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Devotionals

The True Nature of Sin

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We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. -- Isaiah 64: 6 (NLT)

One of the least preached about subjects these days is sin. The very thing that separates us from God and damages our walk is the very thing we shy away from having to even think about. That is the scheme of the enemy who wants us ignoring sin. The sinless Christianity has infected too much of modern theology as well with people staring at the cross thinking that because of Christ's work, we don't have any more work of our own. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sin will continue to divide us from God. It will continue to make us stumble and fall in our walk. It will continue to make the church impotent in these last days.

Perhaps the greatest sin ever committed was the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior. The spotless and blameless Lamb of God led to slaughter to take away the sins of the world. Within the story however leading up to the crucifixion we see the true nature of sin revealed for us to learn from and be wary of in our own walks. The first characteristic of sin is that it will lie:

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king." -- Luke 23: 1-2 (NIV)

We pick up the story as the Jewish leaders try to take Jesus before Pontius Pilate. The reality was that Jesus had done nothing wrong but He posed a great threat to the established religious leadership. They start right away here by lying. Jesus had never said that He opposed payment of taxes to Caesar and was not subverting the nation of Israel. This is at the heart of sin -- it is a lie. Sin tells you not to worry about the harmless flirting in the office but it doesn't show you the end result of the adultery. Sin tells you there is no harm in the drugs, no worries in the alcohol, no victim with the pornography. Lies, lies, and more lies. In the Book of Acts there was a couple named Ananias and Sapphira who had sold a piece of property and held back a portion of the money from the Apostles. They were allowed to; after all it was their property and thus their money. But they pretended to give the entire proceeds. Who knows why? Maybe they wanted to look more spiritual than they really were -- sound familiar? Maybe they were angling to be in leadership. Perhaps sin whispered in their ears that it was all their money anyway and the Apostles were lucky to be getting any of it! Perhaps sin lied to him and assured him that no one would ever know! God always knows:

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." -- Acts 5: 3-4 (NIV)

Both Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead. Sin always costs something and it is always lying. Secondly, we see that sin will mock righteousness:

Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. -- Luke 23: 11 (NIV)

The world is walking in darkness and the things of God are foolishness to them. They simply do not understand God because the things of God are spiritually discerned. Thus, you can bet that sin will always mock what is righteous. In our walk we will have no shortage of people who will make fun of our commitment to God and to the church. Friends and family alike. Remember, Jesus said that He came to bring division on earth. Brother and sister will be divided and mother and son. The only thing that matters is what we believe:

"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." -- Mark 3: 33-35 (NIV)

Our family is obviously important but Jesus is teaching us here to not neglect those whom agree with us in our faith. The world will constantly send mockers our way to try and derail the work God is doing in our lives. We can be assured that the second something doesn't go our way someone will be asking where is our God? When Nehemiah first undertook the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem the first tactic used by his enemies was to mock and deride the work. Expect it and dismiss it. The third facet of sin is that it will unite evil:

That day Herod and Pilate became friends --before this they had been enemies. -- Luke 23: 12 (NIV)

Before this day, when an innocent man was to be led off to die, these two leaders had been enemies but now they were friends. Sin always finds a willing friend in sin. Sin itself begets sin. It leads to other sins. King David and the story of Bathsheba began with a sin of lust. That led to coveting. That led to adultery. That led to murder. Sin is infectious. It spreads and seeks to destroy more and more. Darkness is friends with darkness -- not with light:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? -- 2Corinthians 6: 14-15 (NIV)

Don't play around with sin -- it is not on your team. Fourthly, we see that sin will make you compromise what you know is right and wrong:

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