Year 2 Day 317
Read - Romans 6:23, 1 Samuel 2:12-36 and John 19:9
Message - Alan Burke
Did you read Monday’s devotion? Just incase you missed it I called you a thief and a liar. Alight, I didn’t call you out by name but I asked the questions “Have you ever taken a pen that didn’t belong to you whether by intent or by accident? Yes or no? Have you ever told a lie about another, to save face, to help another, or embellished a story? Yes or no?” and since well the only answer we can give if we are truthful is yes then I said, "Thieves and Liars, all of you!”.
Some might say “BUT it was ONLY a pen, and sure it was ONLY a white lie, what’s the big deal!"
I totally get that, after all, sure look at your man at Number 10, think of all those things he was getting up to when we were all trying to do the right thing! Surely the fella at Number 10 telling us he didn’t know he was breaking the rules was a worse lie that we were told when we were kids about the 20p under our pillow. Well, yes! We know that some sins are worse than others, we look at what we do and compare it to what others have done and think we aren’t too bad. Just as we see some sins are worse than others so does God.
I’ll give you two examples, 1 Samuel 2 (v12-36). We are told there of the sons of Eli and how the “ sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt”. We are told how Eli challenged his sons (22-25), there we learn more of what they were up to, they slept with the women who served at the Tent of meeting (22). But then as the Prophecy comes against the house of Eli, nothing is said about the matter of Eli’s sons lying with the women at the tent of meeting. Not because it doesn’t matter, these things do, they matter to God, it mattered how Eli’s sons conducted their personal life. Their moral corruption had shown that they were not fit for service but what mattered more than what they did is what they did to the worship of God.
Just as we view some aggravations are more heinous than others, God himself sees some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in his sight than others. Eli understood this, that is why he had said to his sons in v25 “if a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” The sin of these young men was very great in the Lord’s sight. In judgement these two sons Hophni and Phinehas would die on the same day.
One more example, New Testament this time, John 19 which forms the account of Jesus’ arrest, trials, death and burial. In chapter 19, while facing the Roman trial before Pilate Jesus responds to the questioning of Pilate in this way; “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.” (Jn 19:11 NIV). The words of Jesus make clear that their sin, ie that of the Religious leaders who handed Him over is greater than that of Pilates.
We might look to others and thing my sin is not as great as theirs, and you may be right but remember what the Lord through Paul teaches in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death”. That means the result of sin, no matter how great or small results in death (Rom 6:23), wages being something that we have earned and deserve, every sin is equally damning to me and it is equally damming to you.
The free gift is opposite to what we have earned or deserve in our wages, the free gift is salvation. For although we deserve death we escape it by his grace. We know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 1:1), and we know that nothing, not even our own sin, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 1:38). Our desire as believers should be to mortify our sin, to die to it.
Q74 What is required in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.