Friday, July 19, 2013

Damaging Sin

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).

Worldly minded people do not recognize sin as being as destructive as it truly is to our relationship with God, but the fact remains that sin destroys any chance for us to be close to God: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). But the God we serve is willing to forgive sin through His grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness (Titus 2:11-12). We know God’s grace is there for us but we must also understand God’s grace as His willingness to provide a way for us to overcome sin. Although this is God’s desire for us we must choose to stay free from sin by responding to His grace.

In Numbers 15 we can see that God makes a distinction of sin. He reveals two types of sin as being willful sin and sin done in ignorance. David reveals his understanding of this concept of categorized sin in verses 12 and 13 of the 19th Psalm. He voiced his frustration at his inability to mold his life according to God’s pattern. He also asks for forgiveness and strength to avoid habitual patterns of the willful rejection of God’s way: “Also keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression (Psalm 19:13). God wants us to love Him so much that we will deny our fleshly desires and choose His way.

Satan has made sin to look so tempting it has become easy to entangle our lives within its grip. He has made what used to be obvious now seem hidden. His deceitful disguise of sin has hardened our hearts to the effects of its power. He has used avenues such as our televisions and government offices to hide the sting of sin’s demonic characteristics (Ephesians 2:2). Our weakness is our own desires and the world will take every advantage needed to use our weakness to tempt us to fill our lives with whatever Satan can use to keep us separated from God. His trickery is not easy to comprehend so we must be on guard (1 Peter 5:8) as he has only one goal and that is to destroy our souls. Pay attention to what God has given us as truth so we can escape the attack of the evil one’s schemes and avoid the judgment he would love to lead us into.

Even though the church has been accused of everything from legalism to judgmental, she prays for everyone to follow God’s pattern of life. We know that God has provided His truth so we can know where we stand in our relationship with Him: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). He has also revealed to us sin and how it works in our lives to keep us from being faithful to truth: “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). We can know the right thing to do by allowing Jesus’ teachings to change who we submit to as authority (John 8:32). Being ignorant to God’s way is no longer an acceptable excuse: “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). Ignorance is not being stupid, but not knowing. We can know what God wants in us. God is willing to forgive our sins when we are willing to learn His truth.

In His Grace,
Cub

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