Understanding Sin

Each of the videos on the Exploring Faith page were originally hand drawn diagrams I use to explain Christian ideas to enquirers. This section aims to teach people to draw these diagrams themselves. This will enable you to explain the gospel wherever you are, and in your own words.

How can being good be sin?

This video show the background structure of the ‘Understanding Sin’ video. The main concept is the ‘Sin is putting something else in God’s place’. Read the rationale for further explanation.


But I’m a good person!

If you explain sin as the bad things we do, then the most common response is ‘but I’m a good person’. Then you need to convince people that they are not as good as God expects and you end up discussing the ‘rules and regulations’ of Christianity. If you go down this rabbit hole you create a ‘checklist’ view of Christianity where the question becomes ‘Am I good enough?’

To explain sin in relational terms ‘rejecting God’ or ‘putting something else in God’s place’ means you can focus on God as a being who wants relationship with us. And therefore, the discussion is about ‘what God has done to reconcile the broken relationship’.

The Bible is also clear that it’s not just the ‘bad things we do’ that get in the way of our relationship with God. Good things also replace our relationship with God. And they all become idols we worship in place of God.

Idols of our Hearts

The problem is, as Jesus explained, ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Luke 12.34). Whatever we treasure most, will be what dictates our life.

If we replace God with our family, then we end up idolising our family. If we replace God with our studies, then we idolise our results. The problem is whatever we idolise will either crush us, or we’ll crush it.

If we idolise our family, and there’s a breakdown of relationship we’ll be crushed by it. If the family is going OK, then we have to maintain the ‘image’ of happy families at all cost! The weight of maintaining appearances will be an enormous burden.

If we idolise studies, then a failure will be totally devastating. Or, if we succeed, then we’ll need to keep on achieving better results to keep on being successful. You can’t stop! That, of course, crushes us as well!

The Treatment for Sin

At the end of the video I say: ‘Jesus is the treatment for the disease of sin’. I used to say ‘Jesus is the cure’ until someone pointed out the this sounds like a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. ‘Take this tablet and you’ll never be bothered by sin again!’. But of course, the reality is that we need a lifelong reliance on Jesus to have a lifelong relationship with God.

Learn to Draw Other Diagrams

The Key to Christianity

The Whole Bible

History, Theology, Salvation

The ‘I Do’ Moment