It’s still June, it’s still hot, and I’m still NOT talking about hunting (although I went to a Game Feed this weekend and watched some deer walk through my yard).
Has anybody else noticed this…sin, in your life…seems magnified 10 times greater than it used too? I mean it seems like “SIN”, in your life…is way bigger and way more destructive than it used to be. Even though it happens less frequently. Why is that?
In Leviticus 11:44 it says, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy….”
This is one of those passages that typically falls into the “impossible” category. We brush it off because we don’t see any evidence of this walking around today. While it is easy to agree with that conversationally…I’m not sure we should agree with that truthfully. If our sin seems magnified to us, maybe that is because we are viewing sin the way God views sin. We are starting to process the world around us through “righteous’ filters…we can see the difference between the wheat and the chaff…the sheep and the goats. In Ephesian 4: 17-24 it says, “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 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, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
This passage says the “new self” is created in righteousness and holiness of truth, in short, the likeness of God. Paul speaks of the “new self” in Colossians 3: 5-11 as well, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”
This passage says the “new self” is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of our Creator. In other words, the “new self” will see evil for what it is…an affront to God. The “new self” won’t be darkened in its understanding, corrupted by the lusts of deceit, given over to anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive language, and all other kinds of evil practices. Wow…is that actually happening within us? Check the evidence…a little sin now…causes us to repent in earnest…while a lot of sin back then…left us unbowed and unbroken. Yeah brother…I think we are putting on the “new self”.
Galatians 5: 7-10 says, “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”
These sins, that bother us so, are the like the passage above…’a little leaven leavens the whole lump’. These infrequent sins SCREAM out to us because they have the ability to spoil the whole thing. “The whole what…?”, you ask. They can spoil the whole work God has us working on…whatever that may be. The charge of “hypocrite” is the worst charge that come against any of us. We must stand firm against the schemes of the devil, and tearfully repent whenever a little leaven gets in. We must strive to be a slave to sin no longer…but a slave to righteousness. A slave to the things from above…we must strive to be Holy…for He is Holy.
“Now wait a minute…you said earlier that was impossible?”
“No…that’s not exactly what I said. Lets listen to Saint Peter for a minute.”
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “ You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Is it impossible for us…?
Is it impossible for God…?
Who works in who…?