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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sin = Death, Period!

Here we have one of the most misunderstood, misapplied, and misused Scriptural truth that is used to ignore facts, justify lives that are being lived contrary to what God's Will would mandate, 'water-down' the most basic of Biblical teachings, and all of this is not even the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

First, let's do what I usually do, let's go back to the beginning.  I'm not talking about the beginning when God said, 'Let there be light.' (see Genesis 1:3    NKJV).  I'm talking about one of the first teachings of Christ in which I feel He was laying the groundwork for the purpose He came to serve before our Lord God in Heaven.

12 'When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.'  (Matthew 9:12-13    NKJV; see also Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32    NKJV)

We have a number of things going on here that we have to have a clear understanding of in order for the gift of Grace, with the resultant Salvation, to have any meaning and/or value to us at all.  First, there can be no doubt at all that Jesus is making it very obvious that so far as He and the Father are concerned, sin is a terminal illness.  Second, the reference here to sacrifice is clearly meant to establish a distinction between Spiritual Mercy and the  ritualistic sacrifice necessary to Old Testament worship.  Third, and last, Christ wasn't interested in 'unlearning' anybody the facts concerning their status before God.  The point to be understood here is that before any of us could accept the shed blood of Christ as atonement for sin, we each have to have clarity in regards to not only our position before God, but also our position without God. 

'For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.'  (Mark 8:38    NKJV)

These words of the apostle Mark as he recorded the life of Jesus have to be understood to be a very direct and powerful warning as to what will happen, not what maybe will happen, but what will happen in regards to man's position before God, should any person decide to allow public opinion or peer pressure or anything at all to come between themselves and God.  I'm sure that everyone reading my ramblings today has at one time or another has witnessed someone who is a professed Christian not stay true to that position before God at a time when it wasn't 'fashionable' or 'politically correct' to do so.  Maybe you yourself was that person who found yourself feeling ashamed of standing up and declaring that Jesus was the Lord of your life.  Maybe you didn't want to be teased or ridiculed.  I [literally] thank God every day for having a Son who didn't mind being teased and ridiculed and beaten and tortured and then killed, for you and I alike. 

Now, to get back on track here, and yes, I have wandered a bit (like that's never happened before, right?), let's get a clear understanding of just exactly what it is that both separates man from God, and is utterly repulsive to God. 

'But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.'  (Isaiah 59:2    NKJV)

There you have it, plainly spoken in easy language to understand.  What I want everyone to make note of here is that while these words by the prophet make it clear that mans iniquities and sins have brought the Lord God to not only turn His face from mankind, but to also refuse to hear anything man has to say, there is something that these words do not say.  I'm talking about some specific things that a lot of people, and church doctrines, wrongfully attribute to God that are not only not in this particular Scripture, but are not in His Word anywhere.  Take another look, and then dig down deep in your frontal or sidal or backal lobes, or anywhere else in your brain where there might be some tidbit of information lodged that points a finger at anything else that would separate man from God.  I'll give everybody a hint:  Cause and Effect.  This particular issue actually goes all the way back to when man got crosswise with God there in the Garden of Eden.  Here's another hint in the form of a question:  What was it that man did to violate the Covenant that God had established with man?  I'll tell you right now that it was not specifically eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

Okay, it's time to wrap this thing up, so let's look at our last Scripture, which should give everyone the answers to all of the questions I've asked today.

'For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.'  (II Corinthians 5:21    NKJV)

a sin is a sin is a sin is a sin... period. I'm sure that some of those who read this post will accuse me of oversimplifying things today, and you want to know something?  I'm okay with that, because if everyone will just think about it for just a sec, it'll become pretty obvious that God kept things pretty simple.  He said things like, 'Thou shalt have no other God before Me.' (Exodus 20:3    NKJV)  Even in His declaration of love for mankind who've made it pretty clear at times that they couldn't care less how He felt, He still kept it pretty simple, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'  (John 3:16    NKJV)

Okay then, I'm done for the day.  This bit of rambling wasn't so bad now was it?  Be the way, I know that I haven't mentioned it in awhile, but, 'Yeah, I'm a Believer!'

Be assured that you are all in my prayers!

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