Do you love your sin?
Do you call your sin weakness?
Do you trust in your good deeds (righteousness)?
Do you blame your family background for your sins?
Do you term some sins small and others as big?
Do you allow anger to burn within you?
Do you think homosexuality and lesbianism is OK?
Do you think of women as sexual objects?
1. If you love your sin.
This is the basic problem with sin. You love it. Therefore you return to it.
The Bible Speaks: 2 Peter 2:22 A dog returns to its vomit. A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.
2. If you call your sin weakness.
This is how sin is popularly known in Christian circles. A crow does not turn white if it dips itself in milk. Changing labels or names won’t make black white or white black. What we call “weakness,” God calls “SIN.”
The Bible Speaks: 2 Peter 2:19b, Proverbs 14:34b For a man is slave to whatever has mastered him. Sin is a disgrace to any people.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15,16 NIV).
When God calls sin as “weakness,” it means that He looks upon the believer who struggles with temptation with compassion. Though God does not tolerate sin; (His eyes are too pure to look on evil–Habakkuk 1:13a) He shows mercy to the sinner. Therefore God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to the iniquities and wrongs we do. He shows great compassion towards His children who fear Him since He remembers that we are dust (Ref. Psalm 103: 8 to 14).
God encourages us, because of His mercy shown to us, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices which is holy and pleasing to God (Ref. Romans 12:1). That means to live constantly in an attitude of saying “NO” to sinful pleasures of the body.
God encourages us again by pointing out that the struggle against sin is a fierce one. It can be painful resisting sin: “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4 NIV).
God encourages us again by pointing out the fact that Jesus was tempted in every way possible. Therefore He understands perfectly the compulsion to sin you feel; the helplessness you feel when temptation overwhelms you. When in all sincerity you cry out: “Does God understand?” the answer is “Yes,” because Jesus felt the power of temptation.
Therefore He is full of compassion if you call out to Him when you are tempted. Cry out to Him. Tell Him you feel weak. Tell Him that wrong thoughts are eating into your mind. See, God encourages you to go to Him at the time of your temptation. Don’t feel ashamed because He also was tempted in every way that you are tempted now.
But He was able to say “NO” to temptation every time all the time. So He can also help you say, “No” to sin. God encourages you today to call out to Him while you are tempted. Do it now. For no one else understands you and the tempting thoughts that rage in your mind and the fire of lust that burns within you better than Jesus. Oh, He listens with compassion to your cry!
Remember, God delights to show mercy. The Bible says: “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18 NIV). Note the phrase “being tempted.” That means His help is available while you are under attack.
God encourages you also by comforting you. One of the greatest torments in the mind of a Christian who is tempted is this: “Am I abnormal since such foul thoughts are there in my mind?” The Bible answers: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” That means the temptation you are having today is something which other godly men and women have experienced before.
Probably nobody except your closest friends talk about such thoughts and topics openly. That is why you have doubts whether you are alone in the struggle. No. Every godly person goes through what you are going through now at some phase of their life.
Then it continues to say: “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Isn’t that comforting? God doesn’t stand as a spectator watching and waiting for you to fall down in sin. He remembers that you are dust. Though God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13), He will intervene when He sees that you are staggering under the heavy load and burden of temptation.
This happens when you call out to Him for help: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:18,19 NIV). So cry out to Him in sincerity.
God encourages you again by saying, “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV). “A way out!” That is surely your desire. God has promised a way out of temptation. With every individual and his peculiar temptation that he faces, God’s way out might be different.
For God alone understands His child best. He alone understands what causes you to reel under temptation. He knows your habits, your past with all its bad moments, your sense of inferiority, inadequacy, guilt, worthlessness and inability to forgive yourself for your past mistakes. He knows the good within you too. And He loves you just as you are.
Just as Joseph was given the grace and strength to leave his cloak in the hand of Potiphar’s wife and run out of the house (Genesis 39:12b), God will give you grace in your hour of temptation and surely provide a way out.
That way out, God alone knows. Perhaps that way out could be different than the way out God showed for your friend. But know that God is faithful; which means He keeps His word. So He will definitely provide a way out.
Look forward to it!
3. If you trust in your good deeds (righteousness).
Most Christians feel good about good works they do. Giving alms, social service, helping the poor, giving to the Church, participating in campaigns for social justice are all good. But they cannot wash sins away. Nor can it give you protection from God’s wrath falling on you.
The Bible Speaks: Isaiah 64:6, Zechariah 3:3,4 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. Now Joshua [substitute your name here] was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. Then the angel said: Take off his filthy clothes. I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.
Even though you are not supposed to trust in your good deeds you are asked to prove your faith by the deeds that you do (Ref. James 2:14–26). These deeds are not done to get salvation. That comes as a gift. It comes by faith in Jesus alone. But these deeds are your response to the needs of the world. You should never turn a deaf ear to the cries of the suffering world. Reach out to them in love and service with compassion.
Then you shall hear: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35, 36, 40b NIV).
Therefore do something about the physical needs of others, the less-privileged, the downtrodden and the oppressed and the poor in the society.
4. If you blame your family background for your sins.
There is a growing tendency in the world to blame the environment in which people grow up for the sins that they commit. Bible scholars have pointed out the futility of this argument by telling us that Adam and Eve had the Most Perfect Environment anybody could have wished for; yet they sinned.
So sin is a choice that we make. As long as you blame your background and environment, there is no escape from sin or its consequences. God commands you to repent and live!
The Bible Speaks: Ezekiel 18:20, 32 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
To those who have fallen into sin because of “no other way out” situations; since they were born into a “sin-filled” environment itself God shows compassion. Remember, these are people for whom the choice to sin was made by somebody else when they were too young or powerless to make a decision or resist sinful ways. To such people Jesus offers the gift of forgiveness and asks them to live in a noble way from now on. “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin”–Jesus (Ref. John 8:11).
So, if you were trapped by your sinful environment, before you knew what was right or wrong, take a decision today to seek God’s forgiveness and lead a new life from this moment on. God is very near to help you do so.
5. If you term some sins small and others as big.
All sin is detestable to God. What you call small sin is the root from which deadly vipers of big sin leap and strike with venom. You can whitewash yourself on the outside by avoiding big sin. But inside this whitewashed tomb would fester worms and scorpions of small sin that breed and crawl in stinking decay. It will lead you to big sin. Therefore kill the small sin before it kills you from the inside and crack the whitewash on the outside.
The Bible Speaks: Romans 6:23, Matthew 5:28 The wages of sin is death. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Even in the place where John writes about a sin that does not lead to death (Ref. 1 John 5:16–18), he makes it clear that “all wrongdoing is sin” and “anyone born of God does not continue to sin.” What he means here is that there is no point in the life of Christian when he can say that he is above the possibility of sinning.
That is why Paul warned: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Therefore if you are born of God, then you will not continue to sin. But take warning, if you’re not careful at any moment you can fall.
For example, King David was not careful. So he stayed home when he should have gone to the battle. He was not careful while he saw a woman bathing. She was beautiful. That look was a small sin that led to big sins of adultery and murder.
Perhaps, David could have made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a girl as Job had made (Job 31:1). A decision not to sin in an area where you know you could be tempted helps very much when you are caught off guard in a tempting situation. It will help you quickly cry out to God for help. So make a decision today in the area where you are prone to temptation. With God’s help you will be able to resist temptation.
6. If you allow anger to burn within you.
Anger is deadly. It builds a nest within the heart. And eggs are laid. These eggs of hatred multiply uncontrollably. When they break open, poison oozes out. It corrupts the entire system of the human body and mind and spirit. This poison is acidic. It corrodes from within till it destroys.
The Bible Speaks: Proverbs 29:22, 30:33b, Psalm 4: 4, Ephesians 4:26b,27, Matthew 5:22a, Leviticus 19:17a An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. As twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife. In your anger do not sin; when on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Do not hate your brother in your heart.
Two lessons are to be noted:
Do not stir up anger.
Do not allow anger to be carried over to the next dawn.
7. If you think homosexuality and lesbianism is OK.
God created man as male and female. He has put within man and woman the desire to have sex. Therefore sex is not wrong. But since man used sex in degradable ways, God gave laws to protect man from destruction. These laws of God condemn homosexuality, lesbianism, sex with animals and incestuous relationships as sin. God calls them sin in absolute terms. And He has offered no apologies for calling them sin.
Man, in his craving for sexual freedom has broken the protection God gave through marriage. God’s word clearly points out that whatever a man sows he shall reap (Galatians 6:7, 8). So the world today is reaping the evil harvest of the sins of sexual freedom. Even when the world in the disguise of human rights, secularism and humanism, or even religious permissibility allows sexual sins.
The Bible Speaks: Leviticus 18:6a, 22, 23a, 1 Corinthians 6:9b, 10z. No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral … nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders … will inherit the kingdom of God.
Read Leviticus Chapters 18 and 20 for a detailed treatment of the laws of sexual conduct. Just because some Christian leaders and churches support gay and lesbian marriages doesn’t make it a correct practice. God still calls them sin and He will punish the people and the land which practices it (And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out.–Leviticus 18:28a).
If by any chance you’ve had any of the wrong kind of sexual experience, there is still hope for you if you confess your sins to God and ask His forgiveness. You can be washed clean from your sins by the blood of Jesus. The Bible says: “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). If forgiveness is sought with a sincere heart and in repentance, God will forgive you. Those who need further encouragement can read John 8:1 to 11.
Please remember that what happened in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (recorded in Genesis 19) is an example of how God would judge homosexuality and lesbianism. With FIRE!
And does what the Bible say about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) make sense? “Because of this [not acknowledging the Creator], God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Romans 1:26, 27).
8. If you think of women as sexual objects.
Women have been endowed with beauty. No doubt about that. But today, that beauty is being exploited in many ways. It is used to sell products, magazines and promote various events. Sadly, in many cases women are portrayed in a very undignified manner. The appeal of their beauty is used in very vulgar ways. The sad thing is that women are shown as people possessing beautiful bodies which appeal to men.
But is woman just beautiful body alone? She too was created in the likeness of God. Jesus was born of a virgin. He was cared for by her. So women too are persons bearing the image and likeness of God. They need to be treated with respect.
But when women are portrayed as objects by projecting their body features alone; men get the wrong association in their mind that they are objects to be owned, possessed and used. And since this generation believes in a “use and throw away” culture many believe that it is true of women also.
The Bible Speaks: Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart–Jesus
By this one single statement, Jesus has argued with utmost persuasion for the dignity of women.
He is telling men that the very thoughts that they think about women is accountable before God. He is telling men that women are not sexual objects. Jesus equated one lustful look with adultery itself so that men are without excuse when they tell that they did not commit the act. But Jesus says that the very thoughts you think about women will be judged.
Paul echoed these thoughts when he wrote to a young man called Timothy: “Treat … older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (Ref. 1 Timothy 5:2).
So men, especially young men, God expects you to treat women with respect and dignity and with absolute purity!
Make a decision to do so from this moment on.