How Sin Makes Us Addicts – Gospel in Life

How Sin Makes Us Addicts

Tim Keller |  February 14, 1999

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  • Idolatry
  • Sin
Jeremiah 2:1-8; 23-32
RS 101-2


The definition of sin is when you replace God with something or someone,and the result is an addiction of spirit. There is an attraction at the spiritual level every bit as powerful as sexual attraction at the physical level: You cannot produce your own meaning in life,your own worth,your own security. Spiritually speaking,if it’s not God who is the source of your meaning,then you’re in bed with something else.

Jeremiah 2:1–8; 23–32

Understanding what the Bible says about sin provides insight into areas often forgotten by society. Sin minimizes God, leading to a shrinking of one’s spirit, and it can push God aside, resulting in a spiritual obsession. Jeremiah’s prophecy to a spiritually declining nation reveals the stages of spiritual attraction, obsession, and healing, helping us understand sin and how it affects daily life.

1. The stages of spiritual attraction

The Bible sometimes uses romantic language to explain the strong pull our hearts can feel towards false gods, just like how people are attracted to each other. We feel incomplete without God, similar to how we may feel incomplete without a partner. We can’t create our own value or security, so we keep searching for satisfaction. Unlike other beliefs that society or the New Age movement might promote, Christianity offers a deep, personal relationship with God, who wants to be the ultimate lover of our souls, giving us a connection that’s more fulfilling than anything else.

2. The stages of spiritual obsession

When we prioritize anything over God, we risk falling into an obsession, allowing these things to determine our value and purpose. We can see how deep this obsession goes when we face tough times or loss, realizing that these false gods can’t rescue us. Only God can give true salvation when we need it most.

3. The stages of spiritual healing

The intricacies of spiritual attraction and obsession highlight the importance of recognizing our true savior and avoiding attractions that lead to feelings of worthlessness. Sin isn’t just breaking God’s law; it’s like causing Him the pain of a broken heart, similar to the sadness of a divorce. However, when we truly understand God’s deep love and suffering, and accept the grace and salvation Jesus offers, our hearts can change and become softer. This makes our salvation a real spiritual experience and ultimately, through Jesus Christ’s perfect life, we become spiritually beautiful and acceptable to God.



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