Crucified With Christ and The Impact of SinQUESTION: Crucified With Christ – The Impact of SinANSWER:
A working definition of sin is, "the transgression of God's will, either by omitting to do what God's law requires or by doing what God's law forbids." This transgression can occur in thought (1 John 3:15), word (Matthew 5:22), or deed (Romans 1:32). Quite frankly, sin is that which separates us from God. God is a holy God. He created mankind to be holy, but when sin entered into the human race through Adam's failure to remain holy, we all became sinners, born with a sinful nature. That sinless image of God in man became distorted by sin, the result being that man could no longer think, feel, or act in a way pleasing to God. It is God's plan to restore His image in man through Jesus Christ. He has predestined that every one of His children will be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).Crucified With Christ – Freed from the Bondage of Sin
Jesus did not die just so we can go to heaven, but so that we can be freed from the bondage of sin; delivered from sin that we may be free to serve God. So what does sin look like in the life of a believer? There is not space to give all the examples that could be considered, but by giving a few, most of us will find ourselves without too much difficulty.
Some believers are liars. They lie to cover their tracks for having been involved in other sinful behavior. They lie to their spouses about inappropriate behavior with a co-worker. They lie to their bosses by calling in sick so they can do other things. They lie to their children by not keeping promises made to spend time with them. They lie to their pastor by making excuses for not attending services. They lie to their neighbors about whose dog it was that got into the trash. They lie to their customers about the quality of the product they are selling. They lie to the police about how fast they were going. And they lie to God every January by resolving to spend more time in His Word.
Some believers are cheats. They cheat on their wives or their husbands after vowing to be faithful. They cheat on their timecards so they can steal their employer's money. They cheat on their taxes rather than "rendering to Caesar that which is Caesar's." They cheat their friends while playing a "friendly" game of cards. They cheat at school to get a grade they did not earn. They cheat at work to get a promotion they do not deserve. They cheat playing ball on their church league team to win a trophy their talent alone cannot obtain. They cheat the cashier when they are given back too much change. They cheat the grocer by eating the grapes before they get to the checkout. They cheat the insurance company with inflated claims. And they cheat God by not giving to Him the tithe!
Some believers are sexually immoral. They engage in pre-marital sexual relations, which God calls fornication. They engage in extra-marital sexual relations, which God calls adultery. They engage in homosexual relations, which God calls an abomination. They fill their minds with pornography, which God calls uncleanness and wantonness. They secretly lust after all types of sexual fantasies, which God calls lasciviousness. They have taken the gift that God intended to be shared between a husband and wife and have perverted it into "sexual freedom." Indeed, they have become "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4) and have itching ears to hear of God's love while denying His holiness!
Let us hasten along by simply proclaiming that some believers are idolaters, some are greedy, some are selfish, and some are envious. Some believers are always involved in strife, outbursts of anger, disputes, and dissensions. Some believers even allow their anger to grow into hatred, which God considers murder. Some believers have given place to alcohol and drugs in their lives and have succumbed to its control. Some believers seek to make an easy buck by gambling with money that could be given to the work of God. And yes, some believers still use the name of the Lord our God in vain! Should we continue, or have you already found yourself in this short list? Do you see why we must be delivered from sin in order to be free to serve God?
Rendered with permission from the booklet, Free to Serve God: 7 Principles Every Believer Should Know,
by James O. Jones, Jr. (Light of Life Ministry, revised printing 2009). Compliments of James O. Jones, Jr., and Light of Life Ministry
. All rights reserved in the original.