ADDoration Ministries
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

How about sin?

HOW ABOUT SIN?

Romans 3:23 "since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God:"

Romans 3:24 "they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,"

We are all sinners. I am a sinner. You are a sinner. Romans 3.23 says so. There is always one more sin that we need to conquer.

Now the good news. Romans 3:24 says that we all are justified through Jesus Christ. And it is a free gift. Justification cannot be earned. Trying to earn it can cause inner turmoil that is a hell in itself. The law is such that we cannot perfectly obey all of the rules.

Grace is the method that Jesus justifies. Christ was nailed to the cross to atone for our sins, because of grace.

John 1:16 "From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

Galatians 2:21 "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing."

Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."

A far more positive approach to religion is to focus on grace, along with forgiveness and love. A negative approach is to focus on sin, because that only makes you feel guilty.

However sin does exist. Since my Walk To Emmaus weekend, I think of sin as Obstacles To Grace. While Jesus did justify us through grace, sin is obstacles to experiencing Jesus' grace and love. The Bible does point to obstacles to grace.

1Corinthians 6:9-10 "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers -- none of these will inherit the kingdom of God."

1Corinthians 6:9-10 says that those sins will stand in the way of experiencing God's grace. But that list is only the tip of the iceberg of obstacles. There are many many other acts that are obstacles. Gossip is a big obstacle. Taking the Lord's name in vain is another obstacle, because that offends the Lord. Self-righteousness also is an obstacle.

Another category of sin is poor stewardship. Smoking is an example, because it is poor stewardship of your body. To die of lung cancer shortens your physical life on this earth, meaning fewer years to serve the Lord. Or later in life you could be handicapped by COPD. But smoking is addictive. It is extremely difficult to break the addiction to tobacco. Some Sunday noon in some church parking lot, you can observe worshippers who get into their cars and immediately light up a cigarette.

Another stewardship sin is misuse of time and money. In other words, priorities. Do you spend your time and money on personal whims and indulgences, instead of to serve the Lord, or to feel close to the Lord? You say, "I don't have time;" however you have as much time as The Pope. That is 24 hours per day. "Don't have time" means that it is not a priority.

Most of all, think forgiveness. God forgives our sins. 1John 1:8 says that we are all sinners, but the next verse says that God forgives.

1John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

An especially beautiful part of verse 9 is "he who is faithful and just." That means that God can be depended upon to forgive our sins. One paraphrase says that God will keep his promise to forgive our sins.

However we need to believe that our sins are forgiven. Many people don't benefit from 1John 1:9, because they don't believe they are forgiven. Instead they wallow in self-blame. Or they might ask incredulously, "Do you mean that God would forgive something like that?" The answer is "yes."

Although we are sinners, Jesus loves us. Biblically that is:

1John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."

Romans 5:8 "But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. "

The Old Testament has an example of heinous sin, followed by confession and then forgiveness. David saw a naked lady sunbathing, Bathsheba. Then he had sexual intercourse with her and got her pregnant. Worse is that he had Bathsheba's husband killed, by sending him to the front lines of war. The Lord sent Nathan to visit David. Nathan told a parable to illustrate what David had done. David said, "Surely, he should die." Nathan said, "You are the man." Finally David confessed. Nathan said that the Lord has forgiven and taken away David's sin.

The story of David, Bathsheba, and Nathan is in 2Samuel 11:2-17 and 2Samuel 12:1-13.

Also read Psalm 51, because David wrote that Psalm after confessing to Nathan. Psalm 51 is good to read after you have sinned.

Even the apostle, Paul, grappled with sin.  Paul wrote about that in the epistle to the Romans. 

Romans 7:15-20 "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.  But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me."

 

Yes we are all sinners, but don't worry about it. Conquering sin is very well and good. There is always one more sin to be conquered. But Jesus took the first step and died for us to atone for our sins. Jesus loves you. But sin is an obstacle to experiencing that love.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries