Sin: Out There, In Here

Zacharias Ursinus - Primary author of the
Heidelberg Catechism
Posted at The Reformed Reader:

Often when we talk about sin and evil, we mention names and events like Hitler, Stalin, concentration camps, and other mass killings. These are for sure real examples of brutal wickedness. But we as Americans can’t just point overseas and stop there. Evil and wickedness hit closer to home. I was reminded of this when reading Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup – a man who was free, but kidnapped and forced into slavery. Slavery in the United States is an example of dark evil that ranks up there with other heinous atrocities in the world. On top of this, we can think of the cruel way many Americans treated native Americans in the 19th century westward expansion. Still more, we just need to think of abortion and the various ways helpless babies are brutally killed in staggering numbers. When we want to give examples of sin and evil, we don’t have to point overseas; it hits much closer to home. We walk on the same ground upon which these evils took (and are taking) place.

Even closer to home, the Bible says our own hearts are deceitful, evil, and wicked (Gen. 6:5, Ecc. 9:3, Jer. 17:9, Rom. 3:10-20, etc). Our minds, tongues, and deeds have a sinful bent and track record. God’s law shows us this sin of ours (Rom. 3:20). No one can obey God’s law perfectly. A question comes up: Why does God emphasize his commands so much in Scripture? Why does he instruct his people to know his law? The Heidelberg Catechism answers these questions well: ...

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