Degrees

October 6, 2016

Image result for math protractor

The country was about to be destroyed, but God was willing to spare the people if one upright person could be found. The Lord told Jeremiah to search throughout Jerusalem to find such a person, but none could be found. Instead he found people with “stubborn and rebellious hearts” (Jer 5:23) whose sins had deprived them of the blessings of God (see v. 25). The Lord declared, “The people of Israel and the people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me” (v. 11).

This passage reminds us that sin is not always a failure to keep God’s standard; sometimes it’s a willful disregard for God and a refusal to accept his will.
Here are three things we should know about sin:

 

  1. Sin is cosmic treason—Treason is the crime of attempting to kill or overthrow that which is sovereign. “Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is an act of rebellion against the sovereign God who reigns and rules over us and as such is an act of treason against the cosmic King.”

  2. Sin occurs when we find our deepest identity in something or someone other than God—Timothy Keller points out that the first commandment is “have no other gods before me.” He says, “The primary way to define sin is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things. It is seeking to establish a sense of self by making something else more central to your significance, purpose, and happiness than your relationship to God.”.

  3. Not all sin is the same in God’s eyes—The New Testament recognizes that there are degrees of sins and that some sins are worse than others (cf., Gal 5:19–21; 1Jn 5:16).

The idea of gradations of sins is important for us to keep in mind so we understand the difference between sin and gross sin. Again, all of our sins require forgiveness. All of our sins are acts of treason against God. We need a Savior for our “little” ones as well as the “major” ones. But some sins are more significant than others, and we need to identify which these are, lest we fall into the pharisaical trap of majoring in the minors.

When we claim “all sins are the same” we fail to view sin as God does and become less likely to take sin seriously.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Wilma L, tough problems with nursing home logistics (that’s the polite version)

Ray P, his dad just passed

Frank N, unprocessed grief

Laney J, in denial about her addiction

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