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Communion 2009

Dealing With Sin

Originally scheduled for December 20

Man is the creating creature. We can be very clever in our creations – especially when dealing with our sins. Communion is a time in which we are to examine ourselves; unfortunately, it is also prime time for creative excuses. Have you heard these?

“What sin?” Like Satan in the garden, we’re pretty sure that God didn’t mean to call that a sin. Surely that’s just a legalistic interpretation of the Scripture, right?

“It’s not as bad as all that.” Sure, it looks like a felony at the moment, but perhaps we could plead guilty to a misdemeanor, your Honor? This misses the point: either way, we’re still sinners.

“Don’t worry, God. I’ll make it up to you.” We have this picture of God as cosmic bean counter; if we have more white beans than black beans, all is well, right? No. God’s standard is perfection; in his love he offers mercy.

“I don’t think you understand my situation.” Some of us have the disadvantage of coming from a broken family; others have the disadvantage of coming from a Christian home. Either way, it’s an excuse for the way I behave, isn’t it?

“In this instance, I have an excuse.” Maybe I plead circumstance, or provocation. We often use one sin as an excuse for another. My anger flared up; she yelled at me first. Surely I am excused because of it?

“If I can convince myself that I’m innocent, surely God will believe it too.” God can hardly expect me to repent if I decide I’m innocent – and come to believe it. Deception is still a sin, even self-deception.

“It’s not my fault.” Blame someone else.

 

It is an interesting fact: the Scripture never tells us which of these techniques are valid. Indeed, we are told that we are all sinners, and all of us need to repent. Praise God, then, that his mercy is made available for all who do. Examine yourself; throw away the excuses and accept the mercy of God purchased at the Cross. Pride needs excuses; mercy never does.

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