Erosion is a slow and silent process and no one is immune from it. If you don’t stop yourself in a downward spiral, then last week’s wrong choice doesn’t seem so bad this week. And on and on.
Sin isn’t a popular word. Most people think of sin as doing something really bad, like murder, assault, or robbery. But the word “sin” has the idea of missing the mark, not hitting the target.
The idea is that God has set a glorious standard and when we fail to live by it, we sin. We say, do, and think things that are contrary to God's standard, and the problem is that no matter how much we try and achieve change by ourselves, we just can't succeed.
The Bible teaches that our nature is imprisoned to sin. We miss the mark because we choose creation over the Creator. We look to succeed by our own strength, yet we never shake our own selfish sin. No matter what our education, religious heritage, ethnicity, or financial status, we cannot overcome the power of sin by ourselves. This is a problem.
The world says our main goal should be getting what we want. And if we have to sin in order to do so, that’s OK. But the reality is getting what you want can leave a wake of victims. Sin always has consequences.
Even though we are forgiven by God’s grace, sin has consequences and sometimes they’re devastating. When our actions harm others they can have lifelong ramifications.
While the word “salvation” can apply to physical rescue or deliverance it also has special significance in Scripture as a term referring to spiritual salvation.
Many of us are programmed to have “corrective theology,” where grace is used as a tool to justify sin or take away the pain of consequences. Grace is not a cure-all and there are always consequences for sin.
Here is the principle: We reap what we sow, forgiveness notwithstanding. Confessing our sin does not take away the consequences. However, God’s grace means God, in forgiving us, gives us the strength to endure the consequences.
Erosion is dangerous because you don’t see it happening when all the while it’s eating away, disintegrating, destroying...slowly, silently, and subtly.
When God forgives, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more! However, Abraham’s life reveals another sobering truth: God’s merciful decision to not hold our wrongs against us doesn’t mean we won’t suffer physical, social, and emotional consequences in the present world.
The total annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah reminds us that God’s gracious patience and merciful long-suffering have their limits. Though He delays judgment for the sake of the salvation of those who will believe and repent, He never dismisses His wrath against unrepentant wickedness.
Wondering how to stay pure in a world filled with temptation? Learn to run. As soon as you find yourself starting to lust, run. You cannot lust and run at the same time.