?” I replied, “Yes.” Her response […]


Four Things People Often Miss About Judas (and What We Can Learn from Them)

James tells us that the “double-minded man [is] unstable in all of his ways” (James 1:8). That is a very good description of Judas. He was double-minded, and in the end, the faith that he once professed he abandoned completely. Here are four things that are commonly overlooked when it […]


Five Ways Exercise Can Become an Idol

Last summer I got a gym membership, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I knew it was good because exercise is good; now I’ve never been stronger or felt better. But in another, more subtle sense, getting a gym membership was dangerous— It exposed obsessive […]

Turn My Eyes from Looking at Worthless Things

The eyes are the lamp of the body. It becomes what they behold. Lured by desire and the passions of the flesh, the eyes look upon secret loves too dark for anyone but their Creator to fully see and know. Prone to wander, how they feel it—the pull to gaze […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (February 2, 2018)

Enneagram: The Road Back to You, Or to Somewhere Else? (Kevin DeYoung, The Gospel Coalition) The spirituality of the Enneagram in The Road Back to You bears little resemblance to biblical spirituality. In the book we meet a man named David who is described as having a “meet Jesus” crisis that […]


Bible Q&A: Do We Confess to One Another, or Ask God for Forgiveness?

Question: Is “confessing” telling someone your sins, or asking God for forgiveness? Answer: When it comes to “confessing sins,” there are examples of both in the Bible. Two Biblical Patterns of Confession For example, David says, I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I […]

sermon clip

Take Heed, Lest You Fall

Video Transcript: There is a story behind David’s sin with Bathsheba. Whenever you hear of a moral calamity, such as we have here, there is always a back story. These things don’t just happen out of the blue at random. The back story in David’s life is clear: “David took […]

Confession in the Bible: Verses About Confessing Your Sins

When many people hear ‘confessing your sin’, they think it reserved for monks in a monastery or of paying penance to God by entering a church confessional. But Scripture teaches us it is an important practice for the life of every Christian. The answers to these questions about confession in the Bible […]

sermon clip

Cleanse Yourself

  Video Notes:  We can apply what we learn from these battles in the Old Testament to the many struggles we face as Christians with sin and temptation in our own lives. Here’s the principle: If you want to do a great work for God, you must deal first with […]

Most Shared

Thank You for Sharing: 10 Most Shared Articles of 2017

10 Most Shared Articles of 2017 1. Seven Biblical Reasons Why Singing Matters (Tom Olson) Our singing is more than a warm-up for the sermon or a filler in the service. Colossians 3:16 is clearly laying out for us that: Singing stands alongside of preaching as one of the two great […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 24, 2017)

A Beautiful Table and a Bitter Heart (Melissa Kruger, The Gospel Coalition) As we quiet our hearts before the Lord, offering up the sacrifice of praise for his goodness in our lives, we prepare our hearts to experience the joy of giving thanks. Counting our blessings instead of counting our […]


Bible Q&A: Why Are We Called to Repentance If We Remain Sinners?

Question: Pastors tell us to repent, but then they also say that we all sin.  So, which is it – repent or sin? Answer: That is a very good question! Notice what the apostle John says: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 10, 2017)

Do You Excuse Your Own Sin? (Don Straka, Desiring God) Instead of owning our sin, we excuse it. Instead of killing sin, we explain it away. Our sins become nothing worse, on our minds, than the kind of errors kids make playing soccer. You Are Not Too Young (Jaquelle Crowe, Revive Our […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 3, 2017)

The Pastor and Pathological Self Criticism (Jonathan Parnell, The Gospel Coalition) The greatest victory ever known was accomplished by the greatest humiliation ever seen of the greatest man to ever live. Because that’s how God designed it. Jesus Calling: How Well Are You Listening  (J.A. Medders, Desiring God) Today, we can hear […]

Defeating Sin

To Defeat Your Sin, Look at Jesus

Strategies abound for dealing with sin. There are mountains of books to help us develop habits to stop lying, beat various addictions, control our thoughts, grow in generosity, or develop contentedness. A quick Google search will reveal list upon list of verses about sexual purity, anger, worry, unbelief, idolatry, business […]

Prideful Heart

Seven Symptoms of a Prideful Heart

Pride is universal—something we all deal with, as ancient as Adam and as relevant as the morning news. Yet we don’t always see our own pride, which weaves like weeds around our lives. Oh, we see it in the obvious ways, but we can be blind to its deceptive, subversive […]

Fighting Sin

A Three-Step Strategy for Fighting Sin

As you come to know God better, you will become more aware of your sin. Suppose you go to the movies. While you are watching the film, you work your way through a bucket of popcorn drizzled with melted butter. When you come out, you realize that there are butter […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (October 6, 2017)

Where Is God in a Mass Shooting? (Russell Moore, Russell Moore) Christians sometimes suppose that our non-Christian friends and neighbors want to hear a detailed explanation, to justify God in light of such horror. The Bible doesn’t give us easy answers. Look Up: Trading Introspection for Awe (Jared Mellinger, Desiring God) Looking […]


Bible Q&A: Do I Need to Confess My Sins to Other Believers?

Question: I need help. I want to confess my sins, but I don’t know who to confess them to. Do I just need to confess to God, or does he ask that we confess to others? I’m embarrassed of my sins, and I don’t know who to talk to about them. Answer: The […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (September 8, 2017)

Rosaria Butterfield: “Why I Signed the Nashville Statement” (Rosaria Butterfield, Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) Conversion to Christ did not initially change my sexual attraction for women. What conversion did change immediately was my heart and mind….The gospel gave me a light that was ruinous. It ruined me for […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (August 30, 2017)

From the Flooded Grounds of Houston (J. A. Medders, The Gospel Coalition) When I hear more rain on my back patio, my heart aches. Our city is sinking. I shake my head in disbelief as rain and sirens blare around us. As I tell my kids to wear their helmets during […]

kill sin

20 Practical Ways To Kill Sin Every Day

Sin perplexes us. We love it, and we hate it. We embrace it, and we war against it. We act on it, yet we don’t always understand why. Sin is alluring and confusing, pleasurable and destructive. The redeemed heart has been set free from sin’s power, yet still wars with […]


Put Jealousy to Death

It’s in the tightening of your chest, the bile in your throat, and the knot in your stomach. It flashes in lightning fast, infecting whatever happiness or hope you feel. Every child knows it. Every adult knows it. It’s that fierce, familiar green monster – Jealousy. We envy someone else: […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (July 27, 2017)

The Danger of Drifting Away (John Piper, Precept Ministries) One mark of Christian authenticity is discontentment with anything less than “all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Coasting is not discipleship. Drifting in self-contentment is not like basking in the pool of security, but like floating, fast asleep, toward the falls. […]

fight Comparison

Seven Habits to Help You Fight Comparison

“If only” are two of the deadliest words in a Christian’s vocabulary. If only I looked like her. If only I had as much money as him. If only my kids were as well-behaved as theirs. If only I could speak, work, cook, travel, think, do, be like someone else. […]

The Gospel Is More Powerful Than You Think

A while back, I was sitting in a weekend class when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the news about the bombings and shootings in Paris. During our dinner break, I sat down at a McDonalds and watched CNN as they reported on the ongoing hostage crises in […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (July 13, 2017)

Evaluating Our Expectations: The American Dream vs. a Christian’s Hope (Melissa Kruger, Wit’s End) The American Dream might best be summed up as the possibility for a life of freedom, personal happiness, material comfort, and lasting fulfillment (all nicely enclosed in a white picket fence)… In contrast to our typical image […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 29, 2017)

Why Didn’t God Send Jesus Right After Adam and Eve Sinned? (Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries) It’s an amazing and wonderful thing to realize that God devised His plan, created us, and is perfectly executing the plan, so that we could enjoy Him. He was infinitely satisfied within Himself, the Godhead, before […]


The Three Sins Behind Your Discontent

Hell is a place of perpetual discontent. People in hell are always angry and never at peace, always frustrated and never satisfied. That is surely the significance of our Lord’s words about “gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). There are three sins that lie behind discontent—pride, […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (June 8, 2017)

Morning Bible Reading and Manna for Today (Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Sayable) My daily routine (right now) looks like this…Take what helps you, leave what doesn’t. Why Do We Lie? (Ryan Reeves, The Gospel Coalition) We are all familiar with lying. Each of us has told a lie. But what is the […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (May 25, 2017)

Why Do Churches Wound Their Pastors? (Dan Doriani, The Gospel Coalition) Why does the church freely, cruelly criticize its pastors for falling short of perfection? Why do we forget that Jesus alone is perfect, that Jesus alone redeems? Five things to pray after the Manchester attack (Rachel Jones, The Good Book Company) […]

Good Shepherd

Forsake Sin by Following the Good Shepherd

Seeing the people, [Jesus] felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36, NASB) Brothers and sisters, the fight against sin feels prolonged and arduous in this life—doesn’t it? We grow in one area, only to meet the next depravity in ourselves […]


Three Ways God Deals with Your Shame

I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:10) Moments after God spoke his good creation into being, Adam spoke to God the first declaration of shame. Fear, embarrassment at being exposed, hiding. Moments later, accusing […]


How to Mourn Over Your Sins

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) Spiritual mourning is laden with blessing, and we are to go after it and get as much of it in our lives as we possibly can. The more you know of this mourning, the more joy you will […]

Key Connections

Key Connections (November 16, 2016)

Walking with Our Children through Suffering (Sarah Walton, Set Apart) What do we do when suffering strikes in our kid’s lives? How do we prepare our children for a world that involves disappointment, pain, and loss? 3 Motivations to Hate Sin (Erik Raymond, The Gospel Coalition) Until sin is actually hated […]

the heart is deceitful above all things

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) Being born this sort of person, it’s no wonder my natural motivations are all wrong. In college, I led worship for our Christian fellowship group. One night, a guest speaker was sitting next to […]

Sexual Immorality

Three Steps to Address Sexual Immorality

My dress matched my eyes and my hair was just right. My lipstick was fresh, and I slipped on my heels as I walked out the door. I was hoping that he liked what he saw. This may sound like I was getting ready for a date, but in reality, […]


Of Serial Killers, Hidden Sins, and Forgiveness in Christ

“How can you not know your own father was a serial killer?” That question fueled the lunchtime discussion between my coworkers and me. A coworker’s friend met the daughter of a famous serial killer. The killer’s daughter confessed to having no idea that her father was regularly killing people during […]


When Sin Doesn’t Wash Away So Easily

Have you ever wished that God would make it so you could never sin again? Maybe there is a sin in your life that you keep coming back to, and you feel like you will never break free from its tight grip. You know you are truly saved, but feel that […]

just as I am

Just As I Am

I struggle with the desire to impress people. I want to be the great musician, the great theologian, the great scholar. I want to say the thing that will unify the Church. I want a platform that will enable me to reach millions of people all around the globe. And […]

calm the storms

Jesus Didn’t Come to Calm the Storms

What if Jesus hadn’t calmed the storm? It is one of the most beloved stories in the Bible, found in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee when a storm rolls in. The waves threaten to sink the boat. Jesus is asleep. Asleep! How can […]

alive in Christ

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

Where are you from? How did you grow up? Tell me about your family. Where does Jesus play into all of this?   These are the probing questions and seeking statements that fill up most of my time as of late. I recently moved to Georgia, where I have become the lead […]

sinful nature

10 Cravings of the Sinful Nature

What are the cravings of the sinful nature? What kinds of strong desire does the sinful nature produce? What does the intense longing that comes from your sinful nature look like? Here are 10 examples. You’ll recognize them immediately. 1.  When you are blessed, the sinful nature produces pride: The […]


The Key to Thinking Differently

The human brain is arguably one of the most complex organisms that God has ever designed. Did you know: The human brain is composed of approximately 78% water, 10% lipids, 8% protein, 1% carbohydrates, 2% soluble organics, 1% inorganic salt? From the time of birth, a baby’s brain will grow […]

Battling Sin with the Gospel

What does it mean to apply the gospel to my life? Like right now, as I am trying to get my kids out the door, and I struggle to be patient with them. What does the gospel have to say to my situation in this moment? Like many Christians, I […]

about God

What Dad Taught Me About God

“Oh no. Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. What am I going to do?” I looked down at the shattered glass from my dad’s bookcase. His dad, my grandfather, had built it by hand. It was a beautiful piece of furniture, and it held many of my parents’ oldest, […]


When Freedom Is Actually Slavery

In many ways and on various holidays, our nation celebrates freedom. Freedom to worship God in public places without restrictions, freedom to believe various worldviews, freedom of speech, freedom to vote and participate in democracy – the list goes on and on. Praise God for the United States of America, […]

How God Awakens the Conscience

Joseph was the dearly loved son of his father, Jacob. His brothers hated him for this, so they threw him in a pit, sold him to traders who took him to Egypt, and told their father he was eaten by a fierce animal (Genesis 37). But God blessed Joseph and […]

Are You Too Focused on Other People’s Flaws?

I think pretty highly of myself. It’s amazing, from my lofty perspective, just how intelligent and witty and gracious I am, how enjoyable a person I am to be around. And holy. Of course God wants me in his kingdom – why wouldn’t he? Arrogance has got to be one […]

confronting sin

Why Confronting Sin is an Act of Compassion

I made a mistake when I came home from the 7:30 am Easter service. After celebrating the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and feeling the joy of that occasion, I ruined it by watching “Face the Nation.” This past weekend’s topic was, as you’d expect, the Religious Freedom […]

Behold the Lamb john 1:29

How Sin Leaves Us Needing the Intervention of God

Sin runs in the blood; grace does not. Many churches are actively erasing this truth.  Confession of sin is quietly dropped from worship services.  Massive tracts of Scripture that repeat this foundational truth are silently glossed over.  There is an active movement today to rewrite the great hymns and erase […]

A Prayer for Those Battling Sin

Puritan theologian John Owen wrote the classic work The Mortification of Sin in 1656 to analyze and apply what Paul meant in Romans 8:13 when he said, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you “put to death the deeds of the body, […]

What Football Can Teach Us About Battling Sin

The Christian life is a life filled with many battles and the battle against sin is always with us. It’s a long warfare. Every time you say “Yes” to a sin, you increase its power in your life and you make the next temptation harder.  It takes a stronger position. You […]

Three Reasons Why People Reject God | Video

In his recent sermon titled Hidden Hatred in the Human Heart, Pastor Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) shared three reasons that people reject Jesus Christ. Below is a video snapshot explaining why Christ is a stumbling block to many (full text below). People stumble over Christ’s teaching about: 1. His unique glory […]

What is Sin? | Video

Try to picture this man: He claims to have faith, but he has no deeds (James 2:14).  He says he is a believer.  He talks about faith in Christ.  He claims to be a Christian.  But there isn’t anything distinctively Christ-like about his behavior.  Nothing makes his life obviously different from […]