As Christians living in a world that is bombarded by so much information and ‘truth’ we need to be ‘on our toes’ to make sure we don’t allow a seed of deception to grow in our hearts and minds. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
I recently heard a famous Christian television preacher say, “God is not all that concerned about sin.” Immediately I thought about God’s attitude to sin. How do I know God’s attitude to sin? It’s very simple. We have God’s word that reveals to us in Hebrews 1:9 that Jesus loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. In 1 John 3:4 we read that “Whoever commits sin commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Lawlessness is sin, so Jesus hated and still hates sin! The Cross of Christ is clear evidence of God’s attitude to us and His attitude to sin. He so loved us that He gave his only begotten Son to pay the price for our sin. ‘The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Rom 6:23.
John tells us in 1 John 3:9 that he who sins is of the devil! Ouch!! The amplified Bible says that “no one born of God deliberately, knowingly and habitually practises sin for God’s nature abides in him….” Our hope of eternal life is Christ’s sacrifice for us and Christ in us, the hope of glory. Christ in us means that we have righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost in us; it means we are ‘partakers of the divine nature’ which enables us to live a godly, righteous and holy life. As we live in Christ, He lives in us, and through our union with Him we overcome sin; sin has no dominion over us for we are not under law but grace.
Why am I talking about ‘God’s attitude to sin’? I don’t know about you but to me it is a healthy reminder of the lifestyle God expects and requires from His children. The subtle thoughts say to us, ‘God understands my need and He loves me anyway; I know what I am doing is wrong, but…..’ or ‘I don’t need to forgive that person because they haven’t apologised.’ Let us examine ourselves lest we fall short of the grace of God(Heb.12:15). Jesus said that our heavenly Father will hand us over to the torturers if we do not, from our heart, forgive our brother his trespasses. Matt 18:21-35.
Like us, King David loved the manifest presence of God but was cut off from God when he had unconfessed sin. When he cried out to God and acknowledged his sin God responded and gave him back the desire of his heart - fellowship with the Father God.
I believe that God is ‘lifting the bar’; we are His children and He is calling us to become more and more like Jesus – loving righteousness and hating sin.(yet loving the sinner). We are to overcome the flesh and to live in the Spirit – “walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” “We overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony, for we love not our lives unto death.” Right now why not ask the Holy Spirit, our Counsellor, to reveal anything that might be classified as sin in His eyes. God yearns over us with a jealous love and He is longing to grant us the ‘richest measure of His divine presence and that we would be filled and flooded with God Himself.’
Your brother in Christ,
National Director for Pastoral Care of Leadership