Friday, March 20, 2015

We're Going to Write About Sin

We're going to write about sin

Why? Why would Helene and I, who have made a habit of staying positive here at Maidservants of Christ, decide to start writing about negative things?  Attitudes we shouldn't have and actions we shouldn't take seem like such a downer.  There are several reasons, really, all based on the studies we are currently doing in our own lives. 

First, I've been thinking about the difference between willful and ignorant sin.  Willful sin is the kind that says, "I know the Bible says not to do that, but I'm going to do it anyway."  Based on my understanding of 1 John 1:5-9 and Hebrews 10:26-27, I'd have to say that God's grace will not cover that kind of sin.  Ignorant sin is different.  That is the kind that the blood of Jesus continually covers as we walk in the light.  I've been guilty of ignorant sin many times in my life.  For instance, when we began to study the fruit of the spirit, I began to see that the fruit of patience had long been lacking in my life.  I was earnestly trying to follow God, but I was temporarily ignorant of that sin.  I was not in danger of hell at that time, and once God made it evident to me through study, I was obligated to deal with it.  Even then, I didn't conquer it in a day or a week or a month. I still sinned unintentionally every day, sometimes the same one over and over.  But unintentional sin is still covered by grace.

Recently, though, I've been forced to wonder: What about willful ignorance; the kind of attitude that brushes off sin?  "That's just the way I am" or "I'm no different than everyone else, and better than some."  Or "I'm so glad I'm forgiven and covered by the blood.  Sin is not something I have to think much about anymore."  I've been forced to conclude that God is not pleased with that kind of sin either.  As Christians, we know the importance of the Bible. 
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Just as important, we know what we are supposed to do with it.   
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:21-22).
We are to receive the word with meekness and do what it says. God's grace covers ignorance, but we should not remain ignorant throughout our Christian walk. 

We have mentioned before that the word of God is NOT a rule book, a list of dos and don'ts, and we would never suggest that the Christian life is nothing more than "do good, don't do bad." On the other hand, there are several lists in the Bible of things we shouldn't do, and more importantly, attitudes we shouldn't have.  If God saw fit to include these lists in the Bible, then we should pay attention.  

We won't be covering the "biggies." Our local churches do a good job with that, and if drunkenness is the sin you struggle with, you and those around you probably know it. Instead, we'll be using those lists to look at sins that might not be so evident at first glance, the "secret" sins of the heart, the kinds we might not even know are a problem until we start studying.

If you want to remain in your ignorance, feel free to stop reading our Friday posts for a while.  Unfortunately, we can't stop shedding the light on these things.  You see, we've also seen that allowing others to live in ignorant sin is not doing them a favor. They are forgiven from those sins, but they are still suffering the consequences.  We don't want that for anyone else any more than we want it for ourselves. Is a person who is persistently, stubbornly willfully ignorant still covered by grace?  I don't know the answer.  But I don't want to find out the hard way.

I can't say I'm looking forward to this study.  I'm a little afraid of what I'll find when I compare myself to the standard of God's word.  But I'm not willing to close my eyes to sin anymore. Despite these misgivings, I hope you'll join us on this journey.


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