Sin; The Forgotten Doctrine

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.– 1John 1: 9-10 (NLT)

    It’s the topic we all don’t like to hear about when it comes to sermon time on Sundays. I think we would rather hear a good old fashioned message on tithing rather than have the mirror of the Bible held up to our sin. Why? Two primary reasons I think. First we do not like to realize that we fall short with God. We like to have the notion that we are doing ok. I think too many Christians start from the premise that they are righteous because they are Christian when the reality is they became Christian because of their unrighteousness. Secondly, we do not like to hear about sin because we want to keep on sinning! Sin is pleasurable on a worldly, fleshly level. We want to justify it, rationalize it, and ultimately keep it. So let us take a look at two biblical examples of sin and how we handle it wrongly, so that we can learn to deal with it correctly.

    The fist example comes from a man named Achan. Achan lived under the rule of Joshua when the Israelites were conquering the Promised Land. Coming off of the defeat of mighty Jericho the Israelites were riding high. They then turned their sights on a much smaller enemy, Ai. They were soundly defeated however because there was sin in the camp. Achan had violated the instructions from the Lord about taking items from the plunder. Here is when Joshua confronted him:

    Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest.” – Joshua 7: 20-21 (NLT)

    Achan tried to hide his sin. He tried to bury it and cover it up. How often do we try and do the same thing? No one will ever know. No one will ever find out. It is just a harmless sin that doesn’t affect anyone. Whatever rationalizations Achan used thousands of years ago we still use today. The reality is that God sees everything, including our wicked hearts and what we try and keep in the darkness He will bring into the light. Additionally, there is always a price to pay for our sin.

    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. – 1Corinthians 4: 5 (NIV)

    Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. – James 1: 14-15 (NLT)

    Achan’s sin resulted in him being stoned to death. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba he tried to hide it too. He tried to cover it up many different ways before ultimately killing her husband and taking her as his own. When God brought this sin to light it cost David his kingdom and the death of two children. Sin always has a price. No matter how good the Babylonian robe looks – it is designed to kill you. And for what? What trifles we are willing to cast God aside for? Mayflower Pilgrim Mary Winslow once said; “Is it not strange that we can for one moment lose sight of heaven, and the increasing glory; and grovel in the dust to gather pebbles, for the pleasure of throwing them afterwards away?”

    What are we losing sight of heaven for today? What pebbles are we gathering in the dust; groveling before the devil. What was King Saul thinking when he pounced on the plunder from the slaughter of the Amalekites? Saul was given crystal clear instructions from God to complete wipe out everything from the Amalekites camp but instead, he spared their king and kept the best of the plunder. The best sheep and animals. Most times when this is discussed theologically it is from the standpoint that Saul was telling the truth when confronted by Samuel about violating God’s instructions. You see, Saul said he did so to sacrifice the animals to God. Samuel reminds Saul and us that God prefers obedience over sacrifice. This all makes for great theology but today I want to consider that Saul was lying when he told this to Samuel. If you follow the interaction between them you see Saul constantly changing his story like someone does when they have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. What is the relevance for us today? I think another error we can make with our sin is to wrap it up in God to try and appear more pious than we really are or to make us feel better about the sin itself.

    If we were real honest with ourselves I am sure we can point to something in our life that we used God for to prop up. Something that is not of God at all. You see this all the time in Christian-political circles. People will excuse their hate by claiming to be doing the will of God. Often times the people screaming ignorance are the most ignorant people around. It is a very dangerous place to be and the Bible has warned us about it:

    But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! – Matthew 6: 23 (NLT)

    How deep indeed! We can do such a good job of thinking that God is on our side that we cannot even see anymore that what we think is our light is actually utter darkness. The issue is never if God is on your side. The question is are you on His? Do your actions and words reflect what the Bible says? Not what some preacher, commentator or politician says – but what the Bible says. The number one sin however we see this occur with is pride. You have well intended Christians bragging about themselves or their church and wrapping it all up in Godly terms so that it has an air of piety to the pride. At the end of the day it is just putting perfume on a pig. You cannot steal God’s glory and then pretend you were doing it all for Him! As with Saul; you cannot be willfully disobedient to God and then claim you were doing so because of Him! Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

    So what do we have buried under our tent today that we need to turn over to God? What are we hiding that we know we should not be dabbling in? The Bible says we just need to confess and He is happy to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But we have to recognize sin for what it is and go to Him in humility. What things are we involved with that are not of God yet we use Him to prop up? What are our attitudes like? What are we bragging about that is robbing God of His glory? These are serious questions for us today. The wages of sin is death. We might get away with something for now but there is a principle of sowing and reaping and we will reap a whirlwind of heartache if we continue to sow to our flesh. People want to know all the time how to accelerate their walk with the Lord. How to go deeper with Him or to the next level. The very first thing I always say is we need to first eliminate whatever sin is permeating our lives at that time. There is bound to be something. We are sinfully inclined creatures living in a completely fallen world. We need to start being honest about our own sins and bring them to the foot of the cross. Jesus is always ready to take them from us and forgive us. Don’t bury your sin and don’t wrap it up in God so it looks holy. Give them up to God today and draw closer to Him. Amen.

    Rev. Anthony

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