The bible verse which prompted these thoughts for me is found in the book of Proverbs ch.28 v 13. It reads “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whosoever confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”.
Here I would have you think with me about this, so small a word, 'sin' just what it is, its consequences and how it can be dealt with. It has been said and it is so true, that the two most costly things in the world are Sin and Salvation. You will be aware that the bible has much to say on both subjects and it is there, dear reader, I would urge you to look and learn for yourself about this costly commodity, Sin.
What it is.
We must realise right away that sin has to be committed, perpetrated, we sinners sin in 'thought word and deed' daily. We human beings are sinners, the whole concept we all understand and the words “they are living in sin” used to be well understood concerning one particular sin, less so nowadays sadly. My dictionary states simply ' sin is transgression of God's known will'. The bible describes it in various ways using such words as ;
Iniquity: an act inherently wrong.
Error: a departure from that which is right.
Trespass: the intrusion of selfwill into the sphere of divine authority.
Lawlessness: which is spiritual anarchy.
Most readers will have heard the account of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, how they disobeyed God's instruction, they sinned. Many today try to avoid the truth of that account and would set it aside as just a 'story'. Yet sadly it is all very true. Adam disobeyed, became a sinner, and we today by nature are born sinners, yes all of us.
The bible tells us “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.
See Romans ch.3 v 23. The Lord God has 'written His law in our hearts' Romans ch.2 v 15, so our conscience tells us when we transgress when we sin. We may wriggle, squirm, shrug it off but we know right well both what sin is and that we are sinners. Time now to consider the consequences of sin.
Consequences of Sin.
The consequences of sin can not be avoided. “Be sure your sin will find you out”. That statement you can find in the Old Testament of the bible in Numbers ch.32 v 23. Don't tell me you have never tried to hide or cover up something you did. I like you, am a sinner, I say again we all are. The reality is we have been ' found out '! The Lord God knows both the 'thoughts and intents of the heart'. We are guilty and can not avoid the consequences.
Sin, separates us from God. When Adam sinned in Eden he was banished from the garden and the close fellowship he had enjoyed with God was broken. He was sent away from all the blessing, comfort and joy he had known, separated. So it is with us, our sin separates us, we are spiritually “dead in our sins” as the bible puts it.
Sin, intoxicates us with temporary pleasure, the bible acknowledges that there are indeed 'pleasures of this world' but reminds us that they are passing, only temporary. We read of Moses, a God fearing man who was used of God in Old Testament time, “he chose not to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” Rather he chose God's way.
Sin, separates, intoxicates and it numbs our sensitivities to God and to man. The longer we persevere in sin the harder our hearts become. There are numerous warnings in scripture not to harden our hearts to God's promptings, for He does indeed prompt us in many ways. Even now as you read this article you are being prompted. Every sunrise, the beauty of the setting sun the wonder of a rainbow all remind and challenge us to acknowledge God as creator and assess our relationship to Him.
Sin, the ultimate consequence is stated in the book of Romans at ch.6 and v 23 “the wages of sin is death” which is that final separation from God for all eternity.
Yes, sin is costly indeed; take time to ponder! We hurry to the biblical, scriptural solution, the remedy.
You will already have heard some of the many remedies offered today, sadly there are many voices offering solutions. Some would have us deny that sin exists at all, it is just a myth a delusion, it is old fashioned out of date stuff. Others encourage us to 'be kind' try hard to do our best, the bible calls that 'good works'. Then there are a variety of tempting 'spiritual' remedies, the bible calls them 'other gods'. Don't waste time there.
It is time to remind you of that bible verse quoted at the outset, “but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”. These two words are vital if we are to know the remedy to our sin problem. We must be willing to admit (confess) that we are sinners, then be willing to turn from (forsake) our sin. It is only when God in His kindness opens our understanding to these truths that we call out to Him for 'mercy', then wonder of wonders “He is merciful and gracious”, He pardons and forgives, cleansing us from all sin.
For those really wanting/seeking a remedy, I urge you to 'search the scriptures' you will not have to look far, for the bible excels in sounding out the remedy. It is called 'The Gospel'. I point you to just a few bible verses pertinent here; Psalm 51v 17 “ A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” When we come to God in that attitude of heart and mind, then we will indeed find 'mercy'. Another verse to be remembered and cherished is in St.John's first letter at ch.1 v 9 “ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Yet another verse, from St.Peter who tells us why Christ Jesus had to die, 1 Peter ch.3 v 18, “ Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. What a remedy! At what great cost, the death of Christ Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
Sin forgiven, broken relationship restored and that final dreadful separation no longer a threat.
So where are you dear reader?
Are you singing today of God's mercy to you and seeking to tell others?
Or are you still trying to avoid the 'unavoidable' sin question?
Ask God for mercy today.