jtrhart

The Sin of Unbelief

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Pyromaniacs has a posting on unbelief as a sin. As I read it today, I got to wondering if some may get the wrong impression of this blog’s title, “Help My Unbelief”.

The title comes from Mark 9:24, here is the entire passage from 9:14-24:

And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

This statement is common in the life of every believer. We all believe, but yet unbelief still remains. Not unbelief in who Christ is because this is impossible for the Christian, but rather, unbelief in all satisfaction being found in God. Imagine what our lives would be like if we were completely satisfied in Him? Would we doubt? Would we worry? Would we sin? How would we treat others? What would our attitude be during struggles? What would our work look like? Where would we spend our time? Where would we spend our money?

Unbelief is not something to be taken lightly, as if it weren’t sin. So, this blog exists to help with our unbelief. This includes my own unbelief. I want every aspect of my life and my family’s life to be so saturated in a passion for God that unbelief falls away and is replaced with child-like trust in God and His goodness. All that we need is found in God. And our access to Him is made possible only by the work Christ has done for us on that glorious day when he bore the punishment we deserved.

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  1. I’ve heard it argued that all sin comes from some amount of unbelief. I also heard someone say the converse, which sheds a different light on it: what I really believe, I will act on. So the question becomes: what does what I do suggest that I believe?

  2. Yes, I’ve heard this same argument, that all sin comes from unbelief. I don’t find a lot of evidence for it in Scripture though. The Bible tells us that sin is a law at work within us (Romans 7). If you read through John Owen’s fantastic work, The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin, you will find this topic really opened up. He basically says that indwelling sin attacks us in three ways, going after our minds, affections, and wills. And James 1:14-15 says that we sin when we are tempted and we allow the temptation to win. Owen explains this well by showing how temptation attacks these three areas to try and make us sin.

    So, all that to say that I think that all sin comes from the law of sin itself because of this passage that I missed for so many years during my reading: Genesis 4:7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” We sin because we do not master our sin…

  3. […] random thoughts I have a lot of random thoughts bouncing around in my head today. This blog entry by JTR yesterday, and 2 fascinating lessons from Scripture in church today have stimulated a lot of […]

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