Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
There is a big difference between falling into a puddle of sin and swimming in a pool of sewage.
This is the difference John draws as he speaks of perseverance: the possibility of believers to temporarily/occasionally fall into sin; and the persistent unrepentant sin unbelievers/false professors are pleased to remain in.
Speaking of puddles John acknowledges the reality for saints, that as sinners, we may still sin. This is why he speaks not only of once for all legal forgiveness (1:9) but also ongoing relational forgiveness (2:1).
Speaking of pools of sewage John says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practise the truth” (1 Jn 1:6) and “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (1 Jn 3:6).
If you are swimming in sewage, repent!
If you’ve fallen in a puddle, repent!
1 John is full of 30+ tests of assurance to see whether we are in Christ (that you may know, 1 Jn 5:13).
To read more on perseverance see here.
It is such a little word; it seems as if the answer would be correspondingly simple.
For many sin is an inconsequential thing. It is not that bad. It is merely a wrong or a bad act. Others differentiate between really bad sins and really small sins (or mortal and venial sins). Mr. Oxford defines it as “an offence against God.” Wayne Grudem defines it as: “A failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude or nature.” Many other Christian and non-Christian definitions have been offered.
What then is sin? The answer, like many, is simple but not simplistic; in fact it is rather more expansive than many people think.
Prior to the act of disobedience in Genesis 3 we actually find the root of sin, which is pride—the desire to be as God (Gen 3:5). This is the opposite of the humility—entire dependence upon God—that Adam and Eve were designed for. Standing at the centre of both the English words sIn and prIde is the letter “I”. So to sin is to be proud, to place yourself ahead of God as the most important object, the centre of attention and worship and the determiner of right and wrong.
Perfect humility is perfect trust. Corresponding to our pride comes the presence of distrust. In pride faith is turned from God to self and the things of this world. Hence it follows that Heb 11:6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please God” and Rom 14:23 says, “whatever is not of faith is sin.” This is a rather more expansive definition of sin! It means that even a good act done without faith is sin. It means we cannot be saved by our works. It certainly means salvation can only come through believing the Gospel. It means even doing the right thing for the wrong reason as a Christian is not pleasing in God’s eyes, it is sin.
Is it any wonder then that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. The undoing of our problem could not come through any other means. We must trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the one who was perfectly humble and filled with trust that He went to the Cross to stand in our place so we might go free.
Because of the inter-working of pride and distrust in the heart, this root sin becomes disobedience to God’s Law. He is the great and holy Law giver. To break a single command of His is to sin and be guilty lawbreakers, criminals, rebels, dishonourable, etc, (Ja 2:10). The wages, or consequences, of which can only be death, our due penalty (Ro 6:23a).
The word sin means to “miss the mark.” It is an archery term. We sin through putting ourselves first, distrusting God’s character, commands and promises and ultimately by disobeying His Law.
We truly are great sinners; yet rejoice that Christ is an even greater Saviour!
May we not remain in sin but come to Him for justification and sanctification, forgiveness and holiness.
 In the Garden, though pride and distrust were part of the temptation to sin, these were only realized in the act of disobedience. Now, however, because Jesus teaches sin springs from the heart, the presence of pride and distrust are sin. We don’t sin and so become sinners; we’re sinners and so we sin.
What precisely happened on the Cross? The momentous events surrounding it like the darkness, the earthquake, etc, all point to the fact that something of cosmic significance took place.
We call what happened on the Cross the atonement, what Christ did in His life, and ultimately His death, that earned the believer’s salvation. Put another way, what He did to enable sinners to become right with their Creator (at-one-ment, the act of making someone at one with someone else).
The atonement, because of the infinite criminality of our sin against a holy God, has a certain wonderful multifacetedness to us. Not only does it have a depth but a breadth. This is borne out by the number of different pictures of the atonement that Scripture uses to convey just what transpired on that day. Knowing these helps us contemplate the wonder of the Cross.
* Moral Example: I don’t include this in the numeric list because this is less what Jesus accomplished and more the example He set. Nevertheless, in His death, Christ did set an example for us of self-sacrificial service. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Pet 2:21).
Even though the rainbow is such a beautiful aspect of Creation and a reminder of God’s covenant with man to never flood the earth as a judgement for our sin again, it has been hi-jacked of late to represent a double godlessness in the spirit of Isa 5:20 and Ro 1:32.
The month of June was labelled “pride” month and the rainbow flag, taken up as a symbol of the LGBT+ community (there is an irony here), was flown from many school and government flag poles, hung in residential windows, etc. Those who fly it symbolically encapsulate Isaiah’s charge to ancient Israel, who celebrated calling “evil good and good evil.” Yet this flag represents more than simply the diversity of expression within this community (itself not a hegemonic movement either), it is coming to be a representative flag of our times.
The rainbow flag is not simply being flown during the month of June; it is gaining a popularity far beyond those who support the LGBT+ movement or sympathize with them. The pride flag is growing in popularity because it stands for the values of the age: post-modernism, diversity, difference, acceptance, “tolerance,” etc. In effect it is the new symbol of moral anarchy, that everyone can believe and do what they like and no one can tell them otherwise. It is the warrant to be licentious. It is an embrace of the pride of the diversity of sin. Now, someone need not be LGBT+ or even support this precise cause, the flag is taking on a new meaning as a symbol of your support for the right of others to sin so that you yourself may do as you please: Though they know God's decree that those who practise such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practise them. (Ro 1:32).
As such the rainbow flag has become the flag of our times.
 The irony is that the very symbol they have taken up is actually related to a great judgement upon the world over its sinfulness.
 For example, many who identify as gay men or women, resent the fluidity expressed by the transgendered community. While the media presents the wider community as unified it is anything but.
 Here we see the intolerance of tolerance. Tolerance used to mean disagreeing with someone respectfully, but now it means accepting those of similar belief’s so long as you don’t challenge them.
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