Episode 100: Let’s Party! (and talk about sin)
By the grace of God and lots of hard work, indoubt has made it to 100 episodes. We couldn’t be more grateful for all those who’ve been on the show and all those who’ve listened. We hope you’ll celebrate with us! This week on the show we feature Isaac, Brittney, and Jake (the original guestcast participants), along with a few special guests, as they celebrate and talk about a theological subject that needs some clarification today – sin. Consider this week’s episode a “special edition.”
Interested in knowing Isaac, Jake, and Brittney’s favourite episodes since we started in January 2016? Here they are:
*Below is an edited transcription of the audio conversation.
Hey. Welcome to indoubt! My name is Isaac, and with me today are two very, very special guests. Firstly, we have the delightful Brittney, and secondly, but not less important obviously is …
Just as delightful.
Just as delightful, is Jake.
Hey, guys. How you doing?
That’s awesome. So, the reason why we’re doing this is because … Drum roll please.
indoubt has, by the grace of God and lots of hard work, reached 100 episodes.
We are gonna put in one of those fake cheering-
Are we really?
Yeah, we’ll do that.
That’s good – and some horns, too.
Yeah, exactly. 100%.
Today’s episode is less of a product or resource in the sense that you might listen to a couple weeks ago when we talk about God’s omniscience and you listen to it, sort of a timeless episode. It’s less of that and just more of a conversation, more of a celebratory kind of remembrance in all these different things. In fact, we’re going to be making a couple of calls throughout the show to have some more conversations with people as well.
To all of our listeners, we couldn’t have got to 100 episodes without you, so thank you so, so much. It means a lot.
Anyways, before we talk about something at least of a little bit of substance, I’m interested to hear first how you guys have been doing. Britt, I mean, you and I are married if people didn’t know that, but hey, for those who don’t know, what have you been up to, how’s it going?
Well, I think, I don’t want to speak for Jake, but I’m pretty sure last time we were both on here we were both in school, and now we are not. So that’s a good feeling.
That’s good, what did you graduate with?
I have my bachelor of arts in English literature.
Awesome. Jake, what’s up?
A lot of stuff, yeah. I think last time I was on, I just started doing some youth stuff. But I’m in full-time youth and young adult’s pastoring right now. I took a semester off, I was going to TWU, but just to get things going took a semester off which has been nice actually, just to focus on some pastoral stuff.
But it’s been really good, no, I’m really enjoying it.
Oh that’s awesome, that’s good. I’m also going to make a special guest call right now, we’re going to call and just say, “Hey,” to a special guest.
Hey, Sean. How’s it going?
Sean, as you know, we are recording our 100th episode of indoubt and you have been obviously a huge aspect, part of indoubt. You were actually one of the first people to actually say, “Hey, we should do a podcast,” when we were working together. So what do you have to say about the 100th episode of indoubt?
I would have to say that perseverance is king, and I’m just super stoked that it’s made it this far. And for everybody listening, thank you for listening and for all the support because obviously it doesn’t happen without people listening, so to all the listeners who keep tuning in, thanks so much.
Well, thanks Sean, so much, and we’ll talk to you soon, all right?
Great, have a good one.
The special guest, right?
I miss Sean.
I was surprised!
Yeah, were you surprised?
I was. I wasn’t expecting that.
Oh good. That’s awesome.
All right, If you’re listening for the very first time maybe on one of the radio stations across Canada, I think we’re on, over 11 now? 11 or more, something like that. And you have no idea what indoubt is;
indoubt is a young adult ministry that seeks to bring the gospel to the relevant issues of life and faith that we all go through every single day, to cultivate conversation.
You know, this is kind of obvious, but we’ve had now 100, well I guess 99, this is the 100th conversation, with over 65 different guests from around the world talking about subjects ranging from worldviews, dating, pornography, sexual identity, marijuana, church history, music and art, many others as well. Now you can access all of these 30 minute conversations for free. Simply subscribe to our show on iTunes, or your favorite podcast player, or click episodes at the top of the page at indoubt.ca if you live in Canada, or indoubt.com if you live in the States.
You guys both use iPhone’s right?
You know it.
Okay, whoa. That was assertive.
That was very assertive-
Alright, well to those that use Androids as well, we definitely have indoubt on the Google Play Store, on Tunein radio or whatever podcast-
… you don’t even care about technology like that, you-
I only care … this is the only piece of technology I actually care about.
And suddenly this becomes very heated about something.
Oh wow, it does, it gets very heated. All right, well we’re not going to talk about the differences between Mac and PC, or Apple and Windows because I just don’t think any of us are actually that qualified to be honest.
Speak for yourself Isaac.
Oh wow, okay, I see.
Alright, so I was thinking about what topic would be most appropriate when considering our 100th episode of indoubt, and all I could think about was sin. Seriously.
Always on your mind.
It’s always on my mind, and here’s why though. It might come across a little funny, but here’s why and it makes sense when you consider the point of the ministry of indoubt. Like I just said, indoubt seeks to bring the gospel to issues in life that young adults face. So we bring the gospel into topics so we can learn how to better understand them, to apply truth to them, navigate our lives properly in regards to those topics.
Now, knowing the true gospel obviously is essential to this. To bring the gospel you have to know the gospel. indoubt would not work unless we knew the gospel well, so when we think of the gospel, what aspect seems most neglected and, or missing and I would think at least a part of it is sin.
I think the essence is this, without a true understanding of sin, just sin, we have no true understanding of the gospel.
So let’s just flesh this out. What is sin?
Wow, that’s a big question.
I guess sin is the natural state of our hearts when we’re born. We’re naturally in a state of sin.
Our hearts are dark, we’re completely helpless without God and it’s humankind’s biggest problem.
I think it’s anything that takes away the glory from God and shines it on man.
It’s a tough one, because I think there’s a big difference between how you can sort of explain sin to an already Christian and a non-Christian because if … Britt, I think you’re right, like I think that’s true. But if I went to a non-Christian and they asked me, “What is sin?” And I said that it’s anything that takes away the glory from God, how would they gauge that? I don’t know.
If I was to go up to someone who didn’t know Jesus or anything about Christianity at all, you’d probably have to be pretty simple with it. I don’t want to say, “It’s just bad stuff,” but I think we all do have some sort of natural moral compass, so you can start with that as well, I think. But what I would say, from a Christian’s point of view, I think it is like Britt was definitely saying, that’s absolutely true and a good way to see it. But I also think it’s a thing that like, God has this complete sort of repulsion towards, you know? These disgusting things towards God, and I think not enough do we understand the depths of sin and how much it displeases God as well.
Yeah, exactly. I think it’s interesting. I’ve heard it said in Bible college that the core of sin, is unbelief. So when you consider Eve’s conversation with the serpent, the serpent comes up and, you know, Eve says, “No, no, God said we can’t eat this fruit,” and then he says, “No, no, that’s not what God said. If you actually eat this fruit, your eyes will be opened and you’ll be able to see good and evil,” and then she’s like, “Oh, okay. I understand that now.”
Really what was sin there, was she disbelieved God’s original words and she believed Satan’s words.
When we think of sin as unbelief, how does that sit with you guys to think of it that way?
I think it’s an interesting point of view, I definitely get something from that. When I look at it though, I think in some way at the core of sin is idolatry.
I think it’s just valuing things more than you value God.
Because we always come to that decision, unless it’s just like a little thing that you wouldn’t even think about or is like sort of an unconscious sort of sinful thing.
But for something that’s not, you always weigh that decision unless you’re forced into it I guess. But when it’s not, you always weigh the decision of “What do I value more? Do I value this more? Or do I value that more?”
And then we kind of put that thing on a pedestal once we give that value to it, and idolize it.
And lots of times that’s ourselves. Because I think it says literally there, that Eve saw that the tree, and that it was beautiful to her eyes, and it was good for food, and she’s maybe not necessarily idolizing the fruit, but she’s idolizing what the fruit will do to her. And she’s treasuring herself more than treasuring God. I think that’s a good way to put it for sure.
Okay, so when we think of the gospel though, there seems to be, especially amongst lots of millennials today, a de-emphasis of sin by like, especially people that call themselves Christians, and emphasis on God’s grace, and God’s love, which obviously we need to emphasize.
But why do you think it is that so many of us sort of, suppress the true fact that we are in sin, and that we still do sin?
Yeah, I think a big part of it is because the doctrine of sin is offensive, and people don’t want to hear that they are innately sinful, that they are born into sin. People want to believe that humanity has good within, and in … yeah, I mean
it really boils down to pride, human pride and just our confidence in what man can do.
Yeah, so I think that’s a big part of it. We have a hard time accepting the reality that we are nothing without God, that we have no good within us without God. Because we can be morally good, we can be kind and say nice things, like we have that ability whether you’re a believer or not a believer. But, that’s not our natural condition to do those things.
Okay, but, if someone’s listening and they … we’re telling them that they’re innately sinful, then how do they account for the good things that they maybe have done, and the good things that they see people, even non-Christians do? Are those things good?
I think it’s like … I don’t know, I think we can get pretty philosophical because you have to define, like, what is good, and like … and humans are moral beings, they are moral, but that doesn’t take away from our natural state. I think that the line is blurred, people don’t understand the difference. They just think, “Oh, moral behavior is what … moral behavior is the evidence that Jesus is in me,” kind of a thing, or, that “I’m a Christian,” or, that “I’m a good person, because I can do good things.”
Isaac, I like what you said earlier, just about the gospel, like what are they focused on in the gospel, and you’re talking about grace and all that sort of thing, and I think that’s a huge issue. I think we sort of put the outpouring of the gospel as the foundation of the gospel, and I’ll try to explain that because that sounds really weird and vague. What I mean is that at the foundation of the gospel, at the center of it, is God and God’s glorification.
What we love to focus on as Christians is “What does the gospel do for me? What do I get out of this deal? What do I get out of this relationship? I’m saved, my sin is gone.”
Whatever, all this sort of stuff, which isn’t not true.
But that’s just outworking of the gospel and I think the issue we have with sin, is that we first don’t have that foundation of God and God’s glorification, and who God is to me, and who He is just in general because I think if we have a firm idea of the glory of God and how amazing He is, and how much we love Him for the sake of Him, then you really understand the depth of your sin. But if you don’t, then it’s … I just don’t think it’s as pertinent to you of an issue.
And you know what, it’s interesting Britt, when you were talking too, it make me think. At the very beginning you said that sin is anything that takes away the glory from God, and when we think of good and evil in the world, ultimately what is actually good, like wholly good, is anything that gives God glory.
So sure, I can be kind to someone. I can witness atheists, and muslims, and Sikh’s, and whoever, do really good things. Build hospitals, and save people, and all these different … like save people from like, let’s say getting hit by a bus, pushing them out of the way or something like that. You know? I can witness all those things, but the reality is, that’s still not wholly good, it’s still not giving God the glory. It’s either just giving themselves glory, or you know, just helping someone for the help of that. Do you know what I mean?
So I think when we think of sin, it’s doing any of those things and not considering the glory of God. I want to move on to a question though, which I think is interesting, and I think it’s important especially at this time.
Since we as Christians are saved from our sin, because we are, that’s what the gospel is, we’re saved from the punishment of our sin, should we consider ourselves sinners? I think that’s a good question to ask, right?
Do we endanger our thinking and the gospel if we deny that we’re sinners? Or do we endanger our thinking in the gospel if we stick with saying that we are sinners?
I just always flip back to Romans because Paul is all about this, but he doesn’t really give you a straight answer either. He kind of says both.
“You’re dead to sin, you’re alive in Christ, you’re a new creation, so don’t live as a slave to sin, don’t consider yourself a slave to sin.” And yet if we don’t acknowledge that at the core we are sinful and it’s only by the grace of God that helps us be good, or helps us love him, then it’s … if we don’t acknowledge that, then yeah, we’ve put all the emphasis on ourselves again and on our power to do good and to love God on our own.
So you’re kind of saying it’s almost like we have to have the two realities there.
I think so.
Yeah I think I agree with that, and I think most of the language, at least in Scripture, is usually talking about how you’re free from sin, or you’re not a slave to sin and that sort of stuff, but I don’t think there’s a lot of language of, “You don’t sin anymore.”
There’s a call, I think there’s a call to go and not sin, but I also think at some point, we alienate ourselves. If I was to go around and not … because I do sin, so like I don’t know how much of a decision to make because I know I do.
In some way, and I want to be able to talk to people about my sin, that I do sin. In my pastoring, all that sort of stuff, because I want to relate to people who are Christian or non-Christian in the same way, like what you were speaking about. I think it’s Bernard of Clairvaux, which sounds like a very boring author guy, but he’s great.
Really long time ago, but he’s awesome and he has this writing and I forget what it’s on, but I remember this point, I remember this point and it always sticks with me. It was him or either Augustine, but I remember the point that’s all that matters!
And the point was, that you need to balance grace and truth in your life, because you need to taste that grace to know that you’re forgiven and so you’re not weighed down by the, just this incredible weight of your sin to be crushed by it, but you need to temper that with truth all the time and understand why you need that grace, or we can become so incredibly prideful and think, “I can do anything I want.”
Sure. That’s great, that’s a great perspective.
Let’s call a pastor. Let’s ask a pastor. Pastor Doug Dunbar has been on the show before, he’s one of our first guests, he’s a good friend of mine, he’s just a great guy. He’s got his masters, just is a super smart guy who loves Jesus. Let’s just give him a call, and let’s see what he has to say about this question.
This is North Valley, Doug speaking.
Hey Doug! It’s Isaac here.
So we’re talking about sin, and this is a question that we’re, yeah, just considering we want to get some other peoples perspectives on it, so here’s a question. Just give us your thoughts.
Since we as Christians are saved from our sin, should we still consider ourselves sinners? Do we sort of endanger the gospel if we deny we’re sinners, or do we endanger the gospel if we stick with saying that we are sinners? What are your thoughts on this?
I think the first thought I had on this was that our cultural narrative so emphasizes how we define ourselves, or identify ourselves that the question really starts with, who is the ultimate authority in this question? And this question kind of pushes us to the fineness I think, or struggle with the question reveals a struggle intention of definitive authority, what authority am I going to appeal to, to define myself? And you know, thinking biblically first on this, John 1:8 comes to mind. If we say we have no sin, then we deceive ourselves and that’s a bad thing. You know?
So thinking through this, to what authority will I define who I am, and where I stand in relation to God and sin? Or will I submit to God’s view on this? And if we go to places like Ephesians 1:3-14, 5:8-20, Colossians 3:1-17, Galatians 3:24 to 4:7, I see Paul saying over and over again,
we have to redefine ourselves based on what God has done for us in Christ.
That’s going to be mean reforming our conduct, and changing how we live in response to new reality of the life that God gives us. But I think a key question is
“How deeply am I convinced that God’s love for me is eternally secure because of Jesus’s work and not my performance?”
Yeah. That’s so good.
That in my rebellion and my sin, God loves me first that He sacrificed for me first, that He seeks me first. And I was looking at Romans 5-6, and in Romans 5:6-11 I just highlighted, “While we were powerless, Christ died. While we were still sinners, Christ died. While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled through the death of His son, and now through His life we have now received reconciliation.” And all of that sets up in Chapter six where Paul says, “In the same way, count yourself. Calculate, balance the books, it’s an accounting term, count yourself dead to sin, alive to God in Christ and don’t let sin reign in your mortal bodies.” And then that leads into Romans 7 where Paul’s going,
“Man my experience is that this is always a struggle. I want to do the good stuff, but evil’s right there with me.”
And this is a challenge, an ongoing challenge that we have and yet, it’s got to give away to Romans eight where you’re going, “Man, am I really going to live into the fact that I am co-heir with Christ, that the spirit of Christ lives in me?”
And that’s going to change everything and how I define myself.
Yeah, awesome. Doug, thank you so much for that answer and yeah we hope to talk to you again soon. All right, talk to you later.
Okay. Awesome, thanks. Bye.
Awesome. Man, that guy …
That was good.
You know, that was the Bible. I think that’s the important thing.
We have one more person to call, we’re going to call Steve Kim, he works at Apologetics Canada, and we want to see what he has to say as well, so I’ll give him a call.
Hey Steve, this is Isaac, how you doing?
Not too bad, how are you?
Very good, I’m here with Jake and Brittany as well, we’re celebrating the 100th episode of indoubt.
Oh, wow. Congratulations.
Thanks so much. I was telling listeners as well that you’ve been on the show before, but anyways, I have a question to ask you since we’re talking about this topic of sin. So here’s the question, just want to get your thoughts and views on it.
Since we as Christians are saved from our sin, should we still consider ourselves sinners? Do we endanger the gospel if we deny we’re sinners, or do we endanger the gospel if we stick with saying that we’re sinners. What are your thoughts?
I think this is where it’s really important to get a clear understanding of what sin is. There is a couple different ways in which we can understand the word sin. The one is the one that we are kind of familiar with, there are the individual acts of sin, like murder, rape, or adultery and things like that. And certainly those are acts of sin, and then there is the deeper sense of the word sin, which is sort of our inner disposition, so our orientation. Is it, are we inwardly focused, or are we God-wardly focused and so …
For example, if you have a car that is backfiring, the backfiring is the symptomatic of the engine that is off. So, it’s like that. How this works into this question, is that … For example, if you look at the New Testament over and over again, you see the early church going through problems. Like the church in Corinth, my goodness, there’s division and you know, a man having sexual relations with his mother-in-law, or something like that, and then boasting about it. While these people are saved in the sense that Jesus saved them, so in the legal sense, they’re not sinners.
But we are still … we’re still being sanctified and so we have this old nature that’s … sorry, not old nature, we still have this old habit that is lingering, right?
Peter talks about us being sanctified and things like that, in his letter he calls all Christians to become holy, referring back to Leviticus where God says, “Be holy, as I am holy,” and so there is that old habit, so we have been saved yes, we have been justified legally, so there is that sense of it, but existentially speaking,
yes, we can still be sinners in the sense that we can commit acts of sin. But it’s a very different thing to say that, “We commit acts of sin,” than to say, “We are sinners,” and so I would make that distinction.
Ontologically we are new creations in Christ so we’re not sinners anymore. But in the sense that we have these old habits so we continue to sin from time to time. So, in that sense we are existentially sometimes, we can be sinners.
That’s good, that’s awesome Steve. Thank you so much and we’ll talk to you soon.
Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for calling.
Awesome. That’s so much Steve, talk to you later.
All right, that was awesome. These guys are …
… really smart.
Hey, if indoubt is a ministry that you can stand up for, as in, you believe and support the mission to bring the gospel to issues of life and faith, then I’d encourage you to consider and pray about giving financially. We’re approaching year-end as we’re already in December, which is crazy to think about, and this is a great opportunity to give. For everything indoubt offers for free every single year, everything in one year, it costs us $75,000. It sounds like a lot, but when you think about a conversation every single week on the radio, Bible studies, all these different things we do, it costs us $75,000.
Now if you think about it, if just 1,000 people gave $75 each, that would … we’d be set, right?
Maybe you can do $75, maybe you can do less, maybe you can do more, but whatever the case it all very much helps. If you’d like to donate, just click the donate button when you go to indoubt.ca if you live in Canada, or indoubt.com if you live in the States.
Also, you can give by texting the word give in caps, G-I-V-E, to 604-670-5179 and thanks in advance.
Anyways connect with us on Facebook this week, Twitter, and Instagram as we celebrate 100 episodes of indoubt. Well, I’m Isaac …