Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Living Under The Shadow Of Sin

“men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” —2 Timothy 3:2-5

Have you ever wondered why Adam and Eve would sin when their lives were so perfect. In perfect alignment with God. Every need met through His providence. Made in the image of God – God created man with the ability to choose. To choose God or choose their own way. To choose rightly or wrongly. To choose what was consistent with God’s perfect design or to go their own way.  In God there is no wrong only right. While Adam and Eve, and their seed have the ability to choose, all other creation acts on instinct – even what some might think of as affection that animals have for humans is instinctive – not volitional.  I came across something I posted on Facebook some years ago.

“Why is there beauty?  Why do we appreciate form and color when all other animals are dumb to it?  Because we are created in God’s image and He is the Discerner of what is good and that discernment has been passed to us through His design and intent for His pleasure and ours. Praise God from whom all blessings flow”

So we have the capacity to choose another way. To reject God and choose man. Because we have been made in the image and likeness of God, we think that we can be like God – that we can be our own god. That is really what disobedience is a reflection of.  And since the Garden, we have lived under the shadow if sin. As you well know, even after we have been born again by the Spirit of God, as we walk in the light, it is easy to step into sin’s shadow. Stepping into the light and then back into the shadow.  Like all Christians, I must constantly on my guard.  Drawn to the shadows – perhaps not overtly – but more likely in my thinking and my attitudes. We would like to think that so long as we don’t act on the sin, we are not guilty of sinning.  That would be nice if it were only true. 

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I [Jesus] say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28

He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” – 1 John 3:14-15

The point here is that I don’t have to act on a sinful decision for it to be sin.  The man had committed the act of adultery in his heart – the one who hates is guilty of sin – the problem is that most Christians don’t want to believe it. They have a problem discerning temptation from sin. And on some points, they argue that something is not sinful even when the Word of God is plain, not requiring any spiritual discernment to understand it.  With regard to temptation, Pastor Greg Laurie, a pastor in California, said “Temptation is like a bird flying over your head.  You can’t keep the bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from making a nest in your hair.”

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” – James 1:14-15

I wrote about the importance of holiness the other day.  Being separate from the world. The reason that the Bible speaks to these things is not for a world lost in its sin, but for the children of God who have been saved from the penalty of sin and called to live a new life – no longer in the shadow of sin -  a testimony to the world that we have been saved out of.  When we try to live with one foot in the light and the other in the shadow, we deceive ourselves.  We have a form of godliness, but in our sin, deny the power of God. Listen – so long as we are in this world we will be bombarded with temptations. We cannot resist the power of the flesh on our own.  We are drawn to the shadows like ship crews responding to the sirens’ song crashing into the rocks.  We convince ourselves that we are “not so bad” and rest in our form of godliness calling it good enough. It seems to satisfy the people around us – but it does not satisfy God. He wants the devotion of all of our hearts not just a portion.

Be on your guard Christian – I pray that we all might say with conviction “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and His righteousness. On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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