The deceitfulness of sin tells us that we can go ahead and sin even though we know it’s wrong, then we can ask God to forgive us and that’s all there is to it! But that’s rebellion against God and you can’t be both rebellious (determined to go your own way) and repentant (willing to go God’s way) at the same time. But there’s an even bigger problem with this kind of thinking.
Also read about chocolate covered dirt, foolish talk and dirty jokes.
Isaiah 57 & 58
Sin Now … Ask Forgiveness Later
Abusing God’s Patience & Mercy
In chapter 57 God, through the prophet, is rebuking his people for their continued turning to and reliance on false gods. God poses the question, “Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?” We might say it this way, “Do you keep sinning because I haven’t been hard enough on you?”
Is that true of us? Do we abuse God’s patience and mercy by thinking we can live any way we want and believing He isn’t going to deal with sin and faithlessness? Hebrews 3.13 says:
“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
The deceitfulness of sin tells us that we can sin now and ask forgiveness later, even though we know it’s wrong, as if asking for forgiveness involves some magic incantation or get out of jail free card. That’s rebellion against God and His Word. You can’t be both rebellious (determined to go your own way) and repentant (willing to go God’s way) at the same time.
Sometimes we understand the choice to sin will have consequences. Yet we can be like a stubborn, rebellious child, determined to do it anyway and just “take our licks.” The problem is that, while we can choose to sin, we don’t get to choose our consequences.
But there’s an even bigger problem with this kind of thinking. It may be an indication that we’re not really saved. Oh, we may have “prayed a prayer” or “walked an aisle” or “gone forward at youth camp,” but if we were never genuinely broken over our sin (not just tired of the consequences), if we never really had saving faith, and if we weren’t regenerated by the Spirit of God (2 Cor. 5.17), we may not be saved.
Genuine salvation will produce the fruit of a changed life. It may not happen all at once and it doesn’t look the same in every life, but change should be apparent and growth should be continuous. John the Baptist said, “… bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Lk. 3.8).
And in Matthew 7.21-24 Jesus said:
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
2 Corinthians 13.5:
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
What about you? Do you see fruit in your own life? If not, pray and ask God for His help. Seek out godly counsel if you’re not sure. Don’t wait!
Today’s Other Readings:
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flint into a fountain of waters (vss. 7-8).
Even creation obeys the voice of God.
Chocolate Covered Dirt
“The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
One problem with gossip is it “tastes” so good. Most of us have this appetite to know the “dirt” on someone else. It’s what fuels the sale of tabloids and gossip magazines. But it’s not just the racks at the supermarket that entice us with the latest gossip. It can be our friend or co-worker. It can even be disguised as something spiritual, “Pray for so-and-so …” But gossip by any other name and no matter what the justification is still sin.
Foolish Talk and Dirty Jokes on the Same Par with Uncleanness, Covetousness & Filthiness
Verses 3-7, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them” (emphasis mine).
Notice that God puts sins of the tongue right in the middle of almost every list of sins, along with, in this case, uncleanness, covetousness, fornication and idolatry!
So let’s examine our lives today. What does the fruit of your life and mine look like? What is the fruit of our lips? What is the attitude of our hearts toward God and others?
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The book’s core is a “gospel prayer” by which you can saturate yourself in the gospel daily. Dwelling on the gospel will release in you new depths of passion for God and take you to new heights of obedience to Him. Gospel gives you an applicable, exciting vision of how God will use you to bring His healing to the world.
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