Archive for the ‘Sin’ Category

Does this mean Jesus “loved a good party”? Or that He “hung out with drunks”? Or that he “didn’t take sides”?

What exactly does it mean that Jesus was a friend of sinners?  Read this short but helpful essay by Kevin DeYoung who in part writes:

Jesus was a friend of sinners not because he winked at sin, ignored sin, or enjoyed light-hearted revelry with those engaged in immorality. Jesus was a friend of sinners in that he came to save sinners and was very pleased to welcome sinners who were open to the gospel, sorry for their sins, and on their way to putting their faith in Him.

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The Dark Side of Christian Celebrity:  We love the rise and we love the fall. Both make for fantastic entertainment. I wonder sometimes if the reason we end up tearing down our celebrities is that we have elevated them to such a degree in the first place. Once we have done that, once we have put them on the biggest platforms and once we have given them publishing deals with the wealthiest publishers, there is really only one way for them to go, and it’s not up.

Help with holiness:  The Cripplegate has four solid book recommendations if you are interested in seriously knowing what God’s Word says about holiness.

Don’t Waste Your MRI:  Erik shares two spiritual lessons he took away from his MRI experience the other day.

Why You Should Celebrate Your Undone To-Do List:  David Murray thinks he may have just found a way to turn this daily self-torture into a cause for praise and rejoicing.

From 52home Christmas Shipping


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David Murray:

You have a choice.

Option 1: The tiniest sin imaginable, a sin that would bring you tremendous wealth and other material pleasures.

Option 2: The greatest suffering imaginable, for rejecting that one tiny sin.

Your selection, please. Or maybe you want to read this first.

In his sermon on Moses’ choice of Christ’s reproach instead of the pleasures of Egypt (Heb. 11:25), the Puritan Thomas Manton argues that the healthy Christian will choose the greatest affliction before the least sin. He then gives a number of reasons “why the greatest affliction is better than the least sin.”

1. In suffering the offence is done to us, but in sinning the offence is done to God; and what are we to God?

2. Sin separates us from God, but suffering and affliction doesn’t, and therefore the greatest affliction is to be chosen before the least sin.

3. Sin is evil in itself, whether we feel it or no; but affliction is only evil in our sense and feeling.

4. Affliction brings inconvenience upon the body only, and the concerns of the body; but sin brings inconvenience upon the soul.

5. An afflicted state is consistent with being loved by God; but a sinful state is a sign of God’s displeasure.

6. Affliction may be good, but sin is never good.

7. There is nothing that debases a man more than sin.

8. Afflictions come from God, but sin from the devil.

9. Affliction is sent to prevent sin; but sin must not be committed to prevent affliction.

10. The evil of suffering is for a moment, but the evil of sin is forever.

11. In sufferings and persecutions we lose the favor of men, but by sins we lose the favor of God.

12. To suffer is not in our choice, but to sin, that is in our choice. Afflictions are inflicted, sins are committed.

13. An afflicted man may die cheerfully, but a man in sin cannot.

14. Sin is contrary to the new nature; but affliction is only contrary to the old nature

15. When you deliberately choose sin, it will within a little while bring greater affliction.

Still want to stick with your choice?

Read Manton’s full explanation here (Vol. 14, 450-454), or access the 22 volumes of his Collected Works in different online formats here.

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From Desiring God:

How does the cross and victory of Jesus affect your everyday sanctification?

Over the past 30 years John Piper has preached several messages that equip listeners to apply the Bible in their daily lives. Stretching three decades, this e-book includes three of those sermons that intend to mobilize the church in the fight against sin and the walk of faith. In addition to these sermons, there is a practical appendix of acronyms Pastor John uses in his own life and commends to others.

Whether fighting a specific sin or walking by faith amid stressful circumstances, the aim of this e-book is to add to your arsenal for the everyday work of sanctification, for the glory of God.

To download Sanctification in the Everyday

, click on the following format options:

Note: To load the ebook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device and then to click the download option.

Also worth reading:

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“Our battle  from and against sin and suffering is first and foremost a battle toward and for God. . . .

If, in our struggle to conquer sin and alleviate suffering, we fail to learn and treasure God more, we have missed the most important thing God is doing in the midst of these experiences.”

–Brad Hambrick in God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles, p. 8-9

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Ed Welch makes an analogy between alternative medicine and biblical counseling:

“Alternative medicine can occasionally be very narrow (as if raw carrots could cure most anything) but it usually considers diet, lifestyle and relationships. And, in those larger interests, it is on to something. The Bible teaches us that we are embodied souls, which means that our bodies can affect our souls and vice versa. Bodies can make us depressed, forgetful or disorganized. Our souls, aka our hearts or inner being, can affect our bodies with, yes, stomach aches and depression, along with who knows what else. To put it more clearly, our moral decisions can affect our health. Now, I’m not saying there is a predictable relationship between sin and bodily struggles (e.g., Psalm 73). If there were then you could distinguish the righteous from the unrighteous with a blood pressure cuff. But we can say this—sickness is always a fine time for a spiritual check-up.”

He explains more here.

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Are you scared of sin?

Ed Welch is.  He explains why and also why all of us should be

Sometimes I am completely freaked out by sin. It scares me to death.

I watch as the world collapses on an adulterous spouse. I see people suffocating in their aloneness after having pushed everyone away. I see poverty and despair encroaching as a result of a person’s belligerent attitudes toward employers. I see addicts who hit bottom, destroy everything in their lives, and then somehow, sink even lower. I see marriages so estranged and trashed that death or divorce seem to be the only way out. Sin is so destructive.

Ugh. Lord have mercy. Where am I making steps down into darkness? Where am I so blind to my sin that only a severe and sudden impact will help me to see? Lord, search me. Please.

Sin scares me. And I want it to keep scaring me.

King David is in us all. A small omission such as not going to war with the troops is the first sign of danger ahead, and David doesn’t see it until many people die.

Small steps. Keep watch for small steps. Our consciences are such that we don’t get addicted to pornography overnight. Too many alarms would go off. But small steps of sin can go undetected.

Is there anything in my life or imagination that I want to hide?
Do I flirt with any temptations because I think everyone else is flirting with them too?
Can I tell someone else, on a moments notice, how I am knowing Christ better?
Am I confessing sin everyday?
Any lingering anger that I keep to myself?
Is my conscience clear?
Am I taking sermons to heart?

These are a few questions that help.

Read the rest of his post here.

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