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SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS SIMPLIFIED


 

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

It is true that some folk have the mindset of concrete: thoroughly mixed up and profusely set. They would argue with the proverbial signpost, but they cannot argue with God, neither may they box with Him because their arm is too short! So, it is not the burden of men to convince one another that they are sinners. The Holy Spirit witnesses that in every heart. But the idea of sin may be better understood in the simplistic terms of “Use” and “Misuse.” Think about it!
Get it straight, and never forget it! God is righteous, but men are not. If men are not righteous; they are sinners, big time! Some jovial chap will roar that all sin is sin, and there is no difference! Others will say that there is no difference to God. I find it amusing that so many seem to know the mind of God in these matters without a specific scripture reference. Stay with me for a moment.
If all sin is the same, why are there at least three categories of it: transgression, iniquity, and sin? Psalm 32:5. If all sin is the same, why were some sins worthy of death, and others could be atoned for? If all sin is the same why did Jesus say the Pharisees would receive the greater condemnation? Certainly, one sin of any sort severs one from God as Adam and Eve sinned in Eden. But, beyond that the saints have to deal with their sinful nature every day of their life, and there is a wide array of sins. So leaving “Iniquity” and “Transgression” for another time, let us focus on the term “Sin.”
“Sin” means “to miss the mark!” To miss the mark of anything assumes the mark was intended to be hit, but missed. Thus, sin is the misuse of every possible thing in life.
Think about the common sins of men. “Greed” is the misuse of things material or immaterial acquired in access, and restricted to the individual, when enough of those things are already made available for one to serve and honor God day by day. It is use vs misuse. Alcohol and drugs were made by the same God who created everything else. They have a purpose: medicinal, not recreational. It is a simple matter of use vs misuse. Sexual activity was created to insure the survival of the species, thus placed within honorable perimeters. Outside of those perimeters it is misuse; hence, sin. Language may be loving or vile; a matter of use vs misuse. Human Relationships may be gentle, kind and loving or abusive, harsh, and mean. It is a matter of emotional use vs misuse. In the wide spectrum of all things, the apostle Paul boldly declared, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” I Cor. 10:23. In short, all things God created have purpose and rightful use, but the practices of men have established misuse; it does not edify. Simply put, it is sin!

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Afternoon Ponderings~07.17.18~


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Good Morning Quote ~07.11.18~


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NEXT TO GODLINESS


NEXT TO GODLINESS

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

There is an old saying often heard a generation or two ago: “Cleanliness is next to godliness!” If applied to one’s spiritual life, there may be something to it, but most often it was understood to apply to the physical body. Maybe that was due to the weekly bathing most did due to a lack of running water, especially hot water.
As the idea applies to the body, I never did believe the old saying was true. However, there is much to be said of it when one applies it to the spiritual life.
Sin is always represented as vile, filthy, reprehensible, etc. Even the goodness of natural man is that way in God’s sight. Notice His estimation of man’s righteousness in Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
On the other hand, true righteousness is represented as cleanliness. It is here that the old saying finds it true meaning. As the Lord chastened His people through the prophet Isaiah, He admonished: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Isa. 1:16-17.
In New Testament times when Jesus was rebuffed because His disciples were eating without washing their hands, He taught quite plainly that it was not what entered the body that defiled a man, but what came out of it. Matt. 15:11, 20.
It should also be noted that the apostle Paul explained to the church at Ephesus that His church was so loved by Jesus that He gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Eph. 5:25-26.
The apostle James doubled down on this great truth by stating,”. . . cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8. Presented here as the essential action to be close to God, he introduced the idea by saying, “Draw night to God, and He will draw nigh to you. . . “
Obviously, it is essential for every person to repent of sin and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as the only personal Savior, but perhaps the appeal is most often written to God’s own people to enter the strait gate an walk in the narrow way. How that is done is pointedly revealed by the ancient psalmist in Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word.”
Truly, a clean body smells better than a dirty one, and it is often essential to good health. But the cleanliness that is next to godliness must reference the very heart to be realized as true. How clean is your heart?

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Crowd Pleasers ~


CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Crowd pleasers,
filling up the pews
adapting God’s Word
with worldly views.

Changing the truth,
to delight men
not caring if God
they should offend.

Crowd pleasers,
seeking man’s approval
altering scriptures
seeing to their removal.

Seeking and wanting,
needing man’s favor
more than that of
their Lord and Savior.

Crowd pleasers,
filling up Sunday seats
and sadly God’s sheep . . .
are now being fleeced!

~~~~~~

Deuteronomy 12:32

What thing soever I command you,
observe to do it: thou shalt not
add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

1 Thessalonians 2:4

“But as we were allowed of God
to be put in trust with the gospel,
even so we speak; not as pleasing men,
but God, which trieth our hearts.”

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2018
Deborah Ann Belka

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Afternoon Ponderings~07.09.18~


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Good Morning Quote ~07.09.18~


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SWIMMING IN THE POOL OF GRACE


SWIMMING IN THE POOL OF GRACE

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
A childhood memory is that of the simple joy of reading comic books, and one in particular: Donald Duck. It seems Donald had a rich uncle who was also very stingy. He had accumulated so much money that it filled a swimming pool. This uncle (scrooge by name) loved to dive off the diving board into the pool of money and wallow in it, throwing it into the air and immersing himself in the sheer glee of it all.
This little story is at best crude, but it does have a way of illustrating the marvelous, fathomless grace of God toward his creation, and specifically mankind.
The word “grace” is commonly defined as “Unmerited favor.” It is first employed in the Bible in Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” The law of first mention is that a word finds its clearest meaning in the context of its initial usage. Here and throughout the Bible, it is clear that great favor of a totally unmerited nature is bestowed upon mankind. It is favor that builds upon itself as it finds welcome acceptance in its beneficiaries.
Certainly, Noah did not merit the favor of God, but this favor (grace) was bestowed upon him by which he escaped the global flood, and repopulated the earth.
The multiple instances of grace being bestowed on various saints of old would require a sizeable book, but suffice it here to fast forward to the New Testament where the word and its meaning takes on expanded appreciation, though remaining far from our comprehensive understanding. As the apostle John presented the Word in the first chapter of his gospel, he spoke of this abundant grace. Moreover, he recorded the testimony of John the Baptist about Jesus: “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1: 16-17.
In an attempt to better understand the idea of the phrase “grace for grace,” most scholars say this means grace piled on top of grace. Another likens it to the continuous supply of manna to the Hebrews in the wilderness wanderings. By grace it was there this morning, and by grace will be there the next day to replace what was used. But in the writings of John, it is contrasted with law which came by Moses. Thus, it is conveying the unmerited favor of the New Covenant: the church, the faith once delivered to the saints in contrast to the law and its penalties of the Old Testament. It is favor beyond that of spiritual salvation to that of comprehension to the point of spiritual maturity. It is unmerited favor piled upon unmerited favor. To a submissive people to Him, it is as David of old said, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” Psalm 68:19. What a spiritual pool of grace we have in Christ Jesus! Enjoy the swim!

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Good Morning Quote ~07.04.18~


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Afternoon Ponderings~07.06.18~


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