â€œ…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…â€ (Romans 3:23)
I couldnâ€™t blame this young man for believing he was not a sinner; many churches across America preaching from the NTFV (New Touchy-Feely Version) Bible never talk about sin. I doubt most born again Christians really understand what sin is. I used to have a simple definition of sin: disobedience to Godâ€™s commandments.
Iâ€™ve recently discovered a more excellent definition. Based off our verse from Romans, sin is anything that falls short of Godâ€™s glory. Major W. Ian Thomas describes sin as:
Sin is universal and represents the margin of difference between all that God is (in whose image we were made) and what we are on our own.
So if Iâ€™m not shooting for Godâ€™s standard then I am living in my own strength by my own and/or the worldâ€™s standards. Did you know that if you do anything outside of faith in God you sin? Donâ€™t believe me?
â€œ…for whatever is not from faith is sin.â€ (Romans 14:23b)
Dang Bro Dave, thatâ€™s some tough teaching! Ainâ€™t it though?!!
Beloved, if we are going to sow righteousness for ourselves, then we must live by Godâ€™s standards. It is humanly impossible to do so; it takes faith in God. Our problem is that faith equals trust and we naturally trust ourselves rather than someone else, especially a God who at times seems so distance. Nevertheless, faith is required of us:
â€œBut without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.â€ (Hebrews 11:6)
If we are not willing to trust God and place our faith in Him then we can never please our Heavenly Father. If we trust our flesh, our instincts, our reasoning, our justification, we are not acting in faith in God but faith in us. We use human standards instead of Godâ€™s standards and that is a guarantee for sin. Again Major Thomas writes:
God will evaluate sin as any behavior that falls short of what He does, what He says, and what He is. Sin therefore is exposed simply by relating our behavior to Godâ€™s behavior. God is perfect, and by that perfection you and I can recognize sin, because sin is anything which falls short of His perfection. God Himself is therefore the only standard by which sin is recognizable.
Beloved, therein lies the problems of America. We long ago as a nation stopped using Godâ€™s standard by which to measure our actions, our attitudes, and our assumptions to the point we have murdered over 50 million babies, have legalized sodomy marriage, accepted fornication, have an epidemic of divorce in and out of the church, no longer demand personal responsibility, and live off of credit as though we have an eternity to pay it off!
And yet we expect God to revive us? We, the lukewarm church of Laodicea bring our filthy rags to the altar every Sunday and expect God to bless our efforts in and out of the church and all He wants to do is vomit us out.
â€œI know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.â€ (Revelation 3:15-16)
My beloved readers, we cannot and will not have a revival in this country without repentance and that will not come until we have a renewal of our minds, a reeducation if you will. If we will do that, if we will come to a Biblical understanding of what sin is, then and only then will repentance come.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers