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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Do You Minimise The Sinfulness Of Sin?

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"Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezekiel 8:17-18).

Do you also minimise the sinfulness of your sins, just as the house of Judah did?

We are living in a very spiritually disastrous time because our society minimises the sinfulness of sin. Woe unto our human tendency to make light of sin than what it really is! Christians too have adopted such a tendency.

Many a Christian passionately pursue unwholesome music and filthy songs of worldly men, without feeling any shame at all. In fact, they arrogantly and unabashedly defend their pursuit by declaring that there is nothing wrong with such music. Many watch carnal and sensual shows on TV and other such media, and do not feel at all that they are allowing sinful thoughts and vain imaginations to enter their minds. Many young Christians follow the worldly way of life – engaging in pornography, fornication (premarital sex), adulterous relationships, covetousness, etc. They casually engage in them without thinking about the evil of those pleasures.

Are you, my reader, also viewing temptations and sin with reduced or minimised gravity? If you are engaging in filthy conversations or activities without any restraint; if you are a keen adherent of contemporary trends, fashions and such, then you are certainly lying to yourself when you say within you while engaging in them that all will be all right. You might feel that you should passionately follow after those unrestrained fleshly desires to stay relevant and ‘in-touch’ with the modern world. But, the reality of the matter is that sin is perilous. We need to see sin for what it really is. Consider in your heart what sin is truly all about. Then consider whether it is worth pursuing.

Firstly, sin is contrary to all that God is. God is holy; there is no sin in Him. Let us remember that sin is contrary to the nature of God, the name of God, the will of God, the purposes of God, the Word of God, the works of God and the glory of God. God hates sin. Will you, then, love that which God hates? To consider sin lightly is to defy the holy God. Romans 8:7 says that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”.

It must be remembered that the most outrageous thing about sin is that it blasphemes God. Sin does not honour God’s glory. It does not show reverence for the holiness of God. It does not regard the omnipresence of God. It violates the love of God. It does not acknowledge the greatness of God. It takes God’s grace for granted. It does not regard the truth of God. It despises the wisdom of God. It doubts the faithfulness of God. It defies the law of God. It provokes the justice of God. It does not fear the wrath of God. It despises the goodness of God. Therefore, let us remember, minimising the seriousness of sin is the ultimate outrage against God.

So let us also take note that our sin will provoke God to wrath. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). Again, we are warned: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-6).

Secondly, let us remember that if we allow sin to slowly take root in us, it will soon become a terrible enslavement or addiction in our life. Sin is not freedom, as many think. Instead, it can become a sort of hardening of the heart, or a deadening of the soul from living a righteous life. Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). So let us take heed to Paul’s advice: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Romans 6:19).

Thirdly, take note that sin will make you a distressed, troubled soul. Those who engage in sin without restraint will soon experience guilt, a loss of meaning, and all the resultant emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical and mental chaos. He will be filled with shame and sorrow. In Psalm 32:3-4, David spoke of his terrible experiences resulting from secretly engaging in sin – “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy (God’s) hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.”

Fourthly, our sins will hurt others too. The uncontrolled pursuit of lust, covetousness, selfglory, etc. can hurt many others. Many of the hurts inflicted on others can never be fully repaired. Sin is violent and cruel. Its pleasures are for a moment, but its consequences over time will be damaging and tormenting even unto others around us.

Pastoral Exhortation