Monthly Archives: July 2018

Foundational Principle #2

Sin, left unchecked, always leads to disaster and ruin

Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. – 2 Chronicles 36:19

The final result of sin is always disaster. Whether it is a moral failing, financial ruin, prison or death, sin if left unchecked, is never satisfied and leads to destruction. We see this plainly with the history of ancient Israel. After being warned many times by God, the people’s stubbornness and unwillingness to submit to and follow God finally lead to their ruin.

Even those not following God understand the necessity for laws. Society must have rules or laws in place to guard it from chaos. It might be called crime, but in reality, it is sin which all society must set boundaries against. Without those laws, anarchy soon reigns and society crumbles.

Within the modern church world, there often is opposition to setting boundaries or standards. Many wish to portray the grace of God much like an absence of laws. After all, the logic goes, the New Testament teaches on the grace of God, the price of sin has been paid by Jesus, everything is forgiven, so we don’t need to subject ourselves to any law. What one does has no real importance on their spiritual life.

Just a quick glance into the Scriptures however teaches us standards are important. Morality is still defined in the Bible and left to itself, sin always ends in disaster.

True, we don’t live under the Old Testament sacrificial laws, but the idea of submitting to God is still applicable. The book of Acts in the New Testament has plenty of examples of how those within the church must still submit to God. Paul’s directives to the Corinthian church are plain as he is writing to them in a forceful way, you can’t live like you did before you knew Jesus! The book of James is full of instruction on how to relate to each other.

Why are these principles so prevalent in Scripture? Because sin, left to itself or unchecked, always leads to disaster. Whether it’s our society at large, civic authorities, and personal accountability, all of us must learn to submit ourselves to various laws or rules. If we don’t, chaos takes over.

God was patient with Old Testament Israel and He is patient with us. But, if we don’t learn the lessons of the past, we too will find out the hard way; sin if left unchecked, always leads to disaster and ruin.

Foundational Principles of Discipleship # 1 – Sin is a Bad Thing

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

– Genesis 3:6

 In Genesis 1:31, after God’s entire work of the creation week, the Scriptures proclaim “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.” Not just “good” but “very good.” Obviously, sickness, suffering and death were not originally part of His creation since God would not call any of those things “very good.”

From a theological standpoint, Genesis 3 might be the most important chapter in the entire Bible. From here, the rest of the Bible is dealing with this verse. Paul tells us in Romans 5:12 how from “one man sin entered the world and death through sin.” The single act of Adam and Eve willingly ignoring the ONE rule God had for them in the Garden of Eden brought suffering and death to our world.

Sin is a bad thing and we are wise to treat it as such. Sin is not something to be ignored or excused. Sin is bad and everything bad comes from sin in general. After the fall, we find ourselves living in a sin-stained world.

It is Jesus who takes away our sin. The sin which separates us from God, is eradicated with the cross. God doesn’t look at our sin as our standing with Him is wholly based on work of Christ on the cross. 1 John 2:1-2 tells us we have an advocate with the Father and Jesus paid the price our sin deserved. But we still battle the consequences of sin in this fallen world.

But there are actions one can do which clearly are sinful. As 1 John 2:14-17 refers to this sin as the “lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life.” Actions which fall into one or more of those categories are sinful. Growing in Christ means deepening one’s walk in such a way as to modify our behavior.

Paul tells us in Romans 8:5 not to live “according to the flesh” and “to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Paul was pushing his readers to let the Holy Spirit empower them to live above the sinful desires of the flesh. It is why we are described as “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and as such we have been bought with a price – the blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). My sin is abhorrent to Him and it is to be the same for me.

Unfortunately, encouraging people to live above sin is not widely mentioned in our modern church. The tendency, is to down-play sin, excuse sin or even ignore sin. Only the Holy Spirit can convict of sin, but if the church is unwilling to point out sin or encourage one to turn away from sin, the individual doesn’t see their sin for what it is and continues their journey of rebellion to God.

Recognizing our own sin and seeing it as God sees it, is necessary step as children of God. As we grow in our relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit will empower us as we face temptation. Sin no longer needs to continue to wreak havoc in our life.

This is where too many of those who claim the name of Christ struggle as they lose a battle to temptation and come to the wrong conclusion, their sin isn’t so bad. Therefore, sin is excused, ignored or explained away.

Sin is a bad thing. Treat it as such and pray for God’s power to consume you. Get into His Word and trust those promises of overcoming temptation and sin. Do not give sin a foothold in your life and learn the truth of this Spiritual Absolute; sin is a bad thing.

-jm