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What is Sin?


To begin with, if you are not a Christian (by that I mean, you have never committed your life to belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) this article is not for you. The reason I say that is, no matter whether you sin or don't sin, you are going to hell where you will suffer forever in a burning lake of fire; yes actual fire, forever! Sound harsh? It sure is! That's why it is so important to understand how much God hates sin and why He paid such an immense price, the death of His only son, so that we need not go to hell. That's right, you don't need to go to Hell! God has offered us a pardon for our sins. If we will simply accept His Free and unmerited pardon by believing in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can go to Heaven instead. Is that not incredible?

There is something you need to know though. That word believe is not just a "believe with your mind" type belief. Let me explain:

Suppose you were at the State Fair where you live and were standing by a bungee jump tower, and someone were to ask you if you believe that bungee cord could hold you and bring you safely to the ground. You might reply, "Sure it would!". But that would only be mental belief. On the other hand, if you were to climb that tower, hook yourself up with the harness and jump off of the tower, that would be belief in the way God uses the word. In other words, you must commit your entire life to belief in the death, burial and resurrection of our blessed Lord Jesus. Nothing short of that will get you into heaven. My prayer is that everyone reading this article has already made that decision. If you haven't, right there now where you are, tell the Lord Jesus that you accept His free gift of pardon for your sins. and, from that moment on, commit your life to believing that He died on that wretched cross for your sin, was buried, rose again and lives today in Heaven where He is mediator between you and God. Wow, what a God we have!

That Which is Against God

Assuming you have committed your life to God in the way described above, the result is that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, who is Spirit, have come to take up residence in your life, actually to live in your body. That is why the Bible says our Bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) says, 

"I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

The sacrifice of God's son, His sinless only son, for the wicked, rebellious likes of us, demands some positive results. The obvious one is love, selfless love. God deserves our love irregardless of whether we ever get one thing from the relationship. The second is that we selflessly love others as ourselves. I will deal with that subject below.

Everything in the Christian's life should be based on selfless love. God's love for us is beyond our ability to describe as proven by His sacrifice on our behalf. Therefore our response to Him must be one of loving acts.

Because of His position as God, and as our Creator (shall the clay say to the potter, why hast thou made me thus?), He has some requirements on our lives. He said in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments". Therefore, you can see that we have some things to do.

I could tell you that you are supposed to do this, that, and so on but I am not going to do that. Rather I am going to endeavor to bring to your mind principles that God's Holy written Will for humankind, the Bible, has provided for us.

The first principle is that Jesus is the example of how we should live our lives. We should rightly ask ourselves relative to every decision we make, "What would Jesus do about that?" Would He go to the theater to watch that show? Would He spend the time you spend in front of the TV? Would He watch the shows that you watch? Would He allow his eyes to see the commercials you allow your eyes to see? Would He do that which you do as a habit? Would He use the words that you use (Do you use God's name in vain - Do you say, "O God!" simply as an expression of surprise, etc.)? Would He go to the places you go to. Would He choose the friends that you have chosen and do the things you and they do? Would He do the kind of work that you do? Would He work for a company like you work for that does this or that or which markets this or that type of product?

The list of questions is endless and it is my contention that the person who really loves the Lord will delight in doing only those things that will make Him happy. Such a person will analyze their every act on that basis. Nothing else is adequate because, if the Lord would not do it, IT IS SIN!  And, God hates sin and will bring judgment on those who do not forsake it.

That Which is Against Others

In our relationships with others, again, selfless love must guide us in everything. As described above, we must ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do?" regarding every aspect of our relationships. 

There is an important element of this part of our lives however, that is most often not considered by Christians today. That is the scriptural teaching regarding our responsibility to "our weaker brother (or sister)". Romans chapter 14 gives us the principle that anything that we do that would cause our weaker brother to fall into sin we should not do. In other words, if what we do causes a weaker Christian to sin, we have sinned in doing that act, even though normally it may not be wrong for us to do it. The Apostle Paul put it this way in verse 21:

"It is good neither to eat meat, nor to drink wine, nor anything by which thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." (I Corinthians 8:9-13 present the same message.)

And, in verse one of Chapter 15, he says:

"We, then, that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."

So, you see, even though doing something in particular may not be wrong for us, we need to ask ourselves, "If someone knows I do that and they do it because they think by my doing it, that makes it all right, is it possible that they might fall into sin when they do it?" It's plain from these verses that, if that possibility exists, we shouldn't do the thing in question. Literally, we should gladly give it up!

God says that our commitment to pleasing him must be so strong that we will give up anything we realize might cause someone else to sin. Let me give you an illustration:

When I was in Bible College there was a student there who in his previous life had nearly lived to dance because he enjoyed it so much. I asked him, "You mean to tell me that you never had wrong thoughts or desires when you held those girls in your arms, etc." His response was, "No, never!" Well, it is not my business to judge his integrity on the subject. However, I will respond that it is an unusual man who can hold a women in his arms and observes the movements of the other women on the dance floor who will not have to struggle with wrong thoughts and desires. God made men to respond physically to that type of stimuli and that is the reason I firmly believe God's people should avoid any situation that is likely to bring that kind of response in their lives. Having said that, every appearance was that my friend was not bothered by those physical factors. But, again, what about his responsibility to his weaker brothers, which in this case is nearly all of the men on the earth. Remember what Job said about his eyes? That's how carefully we are to treat these aspects of our lives. 

We could discuss countless other things that people in the Church world are doing today with no regard for weaker Christians. However, the same Holy Spirit that reveals my sins can reveal yours so I will leave those matters between you and Him. May we all love the Lord so much that we delight to please Him in every aspect of our lives and will give no thought to giving up anything we sense might cause someone else to fall into sin. Remember, "The Greatest of These is Love (Selfless Love)!"

All of the above brings to mind an incredibly important question. "How do I know what Jesus would do?" The answer to that is, "It is revealed in the Bible". Thus it is imperative that we spend as much time as possible pouring over God's written Will so that we might learn as quickly as possible how to please Him.

II Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Please note two things. First, God did not say, "IF you have time, Study God's Word".  Rather, He said, "Study God's word". That statement is a command! This teaching is not an option! It is a requirement! To disobey God in this is SIN!

The question may come to mind of how much time a person should spend reading the Bible. Well, the Bible says that studying it and prayer are spiritual food. So, may I ask, "How much time do you spend feeding your physical body? Though, obviously I don't speak for God in this matter, I believe we should spend at least as much time feeding our souls as we spend feeding our bodies. Since our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit we must take care of them. But think about it; which is more important relative to eternity, your body or your soul? Giving the most attention to our souls makes the most sense to me.

Second, God did not say, "Understand My Word". You may have trouble understanding many things as you obey Him by studying your Bible. However, be assured that no one understands everything in it. How can we? Are we as God that we should know all that He knows? No! He does not require us to understand everything. We simply must grasp that which the Holy Spirit will enable us to. Then we must apply what we learn to the process of pleasing him in all that we do! May He anoint us in that effort!

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    03/17/2016 03:43:44 PM