Tag Archives: spiritual renewal

What do we do with Sin?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.       1 John 1:8 (RSV)

What do we do with sin?  For too long this question has been asked only by theologians and scholars as they “pontificate” over spiritual things.  But the people who should be asking this question are those who are currently stewards of God’s grace, desiring that God’s “kingdom will come”—to our nation, to our churches, and more importantly, to our homes.

Unfortunately, the people of God have allowed the “elephant in the room” (sin in disguise) to go unchallenged. We express concern over the national debt, growing unemployment, and the decline of the middle class.  But what do we do with sin?

As crime increases in our communities, we demand more police surveillance and create neighborhood watch groups.  In response to the rise in homelessness and poverty, we advocate for more social programs and outreach.  But what do we do with sin?

It is a subject that is glaringly absent in our discussions concerning the plight of our world especially in our church pulpits.

Many of the issues we face in society are as a result of sin. 

They originate from thoughts and feeling that focus on activities that satisfy personal (and usually) selfish desires (James 1:14-15).  These desires are then acted upon by the will (spirit and heart) which has the power to do what is good—or evil.  Social reform and political posturing cannot affect these human dime nsions. What then is the remedy for the heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9)?

God has devised His plan of redemption to deal with the issue of sin. 

It is “grace-based”, no longer requiring His forbearance (Rom. 3:25), nor demanding redundant, ineffective sacrifices for the sins of men (Heb. 10:11).  He became, through His Son, the just and the justifier of him which believed in Jesus (Rom. 3:24).  Faith would be the starting point and the end would be a righteous soul (Rom. 5:21)—a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).  He would replace the stony heart of man with a new heart of flesh and place His Spirit within man that would cause him to “do right” (Ezek. 36:26-27).  Then man and God would once again be reconciled (Col. 1:21).

What do we do with sin?  We must first recognize it by comparing it with the will and counsel of God.   This requires reading His Word, being fervent in prayer, and seeking spiritual discernment. It is time to unmask sin for what it is.  If you personally, are in the midst of sin, first confess and repent quickly.  God is faithful to forgive and cleanse you (1 John 1: 19).  Then reckon yourself dead to sin (Rom. 6:11) and no longer let it have dominion over you (Rom. 6:14).  That’s what we do with sin!

New Things in the Wilderness

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”   Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

Are you currently experiencing a wilderness in your life?    For the nations of Israel, living in captivity in Babylon and Assyria was their “wilderness experience.”  For seventy (70) years they were removed from those things which they loved the most—their land, their temple, and most importantly, their God.

God, through His prophet Isaiah, sent words of consolation to Israel during their wilderness experience.  He promised to do a new thing. “New” in Hebrew (chadash) means to renew, rebuild, or repair.

God promised Israel that He would not only renew, rebuild, repair that which was loss during the exile, but He would also, do the impossible—“make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”  God would revive Israel physically and spiritually.  “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3).

Wilderness experiences are times in our lives when we lack those things that bring us happiness, contentment, and peace.  Wilderness experiences are different for everyone.

For some people the wilderness may be relational—failed, estranged, or disappointing relationships.  For others the wilderness may be professional—pursuit of the right vocation or personal significance.  For still others, wilderness experiences may be experiential—moments of personal loss, loneliness, or misfortune.

No two wildernesses are the same.

During wilderness experiences we may feel alone and isolated.  We may even feel God has left us and no longer hears our prayers.  Is God with us in our wilderness?  He answers, “Yes!”  It’s in His Word (Psa. 91:15; Isa.43:2; Isa. 49:15).

Regardless of the type of wilderness experience, we can trust God to do a new thing in our lives.  He can renew, rebuild, and repair our lives in spite of the brokenness we may experience (Psa. 130:5).  After our wilderness experience, God will also do the impossible by bringing us back to a healthy, vigorous and flourishing condition (Isa. 40:31).   This revival includes intimacy with Him where there is true happiness, contentment, and peace (Rev. 21:7).  God creates new things in our wilderness.  “…now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isa. 43:19b)