I love to deal with sin!

Devotional/Discussion of the Day

 6 I am GOD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a house of slaves. 7 No other gods, only me. 8 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. 9 Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am GOD, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. 10 But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments. 11 No using the name of GOD, your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name. 12 No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as GOD, your God, commanded you. 13 Work six days, doing everything you have to do, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day—no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you. 15 Don’t ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and GOD, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That’s why GOD, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest. 16 Respect your father and mother—GOD, your God, commands it! You’ll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well. 17 No murder. 18 No adultery. 19 No stealing. 20 No lies about your neighbor. 21 No coveting your neighbor’s wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either—nothing that belongs to your neighbor! Deuteronomy 5:6-21 (MSG)

We often talk of the above list as the Ten Commandments, (although I prefer to refer to them as how God has commissioned our lives – but that’s another blog entry)  Violating these guidelines, whether intentionally or without conscious desire or knowledge is what we theologically call sin.  Sin simply is living outside the way God would desire us to live, based on His wisdom, based on His love, His wisdom, His desire for our best.

I wrote as the title of this blog, that I love to deal  with sin.   I have had to deal with people who struggled with every one of the sins in the last two months, maybe even in the last few days… no definitely in the last 48 hours.   And I love to deal with sin.

And I don’t like to not deal with it.

Let me unpack that.  People like to deal with sin in the same ways they cope with trauma – or death.  We go through the same kinds of phases.

We deny it is sin – it doesn’t matter whether it is missing church or Bible study, or engaging in sin that is outside the bonds of marriage.
We bargain – I won’t commit that other sin, if you God overlook that other sin…
We get depressed – as we realize that on our own, we are weak and helpless to overcome temptation
We get angry – often very angry as we crucify ourselves- or worse- those who try to help us through it – even though that means they have to make the mistake of pointing out the sin.
Or we accept that we are sinners – and just keep on… well sinning.

And in everyone of those phases – we don’t deal with sin at all.  We smother it, we cover it, we celebrate it, but the very last thing we could possibly do – is deal with it. And if we fail to deal with it, we find ourselves in the place St. John talked about.

10 If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. 

There is a way to deal with it – a very simple, powerful, wonderful, mindblowing way to deal with the sin….  it comes from the very same place as the quote a moment ago. 

 8 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. 9 On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:8-10 (MSG)

That’s how we deal with it – a simple confession, a simple proclamation of forgiveness – and it’s done.

It could look something like this,

Individual Confession 
Pastor, please hear my confession and pronounce God’s forgiveness in order to fulfill God’s will.
Proceed.

I, a poor sinner, plead guilty before God of all sins. I have lived as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most. My Lord’s name I have not honored as I should; my worship and prayers have faltered. I have not let His love have its way with me, and so my love for others has failed. There are those whom I have hurt, and those whom I have failed to help. My thoughts and desires have been soiled with sin.

What troubles me particularly is that . . .

The penitent confesses whatever he has done against the commandments of God, according to his place in life. The he concludes by saying:

I am sorry for all of this and ask for grace. I want to do better.

God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith.
Amen.

Do you believe that my forgiveness is God’s forgiveness?
Yes.

Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive You all your sins in the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Dealt with.. Done.

Sin is simple to deal with, so let’s deal with it... knowing the Lord has had mercy on us.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on March 27, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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