Good morning everyone. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a blessed worship service Sunday. Our church celebrated our 26th annual homecoming this Sunday. We had a great service, a large crowd, an abundant lunch buffet and a talented group of guys to perform a concert to cap off our celebration. We are so blessed.
Our pastor preached on sin, and our need to repent of that sin. While meditating on this, an old commercial jingle came to mind. It was for the soft drink 7up. There use to be a man, who would come on TV and he would say, “never had it, never will”, referring to artificial flavorings. I thought how marvelous it would be if we as humans, could make the same declaration as related to sin, “never had it, never will”.
Indulge me for a moment to consider this. Almost all of us know the story of Adam and Eve. Adam was created by God from the dust of the earth and brought to life by the very breath of God, to have fellowship with God. To have rule over the earth. When God saw that Adam needed a helper, God caused a sleep to come over Adam and He took a rib from Adam and created Eve. These two were in a garden, the kind of beauty we can only imagine, created to fellowship with God and given only one rule. Had they kept that rule, how different life would be today.
The reality is that Adam and Eve did not keep the one rule they were given and sin entered the world at that point and has been running rampant ever since. I think about how we are created in God's image. We are God's children, whether you choose to accept Him as a Savior or not, we were still created by Him, thereby we are His. I think about how we choose to continue to break His rules to this very day. We sin everyday. Sins we know about and sins we don't even realize. Let's allow the scripture to shed some light on the subject.
Roman 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” James 4:17 says, “ So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Romans 6:23 says, “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 4:30 says, “ And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”. Hebrews 12:6-11 says, “6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Psalms 103:12-13 say, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.” Acts 26:19-20 say, “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” Romans 10:13 says, “For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Well, what did we learn from this? First, we all have sinned, whether we knew it or not, meant to or not, we have. If we knew of a right thing to do and did not do it, that is sin. Next we see that the wages of sin is death. It only takes ONE sin to demand the payment of death. Then we see that our sin grieves God, just as our children's sin hurts us. Now God opens our eyes some. The scripture tells us why we go through some of what we are going through. Sometimes, it is God chastening, (disciplining) us. Just as we have had to use discipline to guide our children, God has to do the same with us from time to time. Next we see that God is faithful, to forgive us of our sins, if we ask Him. God will remove them from us as far as the east is from the west. Then in Acts 26 we see that when we repent of our sins, we are to turn away from the sin and toward God, and do works proving, (one translations puts it) our repentance. Then, the last scripture could have been the first also, comforts us by telling us that , “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”.
Folks, this is not hard. We are made in God's image Our children are made in His and our images. We correct our children to teach them to do right and so God does the same to us. It would be nice if when the subject of sin came up, we could say, “never had it, never will”, but we cannot. So, we have to take steps to make things right between us and God, and then do our best to stay on the straight and narrow, confessing and repenting as we go along.
Remember: When old man death comes knocking at your door, and eternity hangs in the balance for you, I pray Jesus will be able to tell him, that the devil, never had you, and never will.
Until next time, please continue to pray for each other, our elected officials and government, and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church