Note: See last week’s bulletin for part one of this series.
We commit sin when we do what God has not authorized. In Leviticus 10:1-2, Nadab and Abihu lost their lives because they offered “strange fire” which is identified as fire “which He commanded not.” When you compare Genesis 4:7, Hebrews 11:4, and Romans 10:17, the conclusion is that Cain's offering was rejected because he offered that which God had not authorized. On the other hand, Abel's offering was “by faith” which comes by “hearing God's word” (II John 9) also deals with this type of sin. John wrote, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son”. Colossians 3:17 plainly tells us that everything we do “in word or deed” must be done “in the name of the Lord” or by His authority. Yet men completely ignore this requirement. As a result we have praise teams, choirs, solos, humming, women in leadership positions, baby dedication services, observance of special days, children's church, etc. We have folks using mechanical instruments of music in worship and observing the Lord's Supper any day and any occasion they desire. None of these has any authorization for their use in God's divine standard by which we are to be judged (John 12:48, Rev. 20:11-15). The one who does these things has the obligation to “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21).
We commit sin when we fail to do what God has told us to do. In John 15:1-6, we are told by Jesus, “Abide in me, and I in you.” He also adds that the branch (the individual Christian) cannot bear fruit except it abide in the vine (Jesus). The fruit that we are to bear is called “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22. That fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance. Failure to bear fruit for the Lord is to fail to do what he says for us to do, thus it is sin. This is also demonstrated by the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25. The one-talent man was not condemned for only having the ability to use one talent; he was condemned for not using his talent as the Lord required. The same thing is demonstrated by the parable of the ten foolish virgins found in the same chapter. The foolish virgins did not make adequate preparation to meet the bridegroom and therefore found the door of entrance closed to them. We are told to, “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58). We are told to, “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). We are told, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (II Pet. 1:5-10). We are taught to “grow” (II Pet. 3:18), to give properly (I Cor. 16:1-2) and to attend the assembling of the yourselves together (Heb. 10:25). When we fail to do these things which God requires, we sin, our names are not in the book of life, and we are cast into the lake of fire!
(To be continued.)
Paul M. Wilmoth