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Lamech: How Man Views His Own Sin

"And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah." (Genesis 4:19)

“Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.”  (Genesis 4:19)

There are several things that we can learn about Lamech’s attitude toward sin in general, and his own sin specifically. Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, people still maintain these attitudes toward their sinfulness:

Failure To Recognize Sin

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”(Proverbs 14:12)

First and foremost, people are reluctant or unable to identify the sin in their own life. Genesis 4:19 tells us that Lamech married two wives. This was a direct infraction against what God had decreed to Adam saying, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24). Yet we see no recognition on Lamech’s part that he has done anything wrong.

Pride And Self-Importance

“And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech…” (Genesis 4:23a KJV)

While we can really only speculate, it would seem from what Lamech says here that he definitely considered himself the ruler of that “roost”, so to speak. It is unlikely that Lamech ever showed love or respect for either of his wives, but maintained this attitude whenever he dealt with them. “Listen to what I have to say, hear me speak!” A cavalier attitude toward sin demonstrates a lack of respect and reverence for God. Those without any reverence for God usually lack any real concern or respect for others, either. They are only concerned about themselves.

Revelry In Their Sin

“Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.” (Psalm 52:1 ESV)

When Lamech tells his wives that he has killed a young man (Genesis 4:23), his language is almost poetic; it’s as if he is singing a song about a heroic deed that he has performed! Shame and guilt over sin comes only by the convicting power of God’s Spirit; apart from Him, people rejoice and are proud of their wicked behavior. Look around us today at how many people are glorying in abominable sinfulness that they should be ashamed of.

Self-Justification

“…For I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.” (Genesis 4:23b KJV)

We are not given any details about this incident except what Lamech himself says about it. Was he truly justified in killing the other man? Was it self-defense as he is claiming? We really do not know, but it is highly suspicious to say the least, based on what we do know about Lamech. Like so many criminals in courtrooms around the world: in his own eyes, Lamech felt completely justified and blameless for the blood that he had spilled. People have the tendency to come up with any and every possible excuse, explanation, and alibi imaginable when it comes to their own sins. When it comes to others, however, they are quick to point a finger. Which brings us to the next point:

Comparing Themselves With Others

“If Cain is avenged…” (Genesis 4:24)

Man’s inclination is to compare his own behavior with that of others. We can all find an example of someone who has done far worse things than we have. The liar can point an accusing finger at the thief, who can point his finger at the adulterer, who can compare himself to the murderer, who feels satisfied that at least he is not so bad as the mass murderer, who can say that at least he is not so depraved as the wicked tyrant who has the blood of millions on their hands. People use this type of reasoning all the time, comparing themselves one to another, yet the only standard that matters at all is the perfect standard of God. Not one of us can live up to the perfect sinlessness that Jesus Christ maintained, and He is the only One that we are compared with. We have all fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).

Disregard For God’s Judgment

“If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” (Genesis 4:24)

Lamech’s arrogance and pride are vividly shown in his statement here: “If God withheld maximum judgment from Cain, then surely He will not judge me!”

Lamech is boasting to his wives that they have absolutely nothing to fear from the God of Heaven. Since Cain’s life was spared after he brutally murdered his brother, then Lamech assumed his own life would be that much safer since his actions were not nearly as despicable as Cain’s (at least in his own eyes). What a dangerous practice it is to assume that judgment delayed is judgment withheld! David encourages us to “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2 KJV).

Yet the wicked look at others and assume that since the outward manifestations of God’s judgments are not readily apparent in their lives, then they themselves are safe to do the same things. What a tragic mistake it is to think this way. Cain was judged for his sin, in this life and in the next. So was Lamech. Those who do not put their trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins can be certain, though they may have not experienced God’s judgment yet, they certainly will.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 27,  2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission

.*English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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God Reached Out To Cain

"And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." (Genesis 4:6-7)

“And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Genesis 4:6-7)

What I find to be some of the most beautiful passages in all of Scripture are those where the Lord reaches out even to those who are utterly opposed to Him. What a truly amazing demonstration of God’s Grace! I find it very comforting to know that God would reach out His hand in mercy to someone like Cain, because it reminds me how He reached out His hand in mercy to someone like me, even when I was utterly opposed to Him. And it reminds me that He will reach out His hand in mercy to anyone else who will take it, regardless of the sin that fills their heart.

Genesis 4:6-7 tells us how God approached Cain after Cain’s offering was rejected. We see a similar method throughout the Bible as God approaches even the vilest of sinners and offers them mercy. The very first thing that we should take note of is the fact that God is not angry with Cain. We are told that Cain is angry, but we can see that God is not. Next, we should also note that God does not stand aloof from Cain, waiting to see if he will do the right thing. Some people like to talk about man’s search for God, but man is not seeking God; God is the One Who seeks us (Luke 19:10). Cain was not left on his own to try to work through his rebellion and, perhaps, eventually do the right thing. God came to Him.

It Starts With A Simple Question

“Why art thou wroth?” God asks Cain. Why is it that you are angry? God knew very well the answer to this question. Socrates was not really the inventor of what we call the “Socratic method”- wherein we teach others by asking questions that cause them to ponder and ask their own questions, leading them to discover the answers for themselves- God used this method from the very beginning. He will ask us why we do or feel certain things when we have never even seriously considered the reasons why ourselves. Saul of Tarsus had made it his mission in life to destroy the early Church and wipe the name of Jesus Christ from the face of the Earth. When the Lord stopped him on the road to Damascus, He didn’t annihilate him, He approached with a simple question: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4)  Why are you doing what you are doing?

If Thou Doest Well

God knew why Cain was angry and He knew what Cain was contemplating in his heart. Cain’s anger was manifesting itself toward his brother, Abel. Sadly, Cain’s anger and frustration wasn’t that he had failed to please God by doing what He had asked him to, he seemed more worried that his disobedience might cost him his position in his family. “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” The word for accepted is not translated as such anywhere else in the Old Testament. In other verses, it is rendered as  “excellency”, or “dignity”, or it refers to a rising up of something; an “exaltation.” When Jacob is pronouncing his blessings on his sons before he dies, he uses the same term in relation to Reuben, his first-born (Gen. 49:3). Reuben is the “excellency of [his] dignity.”

Cain’s motive was not to be accepted by God, it was to be exalted over his brother, the second-born. His fear was not that God would disapprove of him, but that Abel would take his place in the family and usurp the birthrights of the first-born. Isn’t that so often the reason for sorrow over sinful behavior? It isn’t a concern over offending God’s holiness, but rather a grieving over the loss that it might cost the sinner. Cain’s concern seemed to be more with how other people might view him as a result of his disobedience, not how God would look upon him. Nevertheless, if Cain did what was right and what God expected of him, he needn’t fear the collapse of his position within his family.

The word order of verse 7 has caused many different interpretations concerning exactly what God is referring to, but I think that if we bear in mind the context thus far, we see that the God’s final statement in the verse refers to this brotherly relationship: “And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” The phrase is nearly identical to the one that God tells Eve in Gen. 3:16 (” and thy desire shall be to thy husband…:”). In both instances, God is establishing or upholding an authority structure within the natural family. If Cain submits himself to God, he need not worry about Abel submitting himself to Cain.

Since nowhere in the Bible is the promise given to any person that they shall “rule over sin“, it is inconceivable that God would be making such a promise to Cain. Jesus Christ is the only One Who rules over sin (Romans 7:25). No, God is merely assuring Cain that he will in no way lose his position of “dignity” and “excellency” within the family if he will but hearken to the voice of the Lord and obey Him.

Sin Lieth At The Door

Some have interpreted this passage with the idea of sin crouching at the door, ready to pounce on Cain. The word for “lieth”, however, seems more to refer to lying down; as in rest. Several times throughout the Old Testament it is used to to show sheep lying down, relaxed in safety (e.g., Psalm 23:2 use this term about how God is our Shepherd and makes us to lie down in green pastures). The idea is not that sin is crouching behind the bushes, waiting to make its move. No, the sin is there, “relaxed” and waiting at the threshold of the door for Cain to come walking through. If Cain does not determine to heed God’s call to him now, then when he goes out through the “door” from this place where God has met him, he is going to walk right into the sin waiting for him. The sin isn’t going to “pounce” on him from behind, he is going to head right into it.

The Choice Is Ours

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

God made His expectations clear to Cain. Now, it was up to Cain to decide if he would obey or not. His options were simple: obey God and choose life and blessing, or disobey God and choose death and cursing. What he could not do was get God to lower the standard, or change His mind, or let Cain come to God some other way. He would never be able to plead ignorance or accuse God of not giving him ample opportunity. God came to him now giving him the chance to repent and be reconciled. God came to him now as Savior. If he disregarded God at this point, the next time God would come as his Judge.

Obey what God has said, or disobey what God has said. We all face the same decision.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 12, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Bringing Others To Jesus (Mark 2)

“…Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.” (Mark 1:45b)

Thus the closing statement of Mark 1 reveals that great crowds were coming from all over the region to see Jesus. And why were they coming to Him? It would seem that a great majority were coming in order to be healed of some affliction or disease. It was the testimony of the cleansed leper (Mark 1:45a) which made it nearly impossible for the Lord to travel anywhere without being mobbed on all sides. Yet the real purpose of Jesus’ ministry was not to heal the sick or cast out demons; for what do we find Him doing when He does finally come back after several days into Capernaum?

And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them.” (Mark 2:2, emphasis added)

Though we seldom read of the Lord going anywhere that He did not heal the sick and cast out evil spirits, His focus was ultimately on preaching the Word of God and proclaiming the Gospel. The mission of Jesus Christ was to declare the Good News of Salvation, the reconciliation of man to the Lord through the death and resurrection of the Son, and to bear the penalty for the sins which separate the sinner from a holy God. He was not simply a thaumaturge alleviating the temporal ailments of the poor and down-trodden for the entertainment and curiosity of the masses. Back in Chapter 1 of Mark we read that Jesus “…came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (v. 15)

However, an interruption occurs as our Lord is sharing the Word with the crowd inside the house. Suddenly, there is a noise on the roof of the home as four men begin to tear the thatching apart. Unable to get their friend into Jesus’ presence by any other means, the desperate men can see no other way than to rip the top of the building off and lower their companion directly before Him.

And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)

It seems that many of the Bible commentaries on this incident put a lot of focus on the details of what these four men actually did in order to remove the roof and bring their friend into the Lord’s presence. Descriptions are given concerning how the roofs of the homes in that place and time were fashioned to be easily opened for various purposes and that peeling them back would not have been seen as a destructive or bold action. Be that as it may, it sure seems that their decision to do so got the Lord’s attention as well as that of every other person present. Jesus commended their faith   for intrepidly doing whatever was necessary to get their sick companion to the Great Physician.

Obviously, it was ultimately not the faith of the four men holding the stretcher which saved the man, but his own. Faith in Jesus Christ can never bring Salvation to someone else by proxy. But then again, it certainly can contribute to someone else’s Salvation, can it not? What would the fate of that paralyzed man have been if his friends did not believe strongly enough that the Lord could heal him? What if they had not believed that it was worth the risk of embarrassment and rebuke and they had decided to just go on back home. There was no room through the doorway, there was no entry through a window, only by dismantling the roof could the men bring their friend into Jesus’ presence.

What can we say about the faith of others and what their contributions have brought to our own Salvation? The mother who diligently prays for her wayward son, the neighbor who cares enough to drive the lonely widow to church each week. There are those who risk much and sacrifice greatly for the benefit of another; they are willing to do whatever it takes just to get that person into the presence of Jesus Christ. Though they encounter difficulties, blocked doors and barred windows, they persevere both through prayer and through action, and they stop at nothing in order to bring the one paralyzed by sin to the only One Who can say, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” (Mark 2:7-11)

There are those who assert that Jesus Himself never claimed Divinity and some who suggest that only the Apostle John recorded Him declaring that He is God incarnate. But those who do so fail to grasp the signifigance of His words in passages such as the one before us. For the scribes were absolutely correct in their second premise: who can forgive sins but God alone? But they were in error concerning their first: He is blaspheming. Only God can forgive sins and yet Jesus forgave sins. The only conclusion we are left with is that either Jesus mistakingly believed that He was God or else He truly is God. But to deny that He ever claimed to be God is completely fallacious.

The scribes were left with one or the other of these conclusions (as, indeed, are each of us). By accusing Jesus of blasphemy, they were implying that He was incorrectly asserting His own Deity. Thus the Lord lays out for them a dilemma. Which is easier to do, to say that this man’s sins are forgiven and assert His Deity, or to say to the man to rise up and walk? The first, of course, would be easier apart from any verification. Any mad man can claim to be God. But what if He proves it by doing that which no other man can do? Who else but God could make the paralyzed rise to their feet in an instant?

It is no wonder that all who were present (except, I would imagine, the scribes themselves) glorified God and declared, “We have never seen anything like this” (Mark 2:12). Again, we should understand from the Lord’s own words that it was His identity as God incarnate, His position as the Son of God sent to take away the sins of the world, that was of supremacy in His ministry. It was not the miracles and healing and wonders that should be at center stage. These were done out of compassion by the Lord Jesus for His people and to authenticate His message. Part of Jesus’ “credentials” were His miracles and it was His wonders and signs which proved that He was and is exactly Who He claimed to be.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Sin Separates Us (Exodus 33)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.” (Exodus 33:1-2)

It seems that there was a space of time in the interval between Exodus 32:35 and Exodus 33:1. We are told in the last verse of Exodus 32 that, “The Lord smote the people, because of what they did with the calf which Aaron had made.” In short, God judged their sin. Scripture does not give us the details of what God did, but we might surmise that God sent some sort of plague upon the people. How long this took to transpire we can only speculate.

In the first verse of Chapter 35, God repeats that He will send His Angel before them to drive out the inhabitants of the land. I find it interesting that so many of the commentaries I have read regarding this passage paint the words of the Lord in a positive light. That God was promising to send His Angel before them was interpreted as a reassurance of His continued Divine guidance. But whether or not this was good news to the people receiving the promise should be considered only in the context of what kind of guidance they had been given up to this point. After all, verse 4 calls the Lord’s message to Moses here a sad word.

“The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22)

Before the incident of the Golden Calf, God had always led the people by His direct Presence going with them. Now, He was declaring that His Presence would be going along ahead of them. He would go forward and accomplish His purposes, clearing the path for the Israelites, but His Presence would no longer be visible or perceptible to them. What a vast difference this would be! Consider, the entire reason for the construction of the Golden Calf and the Children of Israel’s fall into idolatry was because they wanted a more visible manifestation of the Divine Presence of God among them. Now they were being told that they would have to get along with even less than before.

“Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, and I might destroy you on the way.” (Exodus 33:3)

This is a very real consequence of sin, whether for the Hebrews in the Wilderness or for the modern Christian. Sin separates the people of God from the Presence of God. God’s holiness and righteousness compels Him to either separate Himself from sin or else judge it. He will not abide with someone who will not be cleansed from unrighteousness. God’s anger over the Golden Calf had passed, He had already judged the people for it. But what about the next time they fell into grave sin? The Lord’s proposition was that He would remain separated from the people lest He destroy more of them along the way to Canaan. Fortunately, Moses again intervened on behalf of the Israelites and God relented of withdrawing His Presence from the people.

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

One thing that is greatly underemphasized in our modern doctrines is the concept that sin will break fellowship with God. We find blessed assurance in the fact that sin will not forfeit our Salvation secured by faith in Jesus Christ, but we often forget that God still withdraws His Presence from sin and that our transgressions, though forgiven in Christ, will still cause us to fall out of fellowship with the Lord. Until we bring our sins to Christ, confessing them and letting Him cleanse us, we will not enjoy the closeness with God that He desires for us to have.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible  (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?”]

The Christian’s Relationships — Part 3 (Romans 12:9-10)

Relationship To Other Christians

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” (Romans 12:9 NLT)

 “[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good.” (Romans 12:9 AMP)

There’s a series of books entitled “Eat This, Not That” which are designed to show people how to choose better foods that are somewhat healthier than what they might be currently eating. Choosing snacks with less preservatives and chemicals and more natural whole grains, for example, is just one recommended strategy for better health and weight management. Some of the recommendations in the books seem pretty obvious while others might be a little less intuitive. Just the fact that such a series of books exists and has been so popular indicates that most people desire to eat a healthier diet and it also shows that making less than optimum food choices is something that many of us do on a regular basis.

The passage in the Book of Romans that we now come to has a lot in common with those diet books because we could very well title it “Do This, Not That.” And like those diet books, it seems at first a little strange that we would need to be reminded of the things we are being told. That a Christian should do good and not evil, or that he should pray for God to bless others rather than curse them should be as apparent as the fact that eating whole grain crackers is a better choice than snacking on fried, greasy potato chips. But human nature is such that reminders like these are often necessary. Sometimes potato chips just taste better to us than rye crackers and, when someone hurts us or cheats us, praying for God to do good to them is not likely our first inclination.

Therefore, the final verses of Romans 12 concern the Christian’s relationships to other people: first those within the family of God (vv. 9-16) and then those without (vv. 17-21). The key verse, indeed the key sentence, to this entire passage is: “Let love be without dissimulation…” (12:1 KJV). I like the way the New Living Translation puts it: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” What a great paraphrase of our Lord’s Second Great Commandment (Mark 12:29-31)! Real love is not self-seeking, selfish, or hypocritical. It is genuine. It is all of those wonderful things that it is said to be in 1 Corinthians 13. In fact, we could say that Romans 12:9-21 is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in action.

Real love for others is born out of our love for God. Real love’s roots must dig deeply into the rich soil of Christ or else it is little more than sentimentality or philanthropy. “Love” apart from Christ can never be genuine because it is carried upon the wings of our emotions, subject to the highs and lows of our moods. Hypocritical “love” loves only when it is convenient, expedient, or otherwise pleasurable to us. It is subjective and capricious; it is like a feather blowing in the wind and just as unpredictable. It extends itself when the feeling is right, or there is gain to be had. It withdraws itself when sacrifice is demanded or others become less loveable. Real love is passionate, stretching not from the emotions but from the reborn spirit which God has created anew inside the believer.

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Romans 12:10)

“As to brotherly love, kindly affectioned towards one another: as to honour, each taking the lead in paying it to the other:” (Romans 12:10 Darby)

Kindly affectioned may not convey to the modern reader exactly what is meant here. To me, the expression resonates of a sort of rigid, Victorian propriety. It sounds like something that would bring a firm handshake and a pat on the back rather than a hug. But the term used here means a deep, dear, and tender-hearted love. Our love for other believers must not only be genuine, it must be vibrant and enthusiastic.

The Christian is to “prefer other believers in honor“, that is, we are to value them and seek their honor rather than worrying about defending our own. The call to fellowship with other believers is a call to service. As the Lord Jesus said, the greatest disciples are those who serve other disciples (Mark 9:35). The Christian life is about looking after the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ, not enriching ourselves.

Abhorring Evil, Clinging To Good

Before moving on next time to verse 11, let us look back at the last part of verse 9: “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” If there is any one thing that undermines the efforts of the Holy Spirit to sanctify the believer more than anything else it is the believer’s failure to observe this one simple command. Most Christians today do not abhor or hate evil; we tolerate it. Sometimes we even embrace it. We are instructed here to literally be horrified by evil and wickedness, repulsed by its very presence. But how many of us are really repulsed and horrified by the evil around us? We have become de-sensitized by the world’s casual attitudes toward sex, violence, pride, greed, and every other imaginable sin. What passes as entertainment today is little more than despicable lasciviousness and all manner of fleshly impulses being glorified. And most of us in the Body of Christ indulge as much on these things as non-Christians do.

We want the Lord to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and all the while we are re-filling our minds with sinful images faster than the Spirit can wipe them away. It is little wonder that most of us do not have a more powerful witness before a lost and dying world when we are willfully participating in the corruption of our own purity. If we are to get serious with God, we should love what He loves and hate what He hates. And God hates evil.

Conversely, we are implored to cleave to that which is good. We are literally to be glued or cemented together to that which is good. We must not let go of the good that God has instructed us to do.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

We wrestle with sin as much as we do because most of us continually feed our minds and hearts a steady diet of wickedness. We do not really spend much of our time thinking about things that are good, true, honest, and pure. The deeds of the flesh, whether real or dramatized, surround us all the time and most of us have developed an acceptance toward them. But until we truly begin to abhor and despise all that is evil, our struggle with sin will continue to be a losing battle.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)

If we are to walk closely with the Holy Spirit, living a life pleasing to God, we must become sick and tired of sin itself. We have to hate all that is evil, especially the evil deeds that we ourselves commit. It’s one thing to despise the evil that others do, but what about our own wickedness? Do we despise that, too? Is our loathing for evil strong enough for us to allow God to change us and renew us by the transforming of our minds (Romans 12:2)? Many of us in the Church do not take the sin in our own lives very seriously because we rest on the fact that Christ has paid the penalty for our sin debt and we have been forgiven. True enough, but we must also recognize that most of us are hardly living the life that God desires for us because we refuse to abhor the evil that so easily ensnares us.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

*New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers  Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

*Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright ©  1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

*Darby Translation (DARBY)

Public Domain

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