In this bulletin series we’ve been looking at common objections to Christianity. This week I want to look at the objection that not everyone is a sinner.
When you speak to a non-Christian about Christianity, it shouldn’t take too long for them to cotton on that sin is an important doctrine in Christianity. For if there is no sin, then there is no need for a saviour, which means Jesus Christ died for nothing.
And sometimes people object to Christianity by claiming that they are not a sinner and so have no need for Jesus. In their minds, a sinner is usually a social outcast, a drunkard in the gutter, a prostitute or a criminal in gaol. Whereas they personally have never committed such public shameful sins and so they are not a sinner.
Firstly it is important to note that there are indeed degrees of sinfulness. Certain sins are more serious than others. Jesus himself affirms this: ‘Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19).’ Some commandments are less harmful than others.
But just because you haven’t committed serious sins like murder, it doesn’t mean that you’re not a sinner. Sin is breaking God’s law, and God’s law expects a standard of behaviour that we all fail to achieve. Paul speaks of some sins that are more socially acceptable but are nevertheless sin and make you a sinner: ‘People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:2-5).’ If you take a hard look at that list, anyone honest person will admit that they have broken the majority of them. So to claim that you’re not a sinner is at best naivety, at worst a blatant lie (yet another sin!). Truth is, everyone is a sinner. And that means that everyone is in need of the saviour Jesus to die for their sins.
Are you honest enough to recognise that you are a sinner and so have trusted in Jesus as your saviour?