Monday, June 4, 2018

What wrong-doin’s are more hurtful? Let’s avoid all, but which ones are more destructive?

Are Some Sins Worse Than Others?

The answer to this question is “yes” and “no.” Yes, sin is sin -- all sins are essentially the same as far as hurting God and separating us from Him. Some sins are more destructive to self, to individuals, or to more people. The Bible seems to indicate that some sins are worse than others, for there are both sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit. Say what?
“One of the most staggering truths of the Scriptures is to understand that we do not earn our way to heaven. …works have a place–but as a demonstration of having received God’s forgiveness, not as a badge of merit of having earned it.” ~ Ravi Zacharias
“It’s Satan’s delight to tell me that once he’s got me, he will keep me. But at that moment I can go back to God. And I know that if I confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me.” ~ Alan Redpath
“The voice of sin is loud, but the voice of forgiveness is louder.” ~ Dwight L. Moody

When we stray from His presence via some lame choice, an attitude, inner iniquity or some sin of the flesh, Christ longs for you to run back to Him -- He can wash you clean! Be quick to return. It could get far worse quickly. He hurts with us (sin hurts Him), and weeps.. that you are missing out on His love, blessings, protection and provision. Sinner, snap out of it. Wake up! He throws His arms open, runs toward you, gathers you up, and welcomes you home. The only place in the Bible we see a pic of God running.. is when He is running towards a repentant sinner headed home.

The Bible says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
So many sins in our world today that really need to be addressed a.s.a.p. -- of commission and of omission (that we don't realize we did). But Kurt, what are sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit? 
Sins of the flesh are sins that we people could usually see -- they have some sort of outward manifestation of evil transgression. For instance, remember when King David committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba? Well, he then tried to cover it up by murdering her husband. It was by sending him off to die where he would surely die and these were obviously sins of the flesh David did.
Sins of the spirit are the more subtle (yet often times more dangerous) -- they're sins of the heart. We commit these sins when we go against what we know to be true. Again, returning to the example of King David, when the prophet Nathan was sent to test David by confronting him with a scenario that resembled the essence of David’s sin.. David displayed an uber-harsh judgmental attitude. Remember? Instead of sensing the similarities in Nathan’s story with great remorse, he pretended to be more righteous than that perpetrator in Nathan’s story. Yes, He was the man -- the sinner! David’s greatest sin was not the act of adultery and murder, but in the covering up of his cruel deeds and then acting as though nothing wrong had happened. The consequences of those bad choices didn't go away while he walked on this planet. Often times God doesn't take the consequences away so that we can learn to really hate sin.  
So where do we see iniquity in the Book? 
Psalm 38:18 - For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.
Nehemiah 9:2 - The descendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
Psalm 25:11 - For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Psalm 32:5 - I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.

Psalm 125:3 - For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
Isaiah 59:2 - But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
Psalm 119:133 - Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 66:18 - If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (If I regard wickedness in my heart)

"Nevertheless, God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from iniquity.'” 2 Timothy 2:19

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.” Psalm 103:2-4

God wants all to come just as they are. The Bible says...

“For they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” ~ Jeremiah 31:34

God pardons every iniquity and outward sin sort of like a mother, who kisses the offense away off into everlasting forgiveness. 

“And when he (Jesus) saw their faith, he said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’” Luke 5:20

“And you know, when you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’re a lot more gracious to others.” ~ R. Warren

We must recognize the futility of simply turning over a new leaf or making a few new place of repenting of sin. We must realize the problem goes deeper than our moral sins. We must get to the heart of the matter and have Jesus Christ take residence in our lives and change us from the inside out. This world seeks to change you from the outside in.. to what they call cool. Not God, who'll totally accept you as you are, forgive you, empower you, and help you to grow.

"When Jesus Christ truly comes into our lives, He takes up residence. And He doesn’t just do a basic housecleaning; He does a thorough one. There is real change." ~ Greg Laurie
Forgiveness – you know it’s 100% free! That's cuz Jesus, now alive, loves you and died on the cross for you. What a great gift to us. Turn and trust. Ask in faith. Being made clean inside is so important. Now is good, much better than later on. Too many put it off and forget. Come and go..tell.
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