Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Sin of Knowing Better
"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (James 4:17). Never is ones faith so empty as when he only offers well-wishes to a cold and hungry person. Some times we can commit the sin of being a "Useless fig tree." When Jesus told us to "Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me" He means there are things we ought not to do and things we ought to do. When a person comes to Christ there are things that get cleaned out of a new converts life. But there are things that are also added to the believers life. Sinful living leaves, prayer, Bible reading, church going and telling others about Jesus moves in (Matthew 28:18-20). The idea that a Christian can be pleasing to God by turning from evil and then sitting idle while others advance the work of God is the sin of omission. Certainly we understand that we must abandon Satan's vices, however the enemy is just as happy if we sit down and do nothing. Several verses are worth our consideration. "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." Note the doing part. "It is more blessed to give, than to receive." Here the emphasis is on giving. "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel." Here witnessing (proclaiming) is emphasized. Christ told us that He is the Vine and we are the branches, as we abide in Him there will be fruit produced in our lives. We need not (nor can we) master all that God has commanded us to do at once. Just as a new baby struggles in its first attempts to crawl, when we are born again in Christ, our ability may not match our desire to be fruitful. However, we learn that as we are persistent in our efforts, God will prune away the sins which hinder us, and at the same time He empowers us to become more fruitful. This Holy Spirit led fruit bearing reveals the glory, power and love that is found in Christ to those around us. God desires that we avoid the sins of omission. What is the Lord asking you to do in His Kingdom? How obedient have you been? What do you need to clear out of your schedule to make time for His schedule? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.