Some people believe that we are basically good people, but this is neither true to Scripture nor to human experience. None of us is perfect. And the fault is not in our stars, not in our family, not in our society, not where we were born or how we were raised. Our problem resides in our heart.

Sin is not just having an attitude of disobedience, or having a flaw or a weakness, or making a mistake every once in a while. Sin has a fundamental and ongoing impact on our words, actions, attitudes, thoughts, character and personality. Just as one drop of dye colors an entire glass, so sin permeates every aspect of our lives. When we compare ourselves with others we may not get off too badly, but before a holy God, we are clearly unrighteous.

Our natural inclination is to dethrone God and put ourselves on the throne of our lives. We prefer to do our own thing. God is left out of our decision-making. God is not our priority. We don’t want God directing our life—that is, as long as things are going well. When things go wrong, we panic and we cry out to God to help us.

Our society wants to redefine sin. It wants to deny sin, to marginalize it. Some preachers don’t even mention sin as it makes people feel bad. But it is an undeniable truth. Romans 3:23 sums it up: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Why is it important to understand all this about sin? Because we need to understand that we cannot save ourselves. Today’s philosophies are all about self-actualization, believing in yourself, solving your own problems, looking within yourself and striving for self-achievement. But in reality we can’t do anything to justify ourselves.

Once we see our sin as God sees it, we understand our predicament—and our need for salvation. In His grace, God has provided a divine solution in Jesus Christ—a Savior to rescue us.

This is the glorious message of hope which we celebrate this month during Christmas. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

John Munro

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