Why Did God Allow Sin?

Romans 5:17-21

17 The power of death was over all men because of the sin of one man, Adam. But many people will receive His loving-favor and the gift of being made right with God. They will have power in life by Jesus Christ. 18 Through Adam’s sin, death and hell came to all men. But another Man, Christ, by His right act makes men free and gives them life. 19 Adam did not obey God, and many people become sinners through him. Christ obeyed God and makes many people right with Himself.

20 Sin spread when the Law was given. But where sin increased, God’s grace abounded all the more. 21 Sin had power that ended in death. Now, God’s loving-favor has power to make men right with Himself. It gives life that lasts forever. Our Lord Jesus Christ did this for us.

 

Have you ever wondered why God allowed Adam and Eve to sin? Since He’s all-powerful and all-knowing, He certainly was not surprised by their rebellion and could have stopped them from dragging the entire human race into sin and suffering. So why didn’t He?

Although we can’t fathom the inscrutable mind of God, Romans 5:20 of today’s passage gives us some insight: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” The presence of sin in the world is an opportunity for God to display who He really is—a being of endless and unconditional grace. In other words, sin and rebellion allow us to experience His graciousness towards us.

Angels stand in awe of the gospel—that’s because, as beings who never fail to do God’s bidding, they haven’t experienced His forgiveness or the undeserved favor we often take for granted (They knew these things would not happen during the time they lived but while you are living many years later. These are the very things that were told to you by those who preached the Good News. The Holy Spirit Who was sent from heaven gave them power and they told of things that even the angels would like to know about. 1 Pet. 1:12). Everything the Creator has done in His universe has been for the purpose of revealing His incomparable glory, majesty, and grace. And the crowning display is seen in His extension of love to sinful people like us. Of all His creatures, only fallen human beings can experience His amazing grace and the gift of salvation.

The Unpardonable Sin

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Jesus warns of a sin that will not be forgiven. What is this unpardonable sin, and how do we know whether we have committed it? Today, R.C. Sproul identifies the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

5 Ways the Enemy Lures Us into Sin

By Chuck Lawless on Aug 06, 2021 01:00 am

Every one of us is responsible for his or her sin, but we still wrestle against an enemy who seeks to devour us (1 Pet 5:8). In fact, we could list multiple ways he tries to trap us in sin. Here, though, are some reminders we likely all need:

  1. He magnifies the temporary and minimizes the long-term. Sin does bring pleasure at times—but the enemy doesn’t want us to see that it’s only fleeting. Nor does he want us to recognize that temporary pleasure leads to bondages and judgment.
  2. He elevates the fear of missing out over the joy of obedience. “Look at what you’re missing if you follow God,” is a refrain the enemy has used on us since the Garden of Eden. He dangles the bait in front of us, makes it look inviting, and wants us to forget the joy that obedience can bring.
  3. He promotes the secrecy of sin over submission to God. Just like Adam and Eve hid in the Garden, so the enemy wants us to hide. In fact, he wants us to remain in the darkness, never submitting to God and never confessing our sin.
  4. He encourages listening to the world’s voice over the Word of God. Like a commercial designed to convince you in 30 seconds to buy something, the enemy capitalizes on the world’s offers of pleasure, power, and possessions. And, he often wins because we don’t know the Word well enough to counter him.
  5. He pushes independence and isolation over fellowship with the people of God. Many of us find ourselves most vulnerable to temptation when we’re alone—when we foolishly try to fight the enemy on our own. Genuine Christian fellowship is a counter to this tendency.

In which of these five strategies do you find yourself most vulnerable? How do you live in victory in your life?

Comment at: https://chucklawless.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1f66ea30867c3c2882f0eae77&id=6409cbf1d0&e=e8a5edc6f6

The Corrupting Influence of Sin

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be fooled. You cannot fool God. A man will get back whatever he plants! If a man does things to please his sinful old self, his soul will be lost. If a man does things to please the Holy Spirit, he will have life that lasts forever. Do not let yourselves get tired of doing good. If we do not give up, we will get what is coming to us at the right time. 10 Because of this, we should do good to everyone. For sure, we should do good to those who belong to Christ.

It can be sobering to think about life as a field of our own planting, and what’s in our field is determined by the type of seed we have chosen to sow. What if we selected the wrong “seed” but don’t realize it until years later, when we’re standing in a field filled with mature “plants” that are causing us pain and difficulty?

In this agricultural analogy of sowing and reaping, there are only two types of seeds—those that originate from our sinful desires and those that originate from the Spirit. The first kind of seed produces sin and corrupts our character, but the second kind produces Christlike qualities associated with eternal life.

Sowing and reaping is a principle we cannot change; it’s a reality of how our world works. The attitudes and actions we sow now will produce more of the same later, so what will we choose to plant? If we let sinful qualities take root, they will in time characterize our whole life (19 The things your sinful old self wants to do are: sex sins, sinful desires, wild living, 20 worshiping false gods, witchcraft, hating, fighting, being jealous, being angry, arguing, dividing into little groups and thinking the other groups are wrong, false teaching, 21 wanting something someone else has, killing other people, using strong drink, wild parties, and all things like these. I told you before and I am telling you again that those who do these things will have no place in the holy nation of God. Gal. 5:19-21). The good news is that we can always change seeds. If we want a life that others see as a godly harvest, then we must plant the Spirit’s seeds and lean on Him to cultivate His fruit (22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23).

Set Free from Sin

A Broadcast with Sinclair Ferguson

Christians are no longer under law but under grace. Why do we still struggle with sin after our conversion? Today, Sinclair Ferguson establishes how our union with Christ changes our relationship to sin and enables us to serve the Lord freely.

Times of Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:6-13 These things show us something. They teach us not to want things that are bad for us like those people did. We must not worship false gods as some of them did. The scriptures tell us, “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to play.” We must not do sex sins as some of them did. In one day 23,000 died. We must not test the Lord as some of them did. They were destroyed by snakes. 10 We must not complain against God as some of them did. That is why they were destroyed.

 

11 All these things happened to show us something. They were written to teach us that the end of the world is near. 12 So watch yourself! The person who thinks he can stand against sin had better watch that he does not fall into sin. 13 You have never been tempted to sin in any different way than other people. God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted more than you can take. But when you are tempted, He will make a way for you to keep from falling into sin.

We all struggle with temptation. In fact, even Jesus was tempted, but He resisted and never sinned. From this, it’s clear that experiencing temptation is not in itself a transgression. However, if we let the enticement take root in our thoughts, we are heading toward sin. Obviously, taking action on a wrong yearning is sinful, but Scripture tells us that entertaining the evil desire is as well (Destroy the desires to sin that are in you. These desires are: sex sins, anything that is not clean, a desire for sex sins, and wanting something someone else has. This is worshiping a god. Col. 3:5).

So where does the urge to sin come from? The source is threefold: Temptation comes from our own lusts (But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. James 1:14), the devil (Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to a desert. There He was tempted by the devil. Matt. 4:1), and the world system organized under Satan’s authority (We know that we belong to God, but the whole world is under the power of the devil. 1 John 5:19). Until Christ returns, mankind will live in its current fallen condition—and we will be tempted by self-indulgent pursuits and Satan’s ploys to turn us from the Lord.

The tempting circumstances we encounter are not unique to us; others have faced similar situations. Although God doesn’t promise to rescue us from all temptations, He limits them and provides a way of escape so we can endure without yielding to sin.

Whenever something is tempting you, draw near in submission to God and resist the devil (So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil and he will run away from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Clean up your hearts, you who want to follow the sinful ways of the world and God at the same time. James 4:7-8). Then ask the Lord for the grace and strength to stand firm against sin.

Sin that does not lead to death, vs. sin that does.

 

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1John 5:14-15, NKJV)

This passage provides the context for the discussion to follow. These two verses reemphasize our “First Amendment Rights” when it comes to God. We have a God we can approach with confidence, and a God who can multitask—while maintaining the universe he will hear our prayers.

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. (1John 5:16-17, NKJV)

With the context and principle provided by verses 15 and 16, we have in the next two verses an application: pray for a fellow believer who is in spiritual distress due to sinning. This presumably means a believer who has, for a season, descended into a lifestyle besotted with sin. (I’ve lived in that zip code).

However, this passage (which could be so simple!) also makes a seemingly mysterious distinction between sin that does vs. sin that does not lead unto death. To me, an unexpected and unwelcome complication.
Our Catholic friends might readily find in this the difference between venial and mortal sin, but in truth that dogma would not be developed for centuries. Even more to the point, there is no prohibition (in fact, quite the contrary) in Catholicism regarding praying for someone who has committed a mortal sin. Abortion is a mortal sin according to Roman Catholicism, yet the Catholic Church does not instruct its adherents to avoid praying for the women involved.
Nor does “unto death” versus “not unto death” seem to refer to sin that leads to actual and immediate physical death, a la Ananias and Sapphira. It would be rather pointless to tell us not to pray for someone who just dropped dead after committing a sin. I think we’d intuitively “get it” if, while watching an ISIS terrorist about to behead an innocent person, a consuming fire rained down from the sky and took him out. Nor would it be worth mentioning such a rare (if ever) occurrence, one that (even in less spectacular form) virtually no believer will never have to be equipped to handle.
At the (always real) risk of pulling verses out of context,  let us add two others to the discussion:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, (Heb 6:4, NKJV)

But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (Matt 18:17b, NKJV)

Adding these along with our difficult passage from 1 John, I personally arrive at somewhat unsatisfying (as in, I’m not confident I’m right, but it’s the best I got) view that “sin leading to death” refers to someone who, after our best intentions and fervent prayer over an extended period, appears to be absolutely unmovable, unrepentant, and unashamed in regard to their sin. In other words, we are literally instructed to (in extreme cases) give up on some, in regard to our finite prayer budget.

A Passion to Obey

Romans 6:16-23 16 Do you not know that when you give yourself as a servant to be owned by someone, that one becomes your owner? If you give yourself to sin, the end is death. If you give yourself to God, the end is being right with Him. 17 At one time you were held by the power of sin. But now you obey with all your heart the teaching that was given to you. Thank God for this! 18 You were made free from the power of sin. Being right with God has power over you now. 19 I speak with words easy to understand because your human thinking is weak. At one time you gave yourselves over to the power of sin. You kept on sinning all the more. Now give yourselves over to being right with God. Set yourself apart for God-like living and to do His work.

20 When sin had power over your life, you were not right with God. 21 What good did you get from the things you are ashamed of now? Those things bring death. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin. You have become a servant for God. Your life is set apart for God-like living. The end is life that lasts forever. 23 You get what is coming to you when you sin. It is death! But God’s free gift is life that lasts forever. It is given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.

A passion to obey God doesn’t come naturally. Salvation may spark love and a desire to please Him, but a passionate fire is built slowly from the timbers of spiritual knowledge, faith, and devotion.

Obedience usually begins with a fear of the consequences of disobeying. That is, newer believers can at least enjoy the safety of avoiding repercussions until they develop better reasons to follow God. Thankfully, as we mature and build a scriptural foundation, fear is replaced by both recognition of God’s sovereignty and submission to His wisdom.

Over time, following the Lord becomes less about consequences for disobeying and more about blessings for obeying. Once we taste His goodness, we learn that obedience and God’s best are natural partners—good derives from following divine commands, while suffering results when we demand our own way. This irrevocable principle plays out in the Bible as well as in day-to-day life, and the more we observe it, the more we realize the Lord’s will is the wisest choice.

All the promised blessings in the world cannot make a believer follow God into some frightening places. But that’s where love for our Father comes in, as it compels us toward obedience no matter what is at stake

“That Sin Might Become Utterly Sinful” (A Study of Romans 7)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 7 each day this week.

I am fascinated by verse 13 which says, “so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.” This section (Romans 7:7-13) has much to say about God’s LAW: the law is not sinful; the law makes us aware of what sin is; apart from the law sin was “dead”; the law caused sin to spring to life and led to the Apostle’s “death”; the very commandment intended to bring life brought death; the law is holy and God’s commandment is holy, righteous, and good; and it is through the commandment that sin might become utterly sinful. Whew!

We also learn a great deal about SIN! We don’t naturally know what sin is without the law; the law’s commandment against coveting helps us understand what coveting is; sin is personified: it seizes opportunities afforded by the commandment to produce in us every kind of coveting. Sin springs to life when the commandment came. A second time Paul says sin seized the opportunity and deceived me and put me to death. He then says, “in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. Wow. There’s a lot I don’t understand there!

How about you? As you read Romans 7, what is one truth that you take away from this text?

This is from Larry Dixon’s blog. To comment or follow, go to: https://larrydixon.wordpress.com/2021/01/20/ruminating-on-romans-some-thoughts-on-pauls-great-epistle-23-that-sin-might-become-utterly-sinful-a-study-of-romans-7/

Don’t Let A Moose Lick Your Car

https://thepreachersword.com/2020/12/03/dont-let-a-moose-lick-your-car/