Two millennia ago, God answered the anguished cry of humanity by making “the problem of evil” His own. God Almighty became Immanuel, “God with us.” He lived as we live, suffered as we suffer, died as we die, yet without sin.
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.
Now that we’ve considered the action we must take, let’s turn to Galatians 6:1 for a close look at the proper attitude we need. To qualify for helping restore others to the truth, we must first be filled with the Spirit and not controlled by the flesh.
Acceptance or rejection of Christ’s work on the cross determines our destiny of heaven or hell. But how we live—choosing to sin or not—and the kind of sin we commit matters now, and for eternity.
The Bible never describes the work of demons in the lives of believers directly in terms of immorality. In other words, to say a believer has a “spirit of lust”—as if his real problem is a demon—assumes something the Bible never teaches.
The Devil was blame-worthy for his deception. But he did not make her take the fruit. Adam and Eve gave in to their own desires and made a deliberate choice for which they and they alone were responsible.
When the rapture occurs, 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us that Christ is to bring the souls of those who have died from heaven to earth. He’s going to resurrect their bodies, and their souls will re-enter their bodies permanently in resurrection.
Just as it is vital to remove the root in order to ensure that the weed will not just grow back, it is essential to bring light to the source of our sin and allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify our hearts, removing sin’s roots.
Perhaps the waters of guilt have washed over you, and you feel like you are sinking in sorrow and regret. What could be preventing you from moving beyond your past and feeling forgiven?
The criminal is now the hero, sadly misunderstood and mistreated. The victim is the selfish sadist who decides to press charges because he is bigoted, rash, or confused. The cold, hard facts are softened and slanted by the semantic footwork of slick political pawns.
How would you communicate the message of James 5:13–16 to people enduring chronic pain or illness? How would you address their deep questions about God’s character? How would you emphasize the importance of prayer and confession in the midst of suffering?