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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The Christian life is not a playground! It is a battlefield!   Sin is destructive. Halfway measures in dealing with sin will not do!  You have to sever the head of sin, gouge it out of your life, hack it to pieces!  We will never be victorious in this battle if we pamper our sin.  We have to put it to death!  When the temptation comes, especially to our besetting sins, whether that be anger,  greed, lust or some other addiction, we have to fling it aside decisively and immediately.  Dillydallying with sin and temptation is deadly.  Vacillating will kill you ever sin.  You need to be killing sin or it will be killing you.  Shadow-boxing won’t do!

And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ ” (Mark 9:43–48, ESV)

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It is highly important, beloved, that every one of us should have a deep sense of sin, and a profound horror of it. Those who have but slight convictions, if those convictions bring them to the Savior, are safe, but such persons should pray the Lord to deepen in them their sense of the evil of sin. Slight thoughts of sin lead to slight thoughts of grace! and what can be worse? Nothing is more to be dreaded than a flimsy religion, frail as the spider’s web, unsubstantial as the air.
Lord, give me deep repentance. Teach me to know my sin, and all the evils which lurk in it; make me to shudder at it, and dread it as a burnt child dreads the fire. Do not, dear friend, be like those people who jauntily confess, “yes, we are sinners,” but who merely intend thereby, to chime in with a general form of speech. Such false speeches are a mockery of God. Thank God, if you have been laid low under the law. Bless God, for deep subsoil ploughing and trenching. I desire to feel, every day, that sin is an exceeding bitter thing, a deadly evil, a moral poison, the essence of hell. O, to loathe iniquity and see with self-abhorrence its heinous character; for so shall we prize the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love which thought it, the blood which bought it, and the grace which wrought it out!

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “Dwell Deep, O Dedan” via Daily Spurgeon.

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That’s what Jesus says to do with sin in our life in Mark 9:43-48 where he clearly says that we are to deal decisively with sin.  In that passage Jesus talks about the radical amputation of sin and to do what it takes to stop offering the members of our body as instruments of sin (Romans 6:13).

In other passages, the Apostle Paul uses the metaphor of clothing–of putting on and putting off.

Justin Taylor recently provided this summary of this metaphor in biblical teaching.

The Greek word ἐνδύω is usually used in the Gospels for putting on or wearing clothes (Matt. 6:2522:1127:31Mark 1:66:915:20Luke 8:2715:22; cf. Acts 12:21). John uses the term the same way in the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:1315:619:14), though it’s clear there that the clothing is also symbolic of purity and righteousness. The only exception to the normal use in the Synoptics is that before his ascension Jesus instructed his disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.”

The apostle Paul seems to pick up this metaphorical use, and he runs with it in a variety of ways.

Those in Christ have already put on Christ.

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

Those in Christ are commanded to put on Christ.

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom. 13:14).

Those in Christ have already put on the new self/man.

“[You] have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Col. 3:10).

Those in Christ are instructed to put on the new self/man.

“[Your were taught] to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24).

Those in Christ are to put on the whole armor of God.

“The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12).

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. . . . Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:1114).

“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8).

Those in Christ are to put on love and other virtues.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Col. 3:12).

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14).

Those in Christ have perishable, mortal bodies that will one day put on imperishable, immortal, heavenly bodies.

“For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:33).

“For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling” (2 Cor. 5:2).

Paul—as well as other NT writers—also express the flip side of “putting off” (ἀποτίθημι), the non-metaphorical use of which can be used of removing clothing (cf. Acts 7:58).

Those in Christ have already put off  the old self/man.

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices” (Col. 3:9).

Those in Christ are instructed to put off the old self/man.

“[You were taught] to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” (Eph. 4:22).

Those in Christ are to put away all sin and vice.

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Eph. 4:25).

“The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12).

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1).

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander” (1 Pet. 2:1).

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