The Deceitfulness of Sin by Bryan Gibson
Sin is a Very Bad Thing by Bryan Gibson
Shall We Continue in Sin by Bryan Gibson
To God (Not Me) Be The Glory by Bryan Gibson
Feeling Guilty? Good! by Bryan Gibson
Why Is There So Much Evil in the World? by Bryan Gibson
What We Need is More Hate by Bryan Gibson
Don't Argue with Me, Just Do as You're Told by Bryan Gibson
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The Deceitfulness of Sin
by Bryan Gibson
Sin is deceitful, according to Hebrews 3:13. Let’s examine some of the different ways in which sin can deceive us.
Sin can often appear to be the right thing to do, when actually it is very wrong.
King Saul perhaps thought it was right to spare King Agag and the best of the flocks (1 Samuel 15), but it was very wrong. Paul thought he was right when he persecuted Christians (Acts 23:1; 26:9), but he was dead wrong. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Sin promises freedom, but what it really brings is slavery.
If you don’t believe it, ask the man who keeps carrying on an affair, even though it’s destroying him, his family, and his partner’s family. He has become a slave to his passions. Or, ask the man who has sacrificed everything else in order to get rich. Looking for financial freedom, what he got instead were more worries than he ever dreamed of. “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin” (Proverbs 5:22).
Sin can seem very attractive, but it is actually very ugly.
With sin, what you see is NOT what you get. The fruit of the tree looked very attractive to Eve (Genesis 3:6), but she didn’t stop to think of the ugly consequences (Genesis 2:17). A festering, oozing sore was how God described Judah’s sins (Isaiah 1:5-6). When the apostle Peter wrote about brethren returning to sin, he described it as a dog returning to its vomit and a sow to her wallowing in the mud (2 Peter 2:18-22). The advertising industry paints one picture of sin; God paints an entirely different one.
Sin appears to be satisfying and fulfilling, but it winds up being very disappointing.
Without a doubt, sin can bring us a certain kind of pleasure. But here’s the catch—it doesn’t last very long. It was said of Moses that he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
Sin can seem so insignificant, when actually it is very serious.
Adam and Eve—all they did was eat a little fruit (Genesis 3). Lot’s wife—she turned around and looked at a burning city, what’s so bad about that? Uzzah—well, he was just trying to keep the ark from falling (2 Samuel 6:1-11). We try to classify our own sins as minor, but that’s not the way God looks at them. We should never trivialize any sin we commit.
Sin appears to bring life, but what is really brings is death.
In inviting others to sin, you might hear someone say, “If you really want to live, you should have an affair, get drunk, go to the casino, etc.” What they should really say is, “If you want to die, you should…” Romans 6:23 is hard to misunderstand: “The wages of sin is death.”
Sin Is A Very Bad Thing
by Bryan Gibson
We have all sinned (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8), but that doesn’t mean we all have to be lost. The path to salvation begins with the right attitude toward sin.
First, we should be willing to admit that we have sinned. Don’t try to get by with saying, “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). That is certainly true, but sometimes we may say that without feeling any personal accountability. It is better to say, “I have sinned”—just like the prodigal son did (Luke 15:17-19, 21), and just like King David did (2 Samuel 12:13).
We should be deeply sorry for our sins, again like the prodigal son, who said to his father, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:19); like the sinful woman, who wiped the feet of Jesus with her tears of sorrow (Luke 7:36-38); like the tax collector in the parable, who was so ashamed that he couldn’t even lift his eyes up to heaven (Luke 18:9-14). Don’t forget, we were the ones who crucified Jesus. It was for our sins that He was nailed to the cross.
We should realize how much trouble we’re in because of our sins. Jesus warned people that they would perish, or die in their sins (Luke 13:3, 5; John 8:21, 24), that they would be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched (Mark 9:43, 46, 48). The penalty for sin is death, or separation from God (Romans 6:23), a separation that will last throughout eternity (2 Thessalonians 1:9)—unless we take the proper measures.
We should be determined to sin no more. John 5 tells of a man Jesus healed, a man who had an infirmity for 38 years. After He healed him, Jesus told him very plainly, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (John 5:14). To the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). This is what the Bible calls repentance, and we should have no trouble with it, if we are truly ashamed, and if we realize just how much danger our soul is in.
We should want to be made well. Let’s go back to the man in John 5, who had been sick for 38 years. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6). Can you imagine the man saying, “No, I’d like to stay this way a little longer”? Of course, not. This man wanted to be healed—not tomorrow, or the next day, but right then and there. That’s exactly how we should feel about being healed of sin, because after all, sin sickness (Mark 2:17) is the worst sickness of all.
To be made well, we should be willing to do whatever we’re told to do. When Jesus put mud on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:6-11), he didn’t hesitate. He didn’t try to come up with a better plan, like Naaman did (2 Kings 5). He did what He was told to do, and He was healed. Is there anything we must do to be healed of sin? There most certainly is, and if you have not rendered obedience to Christ, these are the provisions that He has made for your salvation: click here.
Shall We Continue In Sin?
by Bryan Gibson
[Some today teach that if we have a religious experience we can then go back to our old lives an not worry about it any longer. Please do not be deceived; this is not a new doctrine, and it is just as sinful and destructive as it has ever been.]
An important question is raised in Romans 6:1, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” This question was raised because of a statement made in Romans 5:20: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” So if sin causes grace to abound, shouldn’t we just continue in sin? Paul’s answer, or more correctly, the Holy Spirit’s answer: “Certainly not!” in the most emphatic way he could express it. At least four different reasons are given in Romans 6 to show why we must not continue in sin.
Reason #1: When we were buried with Christ in baptism (6:3-4), the old man was crucified with Christ; the body of sin was done away with (6:6). In short, we died to sin (6:7, 11). “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (6:2).
Reason #2: We were not only buried with Christ; we were also raised with Him, raised to walk in newness of life. We have a new life now, a life devoted to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ (6:4-13).
Reason #3: When we obeyed the gospel, we changed masters. Formerly, we were slaves of sin, slaves of unrighteousness; but now we are God’s slaves, slaves of righteousness, slaves of obedience (6:16-19).
Reason #4: The fruit of sin is death; the fruit of righteousness is eternal life (6:20-23). If we continue in sin, we will die; if we continue in righteousness, we will live forever. That makes the choice pretty clear, doesn’t it?
Keep telling yourself the truth: “Sin ruins everything.”
To God (Not Me) Be The Glory
by Bryan Gibson
The Bible repeatedly warns against pride, and for good reason. It is a common problem, and it will be the very reason why many people lose their soul. The following is a short summary of New Testament teaching on the subject of pride.
Pride is a sin:
- Pride is listed among the evil things that come from the heart and defile a man (Mark 7:21-23).
- Pride is listed among those things of which God says, “those who practice such things are worthy of death” (Romans 1:28-32).
- Selfish ambition is listed among the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).
- The proud, the haughty, and lovers of self are listed among the kind of people from whom Timothy was to turn away (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
- The pride of life is not of the Father, but of the world (1 John 2:15-17; James 3:14-16).
Proud people will be punished:
- Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, will come to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth (Romans 2:8-9).
- Those who are puffed up with pride will fall into the same condemnation as the devil (1 Timothy 3:6.
Humble people will be rewarded:
- He who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14; 1 Peter 5:6).
- God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
Pride leads to other sins:
- Wherever you find pride, you will find many other evil things (James 3:14-16), including envy and strife (Galatians 5:26).
- Pride is often associated with those who teach false doctrine (1 Timothy 6:3-5
The proper attitude:
- Rather than seeking honor or praise from others, we should seek the honor or praise that comes from God (John 8:50, 54; Romans 2:7; 1 Peter 1:6-7; John 12:42-43; 1 Thessalonians 2:6; Romans 2:29).
- Instead of esteeming ourselves too highly, we should esteem others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3; Romans 12:10).
- We should never boast in our salvation, because without the grace of God, we would be hopelessly lost (Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 15:10).
- If we’re going to boast about anything, let it be the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14).
- We should learn to “rejoice” in infirmities, because they can keep us from being exalted above measure; they can make us depend even more on the power of God (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
- Those who are rich should not become haughty, because everything they have comes from God (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Or, to put it in the words of James 1:17: “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.”
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
[When you get to thinking proud of yourself, think back to that time when you sinned grievously and caused pain to the ones you love. If that does not humble you, nothing will. The reason for this is covered in the next article.]
Feeling Guilty? Good!
by Bryan Gibson
“Don’t feel guilty; it’s not your fault.” Too often, this is the approach we take with people when they have clearly done something wrong. Before they can make excuses for themselves, we make excuses for them. And it may be that we’re taking the same approach with our own sins. “I know what I did was wrong, but...”
This may be the way of society today, but it is clearly not the Lord’s way. He wants us to feel guilty when we’ve done wrong, to assume responsibility for our actions. He doesn’t want us to blame anyone or anything else. A few Biblical examples will help illustrate the Lord’s approach. The prophet Nathan was not about to let King David off the hook—“you are the man...why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” (2 Samuel 12:7, 9). The apostle Peter did likewise to his audience in Acts 2—“you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (v. 23)—speaking, of course, about what they had done to Jesus. Look at what Jesus said to Saul when He appeared to him on the road to Damascus: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5). Saul was guilty, and the Lord wanted him to know it. These are just a few of the many examples found in the Bible.
Why is it so important to the Lord for us to see and feel our guilt? We can think of at least three reasons.
First, it is only when we see the need to repent that we will change our ways. This recognition of guilt, or “godly sorrow” is a good thing, because it “produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10). When we’re ashamed of what we’ve done, we don’t want to do it any longer. If we are not feeling bad about it, something is drastically wrong.
Second, it is only when we feel the burden of guilt that we will seek forgiveness (Luke 5:31-32). That’s exactly what happened in the examples cited above—they felt the burden of guilt and sought forgiveness from the Lord. Here is what David had to say about the burden of guilt: “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalms 38:3-4). It is when we feel that kind of burden that we say, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalms 51:2).
Finally, it is when we feel guilt the strongest that we appreciate forgiveness the most. The sinful woman of Luke 7 had great love for Jesus, because she was so thankful to have her “many sins” forgiven (Luke 7:36-50). The apostle Paul saw himself as the chief of sinners before he became a Christian (1 Timothy 1:15). It is no wonder then that when he was forgiven, he “labored more abundantly than they all.” He wanted to do all he could for the Lord, because he was so thankful for His grace (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).
So you see, guilt is not such a bad thing—if it makes us repent, if it causes us to seek forgiveness, and if it deepens our appreciation for the grace of God.
Why Is There So Much Evil in the World?
By Bryan Gibson
Those who are skeptical of God’s existence sometimes ask this question. If God is real, they say, why is there so much evil? There is plenty of evil, no question about it. We don’t have to look far to see covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, violence, sexual perversions of every kind, etc. But why do we have all this? Is God to blame? Hardly. The blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of man and his allowing Satan to become his ruler.
In Romans 1 a description is given of the ancient world, but it could just as easily describe the world in which we live today. The list of sins given above is taken directly from that chapter, where you will also find many more (see Romans 1:24-32 for the disgusting details).
But let’s get back to the original question. Why all this evil? Why do men behave this way? According to this same chapter in Romans, the downward spiral begins when men do not acknowledge God, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. They do not glorify Him, or give thanks to Him (1:20-21). Without the humility that accompanies the knowledge of God, their hearts are filled with pride, and they begin to worship the things of creation rather than the Creator himself (1:22-23, 25). Their focus now is on serving self rather than the Creator. Little effort is spent in restraining their desires. With their desires unchecked, their actions become unclean, vile, dishonorable, and hurtful to themselves and to others (vv. 24, 26-32). Obviously, some don’t slide as far as others, but you cannot push God out of your mind and not be affected in a negative way.
Yes, there is a lot of evil in this world, but it is not hard to see why. When men reject God, in whom there is nothing but good, evil will be the result. It kind of makes you long for a place where nothing but righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
What We Need Is More Hate
by Bryan Gibson
Surprised by the title? After all, isn’t there too much hate in the world already? What we really need is more love, right? Yes, we do need more love. This world would be a better place if there were more love for God, more love for our families, more love for our fellow man, and yes, more love for our enemies. But we still need more hate—not for people of course, but for sin.
Read carefully the following passages and any comments that may follow.
“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness…” (Hebrews 1:9. The “you” in this passage is Jesus. Jesus loves righteousness and hates sin. Should we not feel the very same way? Look at this group of passages:
- “You who love the Lord, hate evil! (Psalms 95:10).
- “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).
- “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
- “Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).
- “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:6). These brethren hated the same thing the Lord did—the sinful deeds of the Nicolaitans.
It is clear that we should hate evil just as passionately as the Lord does.
But let’s get more specific:
- “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce…” (Malachi 2:16). Evidently, not enough people feel the same way the Lord does about divorce. Many don’t think twice about forsaking the vows they made in the presence of God (see Malachi 2:14). More people need to learn to hate divorce.
- “A righteous man hates lying…” (Proverbs 13:5).
- “He who hates covetousness will prolong his days” (Proverbs 28:16).
- “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
The above passages do not show all the things that we should hate, but they do provide some specific examples. Do we really hate these things, with the same passion as the Lord? If we do hate them, then why do we practice them? Why do we laugh at them? Why do we not speak out against them? Wouldn’t this world be a better place if we had more of this type of hate?
Don’t Argue With Me; Just Do as You’re Told
by Bryan Gibson
Parents have used this line for years. They don’t like it when their children question their authority. Well, neither does the Lord. He doesn’t like it when we’ve got a better idea (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19), or when we just refuse to do what he says. “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). It’s really very simple; those who respect the Lord’s authority will do exactly what He says—without changing it, adding to it, or taking from it.
If we have the proper attitude toward sin and we really want to be forgiven of sin, then we should be willing to do whatever we’re told to do—by the Lord, that is. What we’re looking for in this article is what the Lord tells us to do to be forgiven. We’ll break it down into two parts: what non-Christians are told to do and what Christians are told to do. To do this, we’ll look at two examples.
Peter’s sermon to non-Christians in Acts 2.
The design of Peter’s lesson was to lead these people to belief—you can see that in the conclusion he draws in v. 36: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Many of them were convinced by Peter’s sermon that Jesus was both Lord and Christ, that He was the Son of God. They were so convinced that they said to Peter and the other apostles, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” (v. 37). They knew something would be required of them. Don’t miss what’s being said here. They had already come to believe in Jesus, but they wanted to know what else they needed to do. And here is Peter’s inspired answer: “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). Thankfully, many who heard this didn’t argue; they just did as they were told. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41).
[Note: this would have been the perfect time for Peter to say: NOTHING!!! You do not need to do anything. You believe, and that is all you need to be saved! Those who teach faith only must believe that the apostle Peter was going against the Holy Spirit, or else maybe the Holy Spirit was confused. But let’s not be ridiculous. It is far more reasonable to just accept what Peter said as the will of our Lord as indicated by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to the apostles, something made quite clear from the very first few verses of Acts 2.]
Peter’s words to a Christian in Acts 8.
Let’s focus our attention on a man named Simon, one who had practiced sorcery, but who had now become a Christian (v. 13). Shortly after he became a Christian, he committed a sin—he tried to buy the power to lay hands on people and impart to them the Holy Spirit (vv. 18-19). After Peter issued this man a strong rebuke (vv. 20-21), he told Simon what he needed to do to be forgiven: “Repent therefore of this your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (v. 22). Simon didn’t argue; he knew how much trouble his soul was in. In fact, he was so eager to be forgiven that he said to Peter: “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things you have spoken may come upon me” (v. 24).
Please don’t argue with Lord; just do as you’re told.
[Comparable to the note above, some would argue here that Simon had nothing to worry about since he was saved and could not possibly be lost. Once-saved-always-saved, a term that is not in the Bible either in a liter quote nor in principle. For those who have a problem with the idea that a saved person can be lost, please see the article on this subject: click here.]
What are the conditions of salvation given by Jesus?
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