The ministry God has called me to takes me into places and with people that you might call lost with a capital “L”. You must be incredibly careful how you label those that have yet to discover there is much more to God than salvation. All sin in God’s eyes is equal however some sin has a more obvious effect on our physical bodies as well as our spirit. In studying for my ministry exam, I stumbled upon a well written explanation about sin. I wanted to share with you my understanding in the hope that it will help you have a deeper insight as well.
Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Ouch! I’m going to repeat that statement…Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan) with simple words that got her thinking…”I want more, why not?” See Genesis 3:1-6 This is at the center of all sin. It may not look like pride or self-exaltation sometimes because as the sin grows it causes us to keep making poor decisions, mixed with reasoning and rationalizing. Our outward actions reveal our sin and then we “hide” Genesis 3:7-8, cover up. We soon find ourselves hiding through addiction and behavior that disguises the sin even from ourselves. This is why sin and evil are often compared to darkness, we hide in the dark…sin is the absence of light. It is a force that is active and has a harmful effects usually very gradual or subtle.
The Bible tells us that sin originated in an abuse of the freedom given to Adam and Eve who are God’s created beings that He equipped with a will. God did not create evil. Evil disregards the glory of God, His plan or will for us as written in the Word of God. The devil has cleverly sown discontent into our thoughts, he has turned our yearning or spiritual hunger for God into a thirst for self-gratification. This thirst cannot be satisfied in anything not centered in obedience to and faith in God. The result is a decision to step out of God’s protection and enter into moral failure. God permitted this freedom of choice for reasons known only by Him. We are unable to search out and understand God’s reason by human reason. God, in providing us with a mind and spirit truly free to make moral decisions, has allow the possibility of failure. Without that possibility there would not be genuine freedom or true personality.
Sin originated in the free choice of God’s creatures. Instead of believing and trusting God, responding to His love and provision, we have let wrong thinking fed by Satan exalt ourselves above God. I know you are thinking not me…anytime you make a decision and that little voice, your spirit, says not a great idea, yet you still follow your decision; you just made your decision and action over God’s will. So, your decision was better than God’s. That is where self-exaltation happens. The essence of sin is the substitution of the satisfying self for the original and highest purpose in life…seeking God and the relationship we were created to have with Him.
Apostle Paul says this will be a struggle for everyone.
Romans 7:14-25 outlines the struggle we have within ourselves against sin, Paul says “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” NASB
Thankfully, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ who sacrificed Himself so that we have through repentance…forgiveness of our sins. The fight is on, how can we break the stronghold of sin? First, there is no way we can minimize sin even the slightest sin. No sin is too small for us to overlook and fail to seek forgiveness. James 1:13-15 warning us about the origin of temptation and sin…”When you are tempted don’t ever say, “God is tempting me,” for God is incapable of being tempted by evil and he is never the source of temptation. Instead it is each person’s own desires and thoughts that drag them into evil and lure them away into darkness. Evil desires give birth to evil actions. And when sin is fully mature it can murder you!” TPT.
We must not let our minds dwell on some temptation or wrong desire, we must stop ourselves from reasoning. Recently, I was ministering to a group of women and one of them boldly spoke about being a homosexual, she went on to say “If all sin is equal and everyone sins then my sin is no worst and acceptable.” Justifying sin never works, if we make sin a habit or a way of life, it will bring spiritual and eternal death, a final separation from God. This lost woman has set her sin and self above God, His protection and love. The Bible says, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.” Philippians 4:8 TPT Sadly, she has let an evil thought and desire incubate into action. She cannot see that she is the glorious work of God, she is blinded from what is real, honorable, admirable, and so much more. I am praying that she will have a supernatural experience of God’s unfailing love for her and that she will come to the cross in repentance.
I know in many of my other blog articles and many times when I am speaking before a group I use my life scriptures. A life scripture is one that you hold dear to your heart and meditate on when your mind moves into wrong thinking. These scriptures break evil strongholds, they will lead you in freedom and moral character pleasing to God and healthy for you. God has given His Word in order for us to have with authority over sin and live in peace until Jesus returns.
Here are mine…
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” NASB
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” NASB
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” NASB
Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” AMP
Hebrews 4:12 “For we have the living Word of God, which is supernatural and powerful, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword(a weapon for good). It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where our spirit and flesh (sinful desire) meet! It reveals and surgically removes any wrong thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.” Personalized and paraphrased
A special thank you to the authors of “Bible Doctrine, A Pentecostal Perspective”, William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton. Their research and insight bring a profound understanding of God’s Word and His desired relationship with each of His children.
My prayer that these words help you to go deeper and run harder in your pursuit of God and live the life He has designed for you.