What on earth has happened to the Biblical analogy of sin, comparing it to the gruesome disease of leprosy? In my opinion well-meaning but misguided leaders, bowing to ever-changing lifestyles regarding the topic, played down the significance of sin in order to attract more congregants. Some ministers feel that topics such as “sin” and “hell” are just not productive and like to stay on topics, which seem to “edify” and not condemn.
I almost hesitate to refer to the book in the Bible, which reveals the seriousness of sin, because it is a book, which has been so commonly portrayed as boring by preachers in pursuit of laughs. This has enabled the enemy of our souls to be successful in undermining this third member of the Pentateuch as unimportant, archaic, and monotonous. However, Leviticus contains information, which is more foundational to truly understand the completeness of the sacrifice made by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of any other book in the scripture. Chapters four and five in Leviticus cover in great detail the complexities of the guilt offering. Interestingly, they even specify the offering for unintentional or unknown sins. I know that I began to pray from a whole new perspective once I understood this.
Oh the great awesomeness of 1st John 1:9, “For if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness!”(KJV) Truthfully Jesus paid the perfect sacrifice for not only the sins of our lives before we accepted Christ but also for those that we commit along life’s daily pathway. Peter said in 1st Peter 4:8 “Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover “the” multitude of sins.”(KJV) However, although our sins can be forgiven, humility and confession with a repentant heart should be involved in the process! What must God think about today’s world where it seems as if sin is both difficult to define and even non-existent to some? What has happened to the sinfulness of sin?
In his letter to the Roman Church Paul, describing the effect that the “Law of God” or the Ten Commandments had on his life, said, “So that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.” Romans 7:13b (NKJV) Paul tells us what the barometer is in our spiritual life with God. It is the Law of God! Each commandment develops an all-encompassing outline of every area of our lives and the multiple relationships we have with God first, and then with each other. The teachings of Jesus and all of the apostles further accentuate the fullness of God’s love and provide the easy-to-read paper test to be able to continually monitor ourselves before God and to recognize the awfulness of any sin between us, God, and each other!
True modern-day New Testament style men and women of God have been sounding the trumpet of warning to the present-day church for years, confronting them about their lack of teaching God’s people about sin, using the Law of God as their schoolmaster. As a preacher in the 1980s, trying to raise Biblical awareness regarding the subjects of fornication and adultery, I was resisted by the mainstream Christian church at the time, which was afraid of offending people. Is it possible that we would not be having the problems we are having in our churches today with the reported cases of moral failure if the church had taken a bold stand at that time? The reason that people today feel that “sin is not exceedingly sinful”, to quote Paul’s words, is because many of those occupying the pulpits over the last twenty years have wanted to remain mostly silent on the topic.
If we truly want revival and aren’t just saying that we do, we will once again start preaching what Paul preached. Surely some pastors will have to suffer persecution for doing so. Some congregants will leave your church and go down to the “easy believism” church down the street. But we will know that we have correctly reset our course by once again rightly dividing the Word of Truth, producing true converts to Christ, and being faithful to our heavenly calling!