Don’t be too close of a storm tracker! The story goes of a tornado chaser in Oklahoma who would use local radar to keep a safe distance from the funnel while observing their destructive paths so he could report sudden changes to people who were in danger. One day the funnel he was chasing broke into two, and reversed paths very abruptly. Before he knew it, the tornado had picked up his car and threw it 700 yards!
Sin in our lives, like a tornado, can be so destructive, that it can kill us; physically, mentally, or spiritually. James 1:14-15 says, “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
The progression of sin is real. Just like observing a tornado. From a distance, it seems harmless. But when temptation spins out of control, there is major havoc. When there is a major threat, God tells us this in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “When we are tempted, He will provide a way out so that we can endure it.” God through the Holy Spirit can strengthen us in our time of need.
Besides Jesus Christ, who is probably the most revered person in the Bible? Well of course the apostle Paul, the author of much of the New Testament. He didn’t necessarily sin more, but he more clearly viewed his life from God’s perspective. Look what Paul says about himself, as he grew in his faith and closeness to God:
1 Corinthians 15:9 (in AD 59) Paul said, “I am the least worthy of all the apostles”. Ephesians 3:8 (in AD 64) Paul said, “I am the most useless Christian there is.” 1 Timothy 1:15 (in AD 65) Paul said, “…..sinners….and I was the greatest of them all.”
If for some reason you are thinking that you have “arrived” as a Christian and don’t sin, think again! Humble yourself before God, and ask for his forgiveness for your sins as you live your life, day by day!
What really is sin anyway? Sin means simply “missing the mark.” Sin is anything that separates us from God. God has set a high mark for us to reach as his people. He wants our relationship totally reconciled. Because of his holiness, he can’t stand sin! As we live our lives, we realize that we “miss his mark,” a higher moral standard of living. Jesus Christ makes the mark because he is without sin. Jesus and God are one so it is impossible for them to be apart. Jesus comes along side us, by the Holy Spirit, and is our paraclete. He empowers us to make the mark. He can’t do it on our own. Just like we can’t earn salvation on our own either.
Everyone sins, the natural inclination is towards sin– Solomon, in his prayer of dedication of the temple, says “When they, the people sin against you God, ….. for there is no one who does not sin..” 2 Chronicles 6:36. Jesus said that it was a sin not to believe in him and that he is God! John 16:8-9. The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin in Galatians 3:22-23.
Israel’s sins as described in the Old Testament book of Hosea– Hosea 4:1-2 there is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Hosea 4:12- a spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 4:16– The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow?
God’ children are called saints, not sinners– those non-believers who live in sin are sinners. But not believers in Christ. There is no place in the Bible where God’s children are called “sinners” after they are saved. Christians are far from perfect, but they are “new creatures.” Sin is not the theme of our lives. The dominion of sin is broken by the power of the Cross. Christians are called “saints,” remember that!
Six common sins of the human race, according to Jesus – take a few minutes and read Luke 9:37-62. Important story. Jesus was grieved over the failure over his followers. vs. 37-42 Unbelief and perversity– the sins of Israel in the wilderness. This unbelief makes God angry. vs. 43-45 Ignorance– misunderstanding of Jesus’ mission because of fear and selective deafness vs. 46-48 Narcissism– being opposed to God’s way of humility. “Who’s the best?” vs. 49-50 Human prejudice and exclusivism- it is the name of Christ that counts. vs. 51-56 Lack of compassion for unbelievers around us. Jesus came not to destroy lives, but to save them. vs. 57-62 Lack of commitment, excuses not to follow Christ vs. 58– insecurity, vs. 60– unwillingness to let go of a previous life of waywardness, and vs. 62– ambivalence.
Jesus dealt with our sin becoming SIN itself and dying on the cross for us. What a sacrifice. He was the ultimate Scapegoat. Thank you Lord!
More on the topic of sin next blog.