I have been trying figure out a good title for this, but no title seems to be good enough, but hopefully this captures your attention.
I have been reading through the book of Exodus, and having just gotten through the ten plagues that God had sent upon Egypt. Reading it, I can’t but help think that we are similar to the Hebrew slaves in the story. But not slaves physically speaking, but spiritually–the New Testament constantly says that before we are in Christ, we are slaves to sin. And even if we don’t realize it, we are crying out to be released from that slavery.
At some points, when we are still in our sin, we come across God in some way, and He always says to our hearts, “Thus saith the LORD… just as Moses kept coming against Pharaoh. And like Pharaoh, we harden our hearts because we don’t want to listen because our sin makes us comfortable and makes us feel good.
But both those feelings are lies and lead down towards death and destruction.
And God, for a time, lets us wallow in our sin before He starts working in our lives to wake us up to our sin and where it’s leading us, and usually it crescendos in some great event that wakes us up, just like the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn son woke him up to just who God is.
Sin seems to be a dirty word in Christian circles, and I don’t know why… It is central to the purpose of the gospels! It’s central to the book of Romans–if sin wasn’t an issue, then we would not have needed Christ to die for us on the cross.
So, we will dive into sin and the responses of mankind’s hardened hearts to God…
I consider myself a ‘good person’… won’t that be enough?
Thus saith the Lord:
- For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
- “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
- Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)
God does not go by our standards. He goes by His, which are infinitely more perfect and higher than ours. Even Christ submitted himself to his Father’s will and commands. And he recognized that man cannot simply live on the physical resources of this world, but you must nurture your spirit. Christ said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. And that he did. If Christ, who was God in the form of physical man, submitted himself to the Law, then how can we not do likewise?
Is sin really THAT big of a deal? If it is… what HOPE is there?
Thus saith the Lord…
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Sin is a big deal to God. God is perfect, and cannot have anything imperfect in His presence. Isaiah, in the sixth chapter of his book, was MORTIFIED that he had seen God, and he knew he would surely die because he was an imperfect person standing in the presence of a perfect being. But God provided hope for us. He recognized that we could not deal with our sin so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to handle it for us.
After what I’ve done to grieve God… HOW could He willingly die in my place?
Thus saith the Lord…
- But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
God is a loving God, but that does not mean He does not execute justice. But this is where is merciful and graceful nature is amplified. Instead of executing His justice on us and leaving us to suffer in our sin, He loved us enough to provide His Son as a sacrifice for our sins and executed His justice upon His own Son, thereby imputing His Son’s righteousness to us because of that! D.A. Carson says in his book: “Do you want to see the love of God? Look at the cross. Do you want to see the wrath of God? Look at the cross.”
HOW can I be saved?
Thus saith the Lord…
- Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
God wants your heart–if your heart isn’t in it, then you are pretending. God says He wants to take your heart of stone and give you one made of flesh. Just like Pharaoh against Moses and God, all you have to do is submit your heart, mind, and soul to God and His will for your life. Recognize what Christ did for you and take your cross up and follow Him.
Christ did rise from the grave, because if he didn’t, then as Paul says–we are doing all this for nothing. But I believe, by faith, that He did. So, my question to you is this–
Will you let go of the sin in your life when God comes and says, “Thus saith the Lord…” ?