Vol. 11 No. 11 November 2009
Even though sin is what separates us from God, is there ever a time when it is o.k. to sin? The way we think, speak and act at times, we may have the idea that most things are not wrong and are certainly not to be characterized as sin. However, we must realize that any and all wrong in thought, word or deed is sin, which breaks and violates God’s law. In God’s sight there are no such things as:
Sin never comes for a mere visit – it comes to take over, to take control and to captivate! Paul tells us, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
Based on Isaiah 59, the nature of sin is to separate us from God, dominate our lives and humiliate us constantly. The power of sin leads us from one sin to another. God’s justice and divine holiness demands that sin be punished and Christ suffered that punishment for us on the cross. “In His humiliation His justice was taken away…” (Acts 8:33a). Jesus suffered the humiliation of being lied about, mocked, spit upon, beaten, slapped and nailed to a cross to deliver our wretched souls from the fires of hell!
When we become sin conscious, that is when we become alienated from God and this separation must be realized and rectified. Death entered the world as the consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve, and we demonstrate as accountable souls the same weaknesses. Sin caused our spiritual death, which resulted in alienation from God, also causing our physical death as well. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). Our only hope for reconciliation to God is through His Son and our obedience to the Gospel.
Adam and Eve quickly discovered there was no such thing as sin that is insignificant. What is wrong with eating fruit? There is no wrong unless God has said don’t do it; because if you do, you will surely die! First John 3:8 reads, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
To sin in moderation carries the idea that sin is o.k. as long as you do not get carried away. Paul lets us know this attitude and behavior is not an option if we want to please God. “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Romans 6:11-12). Sin that you thought would be a delightful servant becomes your horrifying master!
Esau found out there was no such thing as sin without consequences. The consequences of his ill-fated choice were irrevocable! The description of his agony is heart wrenching in Hebrews 12:14-17; “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…lest there be any fornicator or profane [godless] person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
Sin with a palatable name is prevalent in our world today. One in particular is the relationship between a man and a woman. In days gone by if a man and a woman were not married but shared the same household, they were referred to as “shacking up.” Maybe that term sounded too coarse, so society embraced the term “living together.” The terms for the people in this arrangement has gone from “common law” spouse, to “significant other” and “partner.” Perhaps the latest term is “spousal equivalent.” God’s Word still calls all such arrangements and designations fornication and adultery! These sins and a host of others are listed as works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Paul ends the passage by stating “…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This passage is much too plain to be quibbled away by today’s psychologists!
King Saul found out, in spite of his good intentions, there is no such thing as sin that is ever necessary. Saul had waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel to offer the burnt offering; but Samuel had not come and the people were scattered. Saul decided to make the sacrifice himself. First Samuel 13:13-14 says, “And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God.’ For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.’”
Sin is a choice, not a predetermined disposition. James lets us know with crystal clarity that God cannot be blamed for any of our temptations to commit sin! James 1:13-14 reads, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” Verse 15 describes the birth of the sin baby and its development that brings death. “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Verse 16 contains a warning. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”
Make no mistake about it, sin is our most vicious, sadistic and destructive enemy! To fight Satan and his schemes we must surround ourselves with the fortress “it is written” just as Jesus Christ did in Matthew 4:1-11. Our faith in the life and example of Christ gives us confidence that we too can win over sin. “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of death might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Romans 6:6-8).