Tag Archives: Sin

No Reason for Envy

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. – Proverbs 23:17

Testimonies

I love to hear stories of how God has changed people’s lives. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thrills to hear how the Lord can take a dreadful, hell-bound sinner and turn him into a saint in all respects.

But sometimes testimonies can turn into a glorification of past sin. Sometimes a well-meaning story of God’s grace can make the average person wish they’d taken a chance at being bad.

Like,

“I once was a drug dealer and had everything money could buy. I woke up with champagne and girls, drove fast all day, and then partied all night until I passed out in the arms of another supermodel. Then Jesus saved me.”

Sorta makes becoming a believer a little anti-climactic, doesn’t it?

The Truth

What we need more of is the truth – not just the truth about the consequences of sin, but the literal joys of following Christ and honoring the Father.

So often we are bombarded by images of those who are doing everything the Bible condemns and having fun while they’re doing it. All of us want to have fun and enjoy life, don’t we? Therefore, these images tend to make a lot of us envious.

But if we had more stories of the joy, peace, and awestruck wonder that accompanies the one who walks in the fear of the Lord, the fleeting pleasures of sin wouldn’t even be worth talking about.

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Because We Mess(ed) Up

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord. -Proverbs 19:3 KJV

“How could a good God allow …”

This is how a popular accusation against the existence of God starts. Sometimes there are specifics (“… my son to die?”), but generally it is more general (“… evil to happen?”)

My question was “Why didn’t He stop me from making that stupid choice?”

In each of these, we are angry with God for something happening to us or to someone we love (or for evil in general).

The Thing We Fail To Understand

The root of all of this evil starts with our own human nature, with all of our boneheaded or uninformed decisions.

Boneheaded because we know better but want something now or in spite of reason.

Uninformed because of assumptions we make without all of the facts or plain ignorance.

However, it all goes back to our ultimate parents: Adam and Eve. Yes, we inherited this sinful (rebellious) nature.

But the failure to understand comes in how this applies to a good God.

The thing is, God created us with free will. It is tainted by sin, but we are still free moral agents.

This freedom to rebel against God is what allows us to freely love Him, but it also means that more often than not we choose rebellion.

And God lets the natural consequences play out.

(Still within His control, mind you.)

Why does God allow evil and sad things? Because He loves us enough to let us choose that which causes evil, but He is also just.

Death, pain, and natural disasters are a result of our ultimate parents’ sin, but we perpetuate and exacerbate the problem with our own sin.

He does intervene from time to time, but ask yourself this:

Would you want to help people who constantly complain and blame you for what others have done?

Why should we expect God to ever help us?

(The short answer: because of the grace poured out through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.)


Mock Sin & Mock Christ

Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. -Proverbs 14:9, KJV

Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance. –Proverbs 14:9, ESV

In a previous entry, Michael discussed the dangers of hanging around with and even engaging others who refuse to believe in God.

One of those reasons is addressed in this verse.

Most people in this world will find it foolish to make atonement for sin, if there even is such a thing! The reasons vary:

  • As stated, there may not be sin. This categorically denied by most people, as they decry injustice, otherwise known as sin.
  • Good outweighs the bad in our lives. However, we can return to the analogy of being before a judge who convicts you on the crime, not your character.
  • Would a good God really condemn people? If he is really loving he would just forgive. Well …

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Hebrews 9:22 ESV

God is good, but He is also just. His justice demanded atonement, and that atonement was achieved fully in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Those who find this truth and believe it will find the imputed favor of God, the acceptance of Jesus.

Don’t mock sin. Mock sin, and you mock Christ’s sacrifice.You are guilty of that sin and in need of That Sacrifice.


How Do YOU Respond To Correction?

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. -Proverbs 9:8‭-‬9, KJV

Schooling

I taught 7th Grade mathematics last year. There were a handful of students who, whenever corrected or disciplined, would lash out. One in particular said he hated me. Who was I to tell him how to live his life?

Most of the students in the class reacted negatively to correction, to be honest, but a few (and eventually more) saw the benefits of following through with the correction. Somehow, I became the favorite teacher of many students.

The Church

Now look at the yourself and even others in the Church. When presented with biblical truth about sin, what is the response?

If your reaction is to lash out, deny, or get angry, ask yourself, Why? If it is not true, why get upset?

Fighting a correction can cost more than listening, such as hurt/broken relationships and/or wasted time.

The wise person wants to change, for the goal is to be Christ-like, perfect as God is perfect. You may even find you love that person more for helping you grow closer to Christ.

That is not possible if we continue in sin.

Refusing to even acknowledge the need for correction could imply you are heading the opposite direction, and you come to hate those who offered the correction.


Defiled From Within

Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. -Proverbs 7:25‭-‬27, KJV

Proverbs chapter seven, as we have abundantly discussed lately, is a warning against an immoral woman.

As Anthony pointed out, women are just as guilty as men as regards aggressively pursuing physical satisfaction. And as Dawn reminded us, we need a lot of reminding of the dangers.

Hence, the New Testament did so, too, reminding us as usual that it goes farther than just sex:

  • And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
    2 Peter 2:2, ESV
  • They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
    Ephesians 4:18‭-‬19, ESV
  • Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    Galatians 5:19‭-‬21, ESV
  • For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
    Mark 7:21‭-‬23, ESV

I highlighted one word in particular: sensuality.

Why?

Our western culture is so steeped in sensuality that we barely notice it, but Peter, Paul, and even the Lord Jesus warned us that (outside of marriage) it is a dangerous tempter straight out of and that leads straight to hell.

And sensuality (and other things) lives in us.

This is why we need so many reminders.


Scared of the Subject?

Being that this time around we are not focusing so much on doing actual commentary, here are some initial thoughts regarding Proverbs chapter 7.

First, I have to wonder if discussing the content of this chapter is intimidating based on the current mood of society. Are we afraid to approach a chapter that deals mainly with the dangers a predatory woman poses? Are we afraid that we will be accused of victim-shaming in the eyes of the all-seeing “Me Too” movement?

Secondly, is it hard to comprehend a woman being the aggressor? Chapter 7 makes it pretty obvious that the woman in the story is the one seeking out her prey, while the man is the gullible sap that falls for her advances. It would seem to me that if that was the case, then women could theoretically get away with literal murder.

Personally, I give women far more credit than some. To be honest, aside from the normal physical advantage most men have, women possess a much wider array of emotional and psychological weaponry than their counterparts. And, in some ways, they’re stronger.

I find it ironic that in a world where Facebook lists over 50 genders and men and women are reduced to indistinguishable and ever-changing pronouns that women still play the victim card when it’s convenient. Men, on the other hand, are always considered the aggressor. Maybe those facts (or misunderstandings) are the very reasons we should not only teach our men to be men and our women to be women, but warn each of them – including young men – of the dangers that lurk where lust lives.

The fact that is true for all of us is that without godly wisdom someone will take advantage of us, and the end might not be an exciting, new relationship; it might be the grave.


Pernicious Lust

Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord , and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
Proverbs 5:20‭-‬22, ESV

This passage reminds us of three things:

  1. Sex is supposed to be reserved for marriage (yes, one man and one woman);
  2. God knows and judges even our thoughts;
  3. Sin is pernicious, touching every area of life and holding on fast.

Firstly, think about society today, throughout most of the world, and how fixated are on sex. The more we stray from God, the more we seem to crave and then celebrate sin. Just look at the variety of “gay pride” parades and festivals, websites for “personal pleasure” and even affairs, and the use of sex in advertising and popular entertainment.

Secondly, we tend to live either as atheists or as though God is not omniscient nor hates sin. How? In the way we think, convincing ourselves that “it’s okay to look” and “no one else is getting hurt.” Yet, Jesus reminds us that lust is adultery (Matthew 5:28) and that God even judges our thoughts.

And finally, those songs and thoughts do affect everything else, especially the more one dwells on and/or lives out sins. Ask the adulterer or the couple whose marriage fell apart who started by “only looking at porn.” Look at how many people are defined by who they are attracted to or what they look like on the outside. And remember: the urge to look does not go away just because you “put a ring on it.” Lust becomes a habit.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13 ESV