This book is for all those of us who love the Lord Jesus: because this whole topic is an issue that deeply concerns every one of us, and it really matters. Is there indeed a sin we treat as a virtue? Could this possibly be true of us, of me?
If there is something basic in biblical teaching about the way I live that is somehow slipping past me, then I want to do something about this. I will be eager to learn what it is, so that I can bring my life into line with the will and plan of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit: because of my love for the Lord Jesus - who said to his disciples, “If you love me, you will do what I command you” (John 14:15). And he said to those who claim to be his disciples, “How can you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things that I tell you?” (Luke 6:17, 46.)
Yes, there is a sin we are treating as a virtue.
This sin is greed—sheer plain greed. Coveting. The comfortable, respectable, sin. But the extremely dangerous and damaging sin. It is condemned by the Tenth Commandment. It is the sin Christ spoke against more often and more vehemently than any other— he warned against it in the strongest possible terms: “Beware! Take care! Watch out!” It chokes the Word of God in your life, he said. It hinders a person entering the Kingdom of God and deprives them of eternal life. That is how serious it is. Paul said that greed is a form of idolatry and can destroy a person. He found this sin sneaky, tricky, and insidious.
The risk to us from this sin is all the worse because it is so often not recognized as sin. It is so all-pervasive that we do not actually see its deceitful danger. But statistics show it is insidiously at work in the church, seriously affecting its work and witness in the world.
It is a trap and a snare that can so easily catch us quite unawares. Breaking free of it is in fact one of the most difficult issues we face in our Christian lives. Can anything be done about this? Yes! It is crucial that we become aware of what the Bible says about it, and then think through how to live our lives in accordance with biblical teaching.
This book will point to all the relevant Scriptures. Can you afford not to heed what they say? They just might save you from spiritual disaster. Don’t treat this lightly. Jesus didn’t. Paul didn’t.
For a careful survey of this book, see this short overview.
For a preview, read "What Lies Ahead" (the Introduction) and Chapter One.