Truth Seekers Ministries Presents...
The Truth about..
Sin and Redemption
Before I get into this subject, there are a few things I need to go over. I am not your judge, nor am I condemning anyone for any particular sin. God knows, I am just as guilty of sin, if not more so, than most, and as such I am in no position to condemn anyone. I don’t care what you do, or have done, for we all fall short, and there is “none righteous, no not one”. The Pope, Mother Theresa, and Jack the Ripper, are all as equally guilty of committing sin against God and falling short of his law as set forth through Moses. So, as I am going over this subject, bear in mind that I am talking first to and about myself, and then, if there are any crumbs of truth that fall from my table and are gleaned, then all the better.
Now, when I say things like, “The United States, should now be called by a new name, “Sodom”, … or just as accurately, “Babylon the Great””, I am by no means picking on any one. I am not being anti American, un patriotic, or any such thing. I love my country, for because of it, and the soldiers who have died defending it, I have the freedom to write about the subjects that I do and put them out in cyberspace for the world to see. What I am doing, is what my dad used to say, “I just calls’em as I sees’em”. (poor grammar for emphasis) The founders of this great nation would turn over in their graves if they knew what their original ideas, hopes, and plans for this country have evolved into. With states passing laws permitting homosexual marriages, which, by the way, is slapping God in the face, to God being cut out of everything that has anything to do with government. Not to mention our unfathomable debt, and our leaders selling out, to the “World Governing Powers” through trade agreements. So now I, just as the called men of God had to say something about the idolatry and sin that had become so prevalent in Israel, I just can’t keep my mouth shut about the direction our great country is heading. If you believe that the moral standard and acceptance of sin that this country, and many countries around the world have sunk to, is not getting very similar to, “As in the Days of Noah”, and “Sodom and Gomorrah”, then you may be part of the many “having their consciences seared”, and are then incapable of discerning truth. If you think that God will continue to bless this great nation, while the vast majority of it’s population sinks further into debauchery and sin, with seemingly no moral standards, actually calling evil good and good evil, while it’s support of Israel is faltering at the edge of a deep crevasse, and with an organized “church” that is so far from it’s beginnings that it is willing to accept the morality standards of the worldly, to the point of accepting openly homosexual priests, then you are surely being deceived. Israel, God’s first chosen and elect, were led astray, and God scattered them across the world for millennia. If he would do that to his own pride and joy, how much more would he punish, even obliterate other nations that were first blessed by him, but soon started down that slippery slope of iniquity. Please don’t think I am trying to beat you over the head with some moral standard, far from it, for I can’t seem to go a day without breaking some law or many. That is why we have to take that free gift of God’s Grace, and walk daily in it, unworthy as we are, and rest in the assurance that the Blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover all of our sins, past , present, and future.
What I propose to accomplish with this subject, is first of all to precisely define what sin is. Second, to give you, the reader, a sense of what Gods demands are, in regards to sin. Thirdly, how these demands relate to us in this age of “Grace and Peace”. Fourth, to explain to the reader how sinners, such as we are, could even qualify for redemption while still fulfilling God’s demands.
I am not a, do this, don’t do that kind of teacher. I live under the umbrella of God’s grace, yet consider myself totally unworthy of it. For just as Paul saw himself as the “Chiefest of Sinners”, I can’t help but believe that I hold that record now, for if Jesus was right, and the thought is as bad as the deed, then, ...“Woe is me”. I’m not about telling people how to live, for we each have to find our own way. I can only say, that if there is anything you doing that seems like it might be a sin, then for you, it is a sin. The truth is this, God is plain when it comes to telling you what he calls sin.
So lets first go back to the old testament to find out what God says sin is.
“FOR SIN, COMES DEATH..”
The Adamic curse, entails both physical death, and eternal separation from God, but that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the effects on life here on earth. This curse was caused by iniquity. Iniquity means, going our own way, and doing our own thing, “Rebellion”, while ignoring what the Spirit of God is nudging us to do. You may say that, it was just an apple, what is the big deal? Well, it was probably not an apple, more like a grape, but that is not even the issue. They chose, knowing what God had instructed them to do, to ignore His warning, listen to the temptations of the Evil One, and go their own way. “We all like sheep have gone astray…”
I’ve heard many ask, if GOD Is all that, then why create evil at all? Why would he not create us all perfect, without sin? These are very good questions, and I would like to elaborate some and give you my two cents worth. First GOD didn’t create Lucifer imperfect. For he was “..perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, TILL iniquity was found in thee..” God did not create sin, but he allows free choice for all of his creation, Lucifer just took that freedom and rebelled. All evil and rebellion in the world is a result of sin and free will. God’s plan though, is perfect, for his desire for eternal companionship, is to have those who have the ability to choose to reject God, but choose instead to spend eternity with God of their own free will. God could have made us like robots, not being able to do wrong, to choose for ourselves, but I believe that He, using the laws of attraction, knew that a free willed being, willingly choosing you, creates a deeper and more personal love and companionship than if you were to create for yourself a bunch of robots to spend eternity with. So although God didn’t create iniquity, He knew that, if left to their own devises, free willed beings would sin and go their own way.
With that first rebellion, came the curse. Here now is an overview of what exactly that curse entails.
“In the Day you eat thereof you shall surely die..”
First God pronounced death. There would now be a limit to the life span of any living creature. Many have said that God didn’t kill Adam that day, so His Word is no good. However, prophetically speaking he did die within that first day, or first thousand years, 930 to be precise, for to the Lord, “A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years, as a day..” All of creation now had to get sick, have accidents, grow old, and die, eternally separated from GOD the Father. What once would have been a paradise of eternal life under the wings of our Lord, became an existence of pain, suffering, and loss. Just think about loved ones you have lost, and know this, that if it wasn’t for sin, our loved ones would still be here today.
The curse also affected the land, for it became very hard to grow things. Thorns and thistles, weeds and noxious plants grew up. Pests, plagues, harsh weather, toil and hardship is now our lot. Mankind's life would now be full of hardship, toils, sickness and then death. Satan’s use of the serpent, who at one time existed in a vertical plane, was now cursed among creatures, hated among all, and forced to now slither on its belly. All animals now were under the curse, probably creating the meat eaters, who likely started out as grazers. Man, Adam and his descendants, would have had dominion over all creation, even over Lucifer, or at that time “Satan”, and his fellow fallen angels, but we forfeited that claim by listening to that tempter, and now Satan is the “Prince of the Power of the Air” going about as a Lion seeking whom he may devour.
So you might say, that you aren’t so bad, you live a faithful life, you resist sin, so you can’t be as bad as “That Guy”.
Well you may be a good and decent person, however, God has commanded us many times, much more than just the “Big 10”, in fact there are 106 commands before Moses, 203 given to Moses before the “10”, the “10”, 155 in the first section of the Mosaic covenant, and then some 2,345 commands which are additions to the book of the law of Moses. In all there are 2,277 commands embodying 445 laws of Moses. Look them up, I am not kidding. There are things you do everyday, that violate some command of God. There is no way for us to get around it, we cannot go for long without sinning in some manner or another, Just shaking the hand of someone that has a sore on them is a sin, making you unclean. Then Jesus himself, “Ups the Annie”, by stating that the thought is as bad as the deed, that just being angry at your brother is as bad as committing murder, or looking lustfully at a woman, is as bad as committing adultery. Now our “Law Load” had just increased exponentially.
The problem, you see, is not that we are sinners because we sin, rather we commit sin because we are sinners. We are born into a fallen state, or condition, brought about because of that first thought of iniquity, and we are incapable of living a Holy, consecrated to God, sin free life, for we will always be tempted until we see our Lord and His gaze purifies us totally. Now we can, walk the walk and talk the talk, of being sinless, and even live a virtually sin free life, but the outward appearance is only a mask, were we get the word, “hypocrite”, that covers the underlying black, disgusting, body of death that we all have. Does this fact give us the leeway to just go out and sin, since we can’t change our condition, and any sin we commit is placed under the blood of Christ? Of course not. Our walk of faith will change us, as we continue in it, and we will find ourselves changed, fulfilling the law of God by our very nature. Will we fall, and fail in our walk? Sure I’ll probably go out today and get angry, or see a pretty woman, and fall in my walk. But, if we repent of our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
There are probably two groups of people, reading this, that right now are feeling a little uncomfortable. Group 1, is the group of Christians that are so legalistic in their views that they think are above reproach, however, no one else in their right mind believes that they, Group 1, can live such a sin free life, much less have any right to “Gloat” in their, “righteousness”. Group 2, would then be the group of people who sees nothing wrong with themselves either, they are living in sin, doing whatever they want, and either think that they are so bad, that there is no way they can be forgiven and don’t deserve God’s Grace, “Unmerited Favor”, and have given up on their salvation, or that somehow their, “Christianity”, gives them license to live however they want with no repercussions.
What I am here to do today, is to tell both groups that they are wrong, and to get over themselves and to listen for a minute.
Group 1: You Are Wrong! - I know about this group personally. I grew up in a “Primitive Southern Missionary Baptist Church”. Your outward shell varies from one extreme to another. Some walk around with their noses in the air, keeping the unworthy or unclean far from you. Some are rather humble, which is a good thing, but they are still just as uptight and judgmental.
You are not perfect, your self-righteous condemnation of any sin, is as bad as the sin you are condemning. Your internal strife, anger, and frustrations, are examples of sin, even murder if you believe what Jesus said! Just mellow out, remember from whist thou has fallen, remember your first love, the humbling forgiveness and grace you felt when you first decided, “Yes!!” I’m not talking about kneeling at the altar, or any other coerced show. I’m talking about when you, sat there, laid there, or bowed there, and asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. You had such a peace, flow over your body, it was really awesome, wasn’t it. Now quit judging others and live a life of peace and forgiveness, for if we can’t forgive others their sins, then how can we be forgiven ourselves.
Group 2: You Are Wrong! - I also know many in this group. The extremes of this group varies widely also. From the, Why be a Christian, too many do-do this, and don’t do that rules, I couldn’t keep them anyway, so why try. I going to live it up, sin all I can, and hope that I just cease to exist when this life is over. To the, I am a Christian, but I am living a free life under grace, and anything I do is ok, because I can be forgiven. O yeah, to the, I might believe in some God, but I am totally unworthy, I sin, and really don’t want to stop having fun in my life, so I’m not going to take that leap of faith.
Listen to me, your perception of Christianity is skewed. You have been listening too much to the people from group 1, and by some transference, think that true Christianity is boring, oppressive, and too uptight to be any fun. Wrong.., wrong.., wrong... Your are right that there are too many laws. But, in Christ, you are free from the judgment of the Law. Yet, just living in sin is also wrong. You can grieve the Holy Spirit, by constantly indulging in sinful desires, and the pleasures of this world. When you do grieve Him, He will leave you and at that point you will no longer care about coming to God, for it is the Spirit that draws you. If you are worried about having past the, “point of no return”, then surely you haven’t past it, for the Holy Spirit is still working on you. And to the “I’m not sure about God, and I’ll probably just cease to exist when I die” person. WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG?
Christianity is not some boring, tedious lifestyle. It is a walk, a relationship with your Lord. It is not some building, or some particular denomination. You don’t even have to go to a church building to be a Christian. While, we are not to forsake the fellowship, the earliest church existed in peoples homes. Small groups, gathering together, talking and worshiping. Giving Jesus His, “Worth-Ship”. Jesus said that whenever two or more or gathered together in His Name, that He is there in the midst. That is Church, not some “starchy collar, stampede of people, barely able to keep their eyes open for falling asleep, kind of “Church”.
So, you say, OK I get it, we all need help, there is none that is righteous, so what’s the solution? Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the solution. If you haven’t read my Resurrection letter, do so. God requires perfection for the Law to be fulfilled. As a result, if He ever wanted to fulfill his desire for eternal companionship, then He was going to have to find a solution. That is where Jesus came in. Jesus was in the beginning with God, he didn’t just start existing some 2000 years ago. He is the Word of God, the entity of the God Head that spoke these worlds into existence, and being God Himself, He knew the solution. He had to shed his eternal glory, submit to being born into a body of sin, and death, somehow live a sin free life, and sacrifice himself for the sins of the world in order that this world would have a “Way Back” unto God. God’s requirements necessitated that Jesus “Kin” himself, fulfilling the law of a “kinsman redeemer”, bringing the price to pay for a debt owed, a perfect life to pay our sin debt, and then He actually had to pay the debt, offer himself up to be sacrificed to pay for the sin debt of every creature in this world, past, present, and future.
Now when Jesus died on Passover, he became the ultimate sacrifice that all of Israel’s animal sacrifices were but a shadow of. He fulfilled the “Whole Law of God, actually the Spirit of the Law”, for we are told he many times did things that the “Righteous Religious Leaders” saw as sinful. In fact, Jesus’ first miracle that we have recorded, was to turn the water into wine to keep the party going. I also assure you this, the party he was at was a secular one, and the wine he made was alcoholic, I don’t care what some preachers might say, there is nothing in scripture to indicate that the wine was a “new wine”. In fact, the people at the party praised the host for saving the best wine for last. Jesus always hung out with the “sinners”, which is what angered the religious leaders most. Jesus doesn’t want us to not have fun, we are just to use moderation and to not let anything we do be in excess. Paul said that “all things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient”, meaning that anything you do, may not help you in your walk, but is not necessarily unlawful. We can make idols out of anything, we are told not to be drunkards, yet it is ok to drink. Anything you do in excess may be creating an idol out of it, if what it does is to divert your attention away from God and our walk of faith. Now I’m not saying that we have to live and talk Christ 100 percent of the time, but we shouldn’t do anything for a longer time than we devote to study, meditation, or worship of our Lord. Don’t get me wrong, I fail at this daily, yet I pick myself up, repent, and keep going.
Alright, now that we know what sin is and what God demands, how that relates to us and what God requires of us now is up.
First, get the thought out of your head, of how we can deserve anything. We don’t, there is nothing we can do or say that in any manner helps us to deserve God’s Grace in any manner. The word Grace means, “Unmerited Favor”, it is a free gift for those willing to reach out and take hold of. Since you or I don’t deserve it, then you don’t have to “Clean up your life”, in order to receive the gift. You can receive this gift at any time, any place, if you have enough presence of mind to be able to discern Jesus sacrifice, and apply that to your own life. Now once you do receive it, changes will happen, but it won’t be immediate, it is a walk of Faith.
So what do we have to do to be a Christian? That is the 10 dollar question, isn’t it. First you need to settle in your own heart your belief about Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection. If you are not drawn to him, then why have you read this far, if you are, then the next step is easy.
“With the Heart, man believeth, with the mouth, confession, (literally proclamation), is made unto salvation”
What this verse says is this. If you believe in your heart that Jesus came, and died. That His sacrifice was to pay for the sin debt of the world, and that God raised him up. That he ascended back to the father and that His promise to us of eternal life for our faith in Himself is true, then, all you have to do is to proclaim what you believe. I’m not saying you have to go to the altar, and cry out your belief, if you just confess your belief to another person, that is an act of faith, and God will reward that by giving you that redemption, that salvation, and you now never have to fear death. For to the Christian, death has no hold, for when we close our eyes here, we open them up with the Lord. Make that choice today, and if you need more evidence, then read my other letters, for in them is the evidence that this world cannot refute. For those already in Christ, keep the faith, keep looking up, for our redemption is really drawing nigh.
With Love in Christ,