Friday, November 7, 2014

Greater Sins?

I remember growing up, I heard my parents use the words "little, white lie." They used them when they tried to justify their actions that they believed were necessary in order to avoid some sort of conflict, like not telling someone the answer to "So what did you get me for my birthday or where were you today?" and they would reply with a vague answer that was a lie of sorts.

A lie is still a lie.

A better way to have handled those situations would have been to disclose, I can't tell you because it would ruin your birthday, you'll have to wait. Or I can't tell you where I was because you will ruin the surprise I have for you and if I tell you where I was, then you will know what it might be.

However the Bible does speak of greater sins. But before we get to that, let me clarify that sin is sin.  The Bible is very clear that breaking any of the 10 commandments is sin and even goes a bit further to explain them. Also it does say if we break one, we have in a sense broken them all. When we sin, we are sinners.

We can confess that sin to God in sincerity and repent from it. As believers in Jesus Christ, who by faith believe in Him for salvation once we do that, and agree to attempt to not do it again, we are forgiven as though it never happened no matter how great that sin is. Even murder can be forgiven. Not necessarily forgotten but forgiven by a repentant heart who knows Jesus.

But in regards to greater sins, for believers and those of us that know what we are doing is just plain wrong, and do it anyway. We are held accountable for a greater sin.

2 Corinthians 7:1 makes it quite clear. It is the sins of the Spirit that we need to be concerned with. "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates the body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." NIV

Jesus also answered this in John 19:11, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

This was Jesus' response when He was questioned by Pilate over Jesus' claims of being the Son of God and Pilate telling him that he had the power to set him free.

So even Jesus was acknowledging greater sin whether he was referring to Caiaphas or Judas since both men were responsible for handing Jesus over to be arrested and yet they both knew that what they were doing went against what was true and right. To knowingly go against what is true, defines greater sin.

Anytime we sin, knowing we shouldn't do it, but do it anyway, especially as believers in Christ, we are all guilty of a greater sin. Knowledge brings responsibility.

Don't think because you have suffered from the consequences of your sin, that God is lenient or condoning your behavior. God's justice is delayed not denied. Just because God hasn't acted yet is not His approval of what you are doing. God will respond by He is simply giving us the time, by cutting us some slack to repent, stop sinning and return to the fold.

The Bible's response? "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." ~ 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

So just remember that when you are trying to justify your actions and wonder what God thinks. I know for me, I am convicted much more to act accordingly because I don't want to be accused of a greater sin in God's eyes. As Christians, we simply know better. We are held to much higher standards than the world. so be careful of the example you are letting others see in your life.


David C Brown said...

Christ is God's standard; Christ is God's answer.

Down On The Farm said...

This was the subject of our sermon yesterday morning at church. The pastor challenged each of us to read I Corinthians Chapter 8 through I Corinthians Chapter 11:1 every day this week and ask God for direction. We are not to ask ourselves "is it O.K. if I do ___." We are to ask ourselves "Is ____ God's BEST for me." All things are permissible, not everything is beneficial. But just because we CAN do something, doesn't mean we should. God shows grace to non-believers, but from Christians, we are called to holiness. No, we aren't perfect, never will be this side of heaven. But we are to STRIVE to be like Jesus, and He was perfect. Thank you for sharing this today. I am praying and asking God to show me if there is anything I have allowed into my life that isn't His best.