1999-05-22 - Sin
Last week we said:
"God cannot tolerate sin. This being true, He permitted sin to arise in His kingdom. God foreknew when he created Lucifer,and made him the anointed cherub,the highest of His created beings, that he would pit his will against divine authority and corrupt his own nature, and that in his fallen state - as Satan - he would lead others into rebellion. God also foreknew when He would create man that he would rebel against Him and bring untold misery, sin and suffering upon all his descendants.
Although God foresaw all - Satan's rebellion and the subsequent acts of disobedience and their consequences - both on the part of angels and men - He brought into being these creatures whose willful acts were to bring the curse of sin upon the universe."
This past week we packed up three of our four children and headed to New Jersey for a baby dedication and to visit family. It was a long drive. The kids were pretty well-behaved. We arrived to find out that the baby was not going to be dedicated after all because of a vacation problem, and since the parents were traveling across the country, the dedication would be in July. We did get to see Mom and the little guy though, which was really neat.
The night before we left, Sandy and I had talked about true sorrow for sin. We were discussing the fact that she was saved and had accepted Jesus as her Savior without much hesitation, since she had "always" believed in Him. Church attendance was nothing new nor was reading her Bible. So "becoming a Christian" was no big deal. She said it herself, and the statement threw her. It was "no big deal". She loves God, has grown spiritually and reads her Bible … but it was a very uncomfortable statement, which led us to a discussion on sorrow.
Real sorrow for sin.
We knew that aside from being in church that Sunday to see old friends for me and new friends for Sandy, that God had a purpose in our attending that service, that day. What was the sermon on? Matthew 5:3,4 - real sorrow … being broken. Attempting to understand with our finite minds the price that was paid for our sin.
Matthew 5:3,4 "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."
In recent weeks we discussed the three main character traits of God. They are truth, love and holiness, holiness being the dominant characteristic. God is holy and He cannot tolerate sin. Even the angels who sinned against God by exercising their will over His were cast into Hell. Yet God in His love, through Jesus, gives us a way to be saved from the natural result of sin, which is death.
Romans: 6:23 " For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Can we ever really understand the cost of our sin, past and present? Can we ever really understand the price that was paid for us to have the privilege, the awesome privilege of coming into the presence of a Holy God? Do we ever really understand the honor that we have been allowed through Jesus?
When is the last time ,we fell on our face and prayed: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting" Psalm 139:23,24.
In this is our comfort … that through Jesus, we not only can come into the presence of God … but we can be made clean, forgiven of our sin against Him. His forgiveness is a blessed gift of mercy and grace.
Thursday night we attended our regular church service. During a study on the book of Numbers, our pastor said, "the difference between 'godly sorrow' and 'worldly sorrow' is that godly sorrow will bring about a real change." Our heart and mind will change; we will repent of our sin. The changes will be radical. We will desire not to sin against God.
We have talked and prayed much since last Friday evening. We are so thankful that God in His infinite wisdom continues to stretch us and help us to grow in the knowledge of His word. That He reminds us of how great our salvation is, and that He brings our hearts to a place of being broken and to a place of healing.
"Lord God, You have taught us so much. You have brought to our mind our sin, You have reminded us of the great price Jesus paid for our sin, and shown us again Your great mercy, God. We thank You for saving us, we thank You that we can come into Your presence not based on our on works but on the sacrifice of Jesus. We thank You Lord, that when You look at us … You see Jesus."