Sunday, July 8, 2012

ALL Have Sinned...

Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

ALL have sinned....oh, yes, they have...WE have. Is there any difference in sin? Well, that depends on who you ask. But if you ask God...the answer is a resounding "NO". In our human minds, there is a difference. I do not view myself as nearly as bad as the murderer on the nightly news or the terrorist that just blew up a bunch of buildings and hundreds or thousands of people with it. In my little pea brain, compared to that - I'm a great person! The key is in the verse above, though. From Billy Graham to Osama bin Ladin and everyone in between, to God, sin is sin because it causes us all to come up short. It separates us from Him. It interferes with our relationship.

Romans 6:23a says, "The wages of sin is death.." Ouch. Not the wages for capital murder, or rape, or child abuse. Just sin. In my post from April 6, I mentioned two things that we have difficulty grasping that prevent us from realizing how desperate we are for a Savior:
  • The Holiness of God
  • The Complete Depravity of Our Sin.
We can't imagine how truly good God is, and, therefore, we cannot grasp how truly bad we are.

There are a couple of questions that occurred to me this week and how we are able to answer these questions DO make a difference in our sin (or so it seems to me).

1. Is my sin intentional? Do I sin when I mess up, or do I just do what I want regardless of what God may think about it? In Romans 6:1-10, Paul makes several statements that should make us think twice about the things we choose to bring into our lives.
v.1-2 "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!" (In another version, it says, "May it never be!").
v. 6   "Our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with.."
v. 6   "We should no longer be slaves to sin."
v.11  "Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
v. 12 " Do not let sin reign in your mortal body."
Everyone messes up, that is what forgiveness is for. But we should never be intentionally setting out to enjoy the things that put Christ on the cross. As Christians, we cannot be mastered by sin.

2. When I sin, am I repentant or do I make excuses? Jesus said in Luke 13:3 that "Unless you repent, you too will all perish." In Acts 17:30, Paul tells us that "God commands all people everywhere to repent." If I simply allow my sin to run rampant in my life and I am never repentant, I can never cross that bridge into God's presence because He cannot tolerate my sin. The only way He will see me is on my knees in repentance.

Why do these questions make a difference? Because if my sin is not intentional, or at least attempting to not be, and I am repentant when I do sin, my sins are FORGIVEN! The second half of Romans 6:23 says the "free gift of God is eternal life." Sin kills us, but God gives us LIFE. Psalm 103:12 (GOD'S WORD Translation) says "As far as the east is from the west- that is how far he has removed our rebellious acts from himself." I love that this version uses the term rebellious acts, because that is essentially what sin is whether it is intentional or not.
One more story and I will sum up. This past week in my Bible study, I watched a video of a young woman's testimony. This was a sweet Christian girl, wife and mom. She was active in church and ministry. Then she went on a mission trip into the Amazon jungle and when confronted with the neediness of the people, yet, overwhelmed with their gratitiude for everything God provided no matter how small, she was completely broken. She was so repentant for her own selfishness that she could not stop sobbing. She was a "good person" but she still had rebelliousness in her heart.
Are your sins forgiven? Are you repentant? Are you allowing God to remove your rebellious acts? I encourage you to ask His forgiveness. Freedom from sin is a wonderful thing and it is possible ONLY through the grace of God.
If this post has prompted you to ask for God's forgiveness, or to ask Him to be your Saviour for the very first time, I would love for you to post a comment and let me know. God loves much He died for you. What will you do with that?

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