Are you living in sin without realizing it?

As a Christian it goes without saying that I try to avoid sin in my life. I do not get drunk, do drugs, hate other people, steal, kill, or cheat through life. We do such a good job, in fact, of avoiding sin that we get prideful and arrogant. We think we are doing good enough and are better than others that we do not really analyze our life to see if we are living a life for Christ or are living in sin.

To make matters worse, everything around us, including society, is trying to camouflage sin, making it seem less wrong or even making it okay to do. It is not until we see someone actually living a righteous life that the camouflage gets removed and the sin is exposed as what it is.

Removing the camouflage on my sin

I love to drive. I do not know what it is about driving, but I just love to get out on the road and drive. And I am a person that does not speed. Well, you know, nothing *that* fast. I usually stick to about 5 miles per hour over the speed limit and on the highways I go with the flow of traffic. It is not really “speeding” because everybody else on the road does it.

And by saying “everyone does it” I am not trying to be cliche or anything like that. Literally, every person I know thinks that five miles over is the norm, and rarely do you find cops that will pull you over for this making it seem okay in the eyes of the law.

Then I went on a trip to South Carolina to visit my friend, Sean. Sean is not like everybody else… Sean has this crazy notion that the speed limit, is actually the speed limit. He takes the law seriously, even when it is inconvienant or slower.

It is a refreshing sight to see someone who takes something seriously. Sean took the speed limit seriously, and did not speed if he could help it. And this convicted me. Seeing someone else living the way we know we should live removes any excuse that we could use to avoid living like we know we should.

No more excuses

Now I have no more excuses to continue living the way I was. I know that not only do I know I should live righteously, but it is also very possible to live righteously. So I no longer speed; but for real this time.

This makes me wonder, what else is in our life that we think is normal and acceptable behavior but the Bible tells us is sin? Anything breaking the law is wrong, including speeding, pirating software, music, and movies, not paying taxes or any number of other things.

Be Holy

God tells us to “Be Holy for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16) which makes it clear that we are to be holy, set apart, not living like the rest of the world. Why must we be holy even though everybody else is having fun in sin? Because God is holy, and we are taking on His name and representing Him.

When you sin, you are not giving yourself a bad name, or the church you go to. You are really giving God a bad name and image. How can we dare take on that responsibility and then continue living in sin using the excuse that “everybody is doing it?”

When Christians let the norms of society define what is right or wrong, we are really in trouble.

Living for God, not for yourself

Not only do we regularly sin by doing actions we shouldn’t, like speeding, the church is also involved in sins of omission, or the sin of being disobedient. Most of the church is lazy, not living for God at all and just doing what they want to do. Rarely do people prayer read their Bibles, let alone actually witness to people.

We are not to live this way!

Christians have a calling, and we cannot ignore that calling just because everybody else does. Sometimes this is hard to see, which is why we must look to those who live their faith like they believe it. People such as Francis Chan, for example. When we see these people living their faith it should convict us to live for God with all of our life instead of the 2% we give Him now.

So take some time and listen to sermons from Francis Chan or other pastors, and spend even more time praying and reading God’s word. This will help you to identify what sin is in your life that you may not even realize.

Easter: Getting back to the basics

Today will no doubt be a busy day for most people.  You have clothes to get ready, get to church on time, find the eggs with the kids, easter baskets to pick through for favorite candies, and a big family easter dinner to prepare.  To many people it seems that they spend all day celebrating easter, and little time celebrating Jesus.

Besides the hour and a half spent singing praise songs and listening to a sermon at church, very litte thought is given towards God today with all of the business distracting us.  Like many western traditional celebrations easter becomes less a celebration of the resurection of the cross and more of a celebration of the celebration itself.

Today is the day that we remember the most unfair sacrifice in all of history. Today we remember Jesus, the creator of all things (John 1:3), being perfect and without any sin (Hebrews 4:15), but was raised from the dead, conquering death, so we could be called righteous before God! (Romans 5:19)  Do you get the impact of that statement?

You have sinned, a lot. Do not try denying it, you are a filthy sinner. Every lie, every lustful thought, every greedy or selfish action you take, all of it, is detestable in the sight of God. Don’t believe me? Just look at the old testament, at how God wanted those who sined to be punished. It gives a glimpse of how much God hates sin.  Yet God, the one you sin against every day, sacrificed Himself, for what? To erase every evidence of sin in our life. To declare us righteous and allow us to serve Him, the living God!

“Are we sorry for grieving the heart of God… for denying God the right to own our personality… to own our mind… to own our thoughts… to own our emotions? (If not) we’re robbing God.” – Leonard Ravenhill

Instead of making today about easter bunnies and new clothes and business of making big dinners, spend today focusing on your sin, repenting from your sin, and thanking God for the wonderful act of Grace that He has provided freely for you. Take some time to celebrate that, what easter is supposed to be all about.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. – Romans 5:7-9

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation … – Hebrews 2:1-3

Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our message
   and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
   and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

 4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
   and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
   Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
   for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
   and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
   and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
   and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
   he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
   and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, 
   and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors.