Do You Avoid “Big” Sins to Avoid Jesus?

At the Advance 09 conference, J.D. Greear referenced this quote from Flannery O’Connor’s novel, Wise Blood:

The way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.

O’Connor well understood the Southern veneer of Christianity, and this quote gets at the heart of what it means to be a Pharisee.  If we find in our hearts that we persistently exalt our own right-ness over against the sins of others, we are avoiding Jesus’ heart-level definitions of sin (Matthew 5:21-30) in order to avoid Jesus’ heart-level application of the cross.  We would rather define sin our way in order to avoid feeling like sinners in God’s way.

Yet, in this we see the ugly Christlessness of our attitudes.  We would rather run to our own false righteousness than to the perfect, blood-bought righteousness of Christ.  We would rather call ourselves right with God than have Jesus do it for us; because, if Jesus has to do it, then we must be ugly sinners like the rest.  You see, it’s not that Pharisees like us take Christ too lightly, it’s that we don’t want Him for a Savior at all.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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