Abhor what is Evil
Abhor what is Evil
All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20). Sin, in the moment and on the surface can seem to be very tempting, alluring and pleasurable (Hebrews 11:25). So, how can former sinners like ourselves, learn to abhor what we once loved and found so appealing (Romans 12:9; 2 Timothy 2:22)? How do we learn to get rid of something, that we once viewed as something that we could not live without or something that was a major source of supposed happiness in our lives (Matthew 5:30)? How do I shun sin when I have repeatedly engaged in it, believed the same old lie time and again, and have formed an incredible strong habit and addiction? In this lesson I want to address such questions:
What am I Becoming?
“Remorse is so bitter. I would give everything just to turn the clock back” (Carmela Bouchbout).
- “Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future” (Deuteronomy 32:29).
- “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days” (Proverbs 19:20).
- “And you groan at your final end” (Proverbs 5:11).
Sin will turn me into something that I do not want to become. In the first Psalm the righteous man is pictured as a hardy tree that is firmly planted by streams of water and which yields fruit in its season (Psalm 1:3). Then it says:
- “Its leaf does not wither” (1:3).
In like manner, in the book of Jeremiah the godly person is likened to a tree that is always green, even in a time of drought (Jeremiah 17:8), while the ungodly person is compared to a bush that yields nothing productive (17:6). I don’t want to be a person who withers, who is silent when someone needs to speak up, who is absent when I need to be present, and who withers when people seek to depend upon me.
- Like Chaff: (Psalm 1:4)
If I remain in sin, I will lead a useless life. I will become chaff, something that is unproductive and is simply fit to be burned. Sin will transform me into a person who makes no real and lasting contribution to society. Whatever I achieve will simply be blown away after I am gone. At the Final Judgment, Jesus will tell many, “Depart from Me” (Matthew 7:22). Or, in essence, “You have nothing to offer”.
It Will Always Catch Up to Us
- “And be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
- “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
- “The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after” (Timothy 5:24).
Obviously, we will answer at the Judgment. Yet, “find you out” involves even more than that. It will catch up to us in this life (Galatians 6:7-8). We cannot avoid or escape becoming what we are thinking and or practicing. Such will take a toll upon our character, our relationships, our marriages, and our physical, emotional and mental health. It is simply impossible to become a confident, mature and strong Christian who can face death and challenges with optimism and be involved in sin. Such will prevent many blessings from showing up in our lives, such as the peace that God promises to the faithful (Philippians 4:7). Sin will simply steal away from us our joy, confidence, and contentment. The Bible warns us with many examples of people who tried to live a double life and the outcome was always the same. Such yielded a guilt ridden and shriveled kind of existence (Psalm 32:3; Luke 8:14). “It messes everything up. It messes up your day, messes up your family, messes up your health, messes up your finances, messes up your job, messes up your mind” (Go and Sin No More, Michael L. Brown, p. 51).
Nothing Will Get Better
- “First we practice sin, then defend it, then boast of it” (Thomas Manton).
Sin, will only lead to more sin. Consider the example of David if you don’t believe that such is possible. One of the most godly men in the Old Testament ended up committing adultery and then having an innocent man murdered in the attempt to cover his tracks. Judas, an apostle starts out as a thief and ends up betraying Jesus.
- “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:20).
- “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6).
- “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit” (Ephesians 4:22).
- “But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).
It is Slavery
- “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin” (Proverbs 5:22).
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34).
So every time we sin or repeat the same sin, we are only creating another cord or rope that is being wrapped around us. We are only making it make such harder to overcome this in the future. “No one wants to be a slave. Slaves have no freedom, no rights. Slaves live to do the will of another. They have no future, no ability to determine their lot in life, no hope – unless someone can liberate them. Slavery is misery, especially when the master is harsh, selfish, insensitive, cruel, and powerful” (Brown, p. 31). The reality is that sin will always drag us down. No one becomes more of any virtue, a better husband or wife while in sin. No one develops higher standards. Rather, “Ask yourself some serious questions. Which way are you going? Are your standards higher today than they were in the past, or have they gradually become lower? Is your ability to resist temptation stronger now than it was before, or do you find yourself slipping more quickly, sinning more freely, yielding more easily? And are you doing things now – habitually, or with some regularity, or with little sense of conviction or guilt – that you would never have gone near in the past?” (Brown, p. 35).
Humiliation Will Happen
- “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out” (Proverbs 6:32-33).
Satan loves to humiliate us. Just think of what happened to Samson, with his eyes gouged out and being put on display by the Philistines. The question is not whether or not we will be shamed, embarrassed, exposed and humiliated, the real question is when will this happen? For all who continue in sin, such will happen at the Judgment when the entire world will hear all your secrets. Yet, often in this life the sinner ends up humiliated as well. By contrast, God wants us to have confidence before Him (Hebrews 4:16) and the absence of fear (1 John 3:21; 1 John 4:17-18). Satan wants us to cower in fear, and have no boldness with regard to truth or righteousness.
Sin Makes Light of Jesus’ Blood
- “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
The only thing that could ever liberate us from the bondage of sin was the blood of Jesus. In order for us to be forgiven, God Himself had to come to this world, assume human flesh, and then suffer an agonizing death. That is just how bad sin is. Only Jesus’ death could atone for any of our sins. Therefore, to continue in sin is to show incredible contempt for the blood of Christ. So let us see sin for what it really is, something selfish, dishonest, and having no regard for God or others.
Mark Dunagan | email@example.com
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017