Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Willful Sins

Recently a friend asked a question about Christians today, which got a ready answer from me. There is a prayer in Psalm 19 that does not seem to be applied by many of us. “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression” (Psalm 19:12-13).

We do not confess known sins (1 John 1:7-9) or request cleansing from secret sins. We do not request help for obedience in small things or deliverance from addiction to them.

If we did, there would be no danger of us committing any great sin. Great sins are caused by a multitude of unconfessed, willful sins that are now ruling over us. A great transgression is the next event. In many evangelical churches, there is great transgression happening right now. We do not understand how it happened. The answer is simple: the guilty person did not pray verses 12 and 13. He may have been surprised himself by this great sin. While the rest of us are wondering how it happened, we are busy with our own willful sins, letting them get dominion over us, setting us up for great transgression.

There is an another reason for this great transgression. We brothers in Christ who saw it coming did not intercept him before it happened or confront him after it happened. Here are our excuses:

• We do not want to be judged by those who say, “Do not judge.”
• We are able, but unwilling to confront him.
• We are willing, but not spiritually qualified to confront him. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). “How can you say to your brother ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:4).
• We are not willing to get qualified. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5).
• We are not willing to introduce kind, loving, biblical discipline into the church. “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matt.18:15-17). “But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Cor. 5:11-12).
• We do not want the brother to take offense. He may hold us to be in the wrong for correcting him.

As Christians, we should help in the prevention of sin and the repentance from sin.

No comments: