A Little Somethin' About Sin

"To do right honors God; to sin is to despise him." Proverbs 14:2

Let’s talk about sin.

Does that make you uncomfortable?  If so, keep reading.  There’s a good reason for that.

Like you, I'm still learning and sometimes I can be a bit of a slow learner--okay, a very slow learner.  But, as I've continued asking God to refine me, I've learned some things about sin.  You may already know these things, but they have been life-changing to me.

The first thing I've learned, though I thought I already understood it, is that sin is a really big deal to God.  Did I say it was a big deal?  It's a really big deal.  I've found that in many churches, it's not such a big deal.  If you're in one of those churches--even virtually--it's time for you to find a new one that treats sin as a big deal.  If you need some recommendations, let me know.

Psalms 32:3-5 reads, "There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess them to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

Boy, can I ever relate to David in this passage of Scripture.  My sin isn't pretty, and if I actually admit how bad it is, I have to allow God to deal with it.  And, Jesus requires this of me.  Just listen to what 1 John 3:9 tells us, "The person who has been born into God’s family does not make a practice of sinning because now God’s life is in him; so he can’t keep on sinning, for this new life has been born into him and controls him—he has been born again."  Read all of 1 John 3 several times, and let it sink in.

Hebrews 10:26-27 gives us this sober warning, “If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ’s death; there is no way to get rid of it. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible punishment of God’s awful anger, which will consume all his enemies.”

The more I confess my sins and repent of my sins each day and each night, and the more I ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin in my life, the more He does just that.  He shows me other areas of sin that need to be dealt with.  Not only that, but He lovingly and patiently helps me to overcome them.  He forgives me!  It's not like people forgive.  He doesn't even remember my sin or ever bring it up to me again!  But, I have to be honest about the sin and lay it down. 

All. Of. It.

The next thing I've learned is that when Jesus told people whom He healed in the gospels to stop sinning, He really meant:  Stop. Sinning.  We tend to whitewash our sin with the grace brush and never stare it in the face (it's a painful and necessary process).  But listen to what Romans 6:1-3 tells us, "Well then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness?  Of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don’t have to? For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered."  

You should read all of Romans 6--several times.  It's not willpower that defeats sin--though it is our will that chooses to follow Jesus.  It is the blood of Jesus that conquered sin, and the Holy Spirit's power working within us that makes the way of escape each and every day.

Something else that stands out to me as I read Scripture is that John the Baptist always required that people confess their sins before he baptized them (Matthew 3:6, Mark 1:5).  Think about that.  This was not a private time of confession.  This was public confession of sin--sometimes before crowds of people.  The tax collectors who came to be baptized asked John how they might prove to him they repented of their sin, and he gave them very specific things to do (Luke 3:12-14).

I've found that Jesus gives me very specific things to do, too.

Romans 4:6-8 says, "King David spoke of this, describing the happiness of an undeserving sinner who is declared “not guilty” by God. “Blessed and to be envied,” he said, “are those whose sins are forgiven and put out of sight. Yes, what joy there is for anyone whose sins are no longer counted against him by the Lord.”

Yes, what joy.  What real joy.

Goodnight, Runners.


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