Sin, What Is It?

This morning as I began to read my daily Bible scriptures and devotionals, the words sin and faults got my attention because of the verse from the YouVersion app, the 1st one I read,

Screenshot_20200319-061310_Bible

One version of James says “faults” and the other “sins” so I thought, “is there a difference?” I looked up some of the different numbers Strong’s gives for the word sin. A common thread in some is the idea of “missing the mark and so not sharing in the prize.”

As I read through them a concept that I have learned came to mind. It isn’t hard to live the Christian life, it’s IMPOSSIBLE. I’ve learned that my own worst enemy isn’t the government or sickness or even someone who I think mistreats me, it’s ME, Tony. My ONLY Hope of living a Christian life is by living it through another’s power. He is the Holy Spirit of God in Christ Jesus.

For years after my Dad and sisters became Born Again with God’s Spirit Christians they tried to get me to go to church with them. They made me feel like I was “missing the mark” but I was a Catholic and went to church most Sundays. My main argument to my Dad who became a pastor was that a least every Easter, in mass we would would recommit our lives to Jesus. I equated that with praying a sincere “sinners prayer.” It was only after I was eyeball deep in sin and trouble that I sincerely prayed a “really sincere sinners prayer” that something changed in me. New desires and thoughts came to mind that wasn’t “normal” for me. Thoughts like in the middle of the day, “I should go to my room and kneel down to pray.” Part of my mind was thinking, “pray what?” But something in me overwhelmed me to “JUST Do It!!!”

All the times in my life that I tried to be a “Good Catholic” person in my own power kinda left me with a feeling of self accomplishment, I had done good. There is naturally an element of “pride” that goes along with that. But when I had urges to seek God earnestly that I knew for certain were not of my own will, I could take NO Pride in those. Those events left me in awe that some force, God’s Holy Spirit was really working in me.

My favorite all time pastor is B.H. Clendennen. I have listened many times to most of his School of Christ teachings. One of his sayings that I like a lot is, “you don’t have to teach a bird to fly.” In other words, a bird flies simply because it’s a bird. If you have the Spirit of God living in you it will lead and teach you how to live a “Genuine Christian” life.

Living the life of another means letting the Holy Spirit live in me. The more I try not to grieve Him the more sensitive I become to sense His leadings. John the Baptist told us how to live a “Real Christian” life when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Jesus told us in Matthew 16:25,  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Holding on and making Tony’s priorities the number one thing is “saving my fleshly life.” Jesus told us this in another way when He said,

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Doing good isn’t bad in itself, it’s good. But doing good to feel self righteous or to get God’s approval isn’t good, as Isaiah said, “it’s filthy rags in God’s sight.” Filthy tampons to be exact.

The Apostle Paul mentioned something I had to check out one day,

Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

The NKJV translates it, 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

It seems so natural for our flesh to “just follow the rules” to get our approval from God but Paul spends most of Colossians chapter 2 condemning that practise. Throughout Paul’s letters he tells us to be “lead of the Spirit of God.”

Getting back to my title and idea behind this post, “Sin, What Is It?” It’s “Missing the Mark” but what’s the “Mark?” The Mark is God’s Will. Not seeking to know what God’s Will is for us for today is a sin. God’s Will won’t be the same thing tomorrow or the next day. That means every day I need to desire to be in communication with God through His Holy Spirit. Setting an atmosphere in my heart and mind that it can happen is my choice.

In one of Pastor Clendennen’s teachings he describes how he almost bought into the idea of being able to “visualize” God in prayer. As he knelt and prayed seeking to visualize God in the room with him the Holy Spirit spoke these words to him. “Son it’s not feet or inches that separate Me from you, it’s your iniquities.”

Mr Strong says this of “Iniquities” H5771 – From (H5773 to “crook” do amiss, pervert do wickedly); “{perversity} that {is} (moral} evil:- {fault} {mischief} punishment (of {Iniquity}) sin.

Iniquities G92 – a wrong done:- evil doing

Iniquities G459 – illegality that is violation of law or (generally) wickedness:

Iniquities G4189 – depravity that is malice (specifically) malice; plural (concretely) plots sins: wickedness

The last Strong’s definition of Iniquities brings it home. It’s where our word “Auto” comes from.

Iniquities G846 – Transliteration: autos – her it (-self) one the other (mine) own said ([self-] the) same ([him- my- thy-]) self [your-] selves.

God gives us the choice to seek Him in everything we do and think about. Jesus summed up the entire concept of living a Genuine Christian Life when He said these words,

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

One last thought from the teachings of Pastor Clendennen. “We have NOTHING to offer God but an Empty Possibility. He doesn’t want your money or talents, He wants you. A Willfully surrendered you to seek to do His Will.”

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

In Jeremiah The LORD God says, “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Before wealth, health or a peaceful life our most important desire should be to have a heart to “Know God.” Then, we won’t “Miss the Mark” or miss out in “sharing the prize.”

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