Sin as Unbelief – Gospel in Life

Sin as Unbelief

Tim Keller |  February 11, 1996

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  • Anxiety
  • Sin
Jeremiah 17:5-13
RS 66-04


We’re going to take a look at a passage that tells us about sin, a picture of two trees. This text is about how to deal with your anxiety and worries. Jeremiah is claiming to have the secret.

Jeremiah says, “I’ll tell you about worries and how to deal with worries, but first you have to let me tell you about the nature of sin.” Let’s see what this picture of two trees tells us about sin. It tells us about the root, the fruit, and the cure for sin.

Jeremiah 17:1–14

Jeremiah warns about the danger of sin, showing how it’s a part of our human nature. He talks about two trees, one good and one bad, to show the difference between trusting people and trusting God, helping us understand how to deal with worry. It’s vital to understand the cause, effects, and cure of sin to truly solve our problems.

1. The cause of sin

Sin and godliness are like two different trees, and the key difference is where they get their strength from – sin comes from trusting anything but God. What we trust shapes our lives, and while everyone puts their trust in something, only trust in God truly strengthens us. It’s important to check what we value and what makes us happy, because if it’s anything but God, it leads to sin and dissatisfaction, making us rethink our ‘if-then’ faith.

2. The effects of sin

Jeremiah reminds us that we need to root our faith in God, not worldly things, so we can handle life’s ups and downs. Like a desert tree doesn’t care about rain, a person who trusts God stays strong, no matter what life throws at them, getting strength from faith not circumstances. It’s important to remember that our worries come from misplaced trust, and our problems are about where we put our faith, not about what’s happening around us.

3. The cure for sin

Jeremiah shows us that even though our hearts can trick us and seem impossible to fix, God can heal us. He talks about being born again and being watered by God’s river, suggesting that real peace can only come from a spiritual transformation. Christianity offers a special kind of strength and support for life’s challenges, with the best solution being to root ourselves in God’s love, connect with Him, and think about Jesus’s sacrifice, which leads to the end of our spiritual thirst and the start of a wellspring of life within us.



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