I think it would be true to say that very few Christians have ever thought of themselves as unbelievers. Surely, they would say, this is a total contradiction in terms, doesn’t the bible itself use the term ‘believer’ as another name for a Christian? And of course it does. But if I said that Christians were all sinners, then I guess not so many would want to object. Now the question we should think about is: why do we, in fact, continue to sin? One simple answer would be to say that we sin because we are weak.
Let me probe a little more deeply. We sin because we are weak and we are weak because we suffer from the problem of unbelief. Let’s think of some examples, and in all of them we see child sins which arise from the mother sin of unbelief. Take King David committing the sin of adultery with Bathsheba, here we have David not believing that God could or would fully satisfy him and so at that moment he took matters into his own hands?
One more example, suppose I get into a rage because my exams go badly, and so I am bitter against God. Surely the root sin here is a functional or practical unbelief in the unchangeable goodness of God. My bitterness reveals that I do not deep down believe what is written in, for example:
Romans 8v28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Well let us pray that God will aid us in reducing the gap between creedal belief on a Sunday and functional unbelief on a Monday.