17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:17-18
ASK THE QUESTION, What is the essence of sin?
At the very heart of sin is self.
Sin is “me” versus “you” or “you” versus “me” or “we” versus “them,” and so forth.
David had sinned against Bathsheba, her husband, his family, and the nation, but above all others he had sinned against God.
But perhaps you are saying to yourself, “I was under the impression that unbelief was the essence of sin.”
What is unbelief but self versus God?
God speaks, and in unbelief you do not obey.
God ordains, and in unbelief you protest.
God loves, and in unbelief you insist that no one loves you.
Self is more important to the unbeliever than God.
The unbeliever would sooner trust himself than the God who created him.
All sin is against somebody.
Sins are often against more than one but never less than one.
Without any exception, all sin is against God, and in most instances of sin there is at least one person who is sinned against.
Perhaps you wish to dispute this point.
You acknowledge that there are sins which are obviously against others, like David’s sins of adultery and murder.
But you can think of sins which are purely private and personal, sins like secret thoughts of greed, lust, and hostility.
Maybe you argue, “No one is hurt by my private thoughts.
I admit that I have these secret thoughts and perhaps they are sinful, but thy don’t affect anyone else.
Nobody knows about them.”
But I ask, “Are you a wife and a mother?”
“Well, yes, I am both.”
“Don’t try to convince me that those secret sins are against nobody. They are against your husband and your children.”
You say, “No, no, no, they are not the type where I do something; it is just that I think things that are wrong.”
Oh yes, but in thinking things that are wrong, you rob yourself of being the person that God has called you to be, and therefore you rob your children of a godly mother and your husband of a godly wife.
So you have sinned against your husband and against your children even in your secret imagination.
Are you a husband, a father, a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, an uncle, an aunt?
Whatever your relationship with others, it is damaged by your secret sins.
If you will get down on your knees before God and pray this through, you will see that it is nonsense to think of sin as purely personal. Guest Editorialist: Richard Owen Roberts, Repentance – The First Word of the Gospel, 128-129
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!”–Mike
“YOU AND I do not naturally submit to anyone or anything.
Insist that I be your slave, and you have a civil-rights case on your hands!
American history illustrates what happens when one human enslaves another.
We resist submission to another person with every fiber of our cholesterol-free lifestyles.
In a culture where the individual has reached godlike status, submitting to anyone or anything outside ourselves is beyond reason.
Self-interest soars high above service in our hierarchy of interests.
These attitudes are part of our cultural thinking.
They are also the very feelings that prevent us from knowing the freedom that comes from giving ourselves to Christ.
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mat. 16:24).
Denying–not embracing–self is the first step to becoming a servant leader.
If you desire to lead as Jesus led, you must desire first to follow Jesus; this is how leadership training among God’s people begins.” C. Gene Wilkes, Jesus on Leadership, “How Do We Lead by Serving?”, 23
THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT the following question please:
Is there ever a time—in all of the Bible—when God restricted salvation—to just ONE location?
Let’s explore this together with an open mind and open Bible (cf. Acts 17:11).
Please read the following texts and then answer the questions listed below.
READ Genesis chapters 6-7:
- WHAT did God promise He was going to do to the earth? 6:7, 13, 17
- WHY did God say He was going to do this? 6:5, 11-13
- WHAT did God tell Noah to do? (Be specific). 6:14-22
- WHY was the ark even necessary in the first place? 6:17; 7:7
- WHERE did God command Noah and his family to go? 7:1, 7
- WHAT happened to all human life that was not in the ark? 7:21-23; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:5-6
- WHAT happened to all human life that was in the ark? 7:23; 1 Pet. 3:20; cf. Eph. 1:3
- WHAT IF someone had watched the aged patriarch (7:6) and his family as they constructed the ark and this individual had asked, “Noah, do you think you and your family are the only ones who are going to be saved on the earth?”, WHAT would/could Noah have said?
- WOULD it have been arrogant for Noah to tell his neighbor that salvation was restricted to just one place (i.e., inside the ark–2 Pet. 2:5)? Would it have been wrong or unloving for Noah to tell his neighbor that “God told me that salvation was found only in the ark?” (Explain your answer).
- If it was neither arrogant, wrong, nor unloving, for Noah to tell a neighbor that salvation was restricted to just one place (i.e., the ark) back before the Flood, would it be arrogant, wrong, or unloving for a Christian to say that “God tells us through His Word that salvation is found only in one place (i.e., the church) today? 1 Tim. 3:15; Mat. 16:13-18; Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; Col. 1:18