The term “Saint” is just another term in scripture for a believer or Christ follower. It is not someone who is super spiritual. The term is used numerous times in the Scriptures. (Psalm 37:28; 50:15; 116:15; Daniel 7:25; Ephesians 8:8; Jude 3 and Revelation 16:6)
As you look at the title of this meditation, you are probably thinking – “Saints don’t sin”. You would be wrong. The problem is that our sins are not gross. We tend to think of them as “respectable” and therefore we seldom judge them. For example – what about gossip?
In James 3:2 we read, “Indeed we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way”
In 3:5 we read, “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” Many of the homes that burned in our recent “Thomas Fire” burned due to “embers” carried from palace to place Misplaced words about someone can cause great harm.
Jerry Bridges served with the Navigators for many years. He wrote numerous books, each one to make you really think about God, your life, your relationship with others, etc. He went home to be with the Lord, on March 6, 2016. One of his books was titled “Respectable Sins.” The by-line is “Confronting the Sins we Tolerate.”
Some of the chapters are:
The Disappearance of Sin
The Malignancy of Sin
The Remedy for Sin
The Power of the Holy Spirit
Directions for Dealing with Sins
Anxiety and Frustration
Lack of Self-Control
Impatience and Irritability
The Weeds of Anger
Envy, Jealousy and Related Sins
Sins of the Tongue
Where Do We Go from Here?
Have any of these chapter headings caught your attention? You probably know people who have some of these issues. Have you ever noticed that when we point the finger at others, there are three fingers pointing at us?
Recently, I had breakfast with a long-time friend. It was a special time as we caught up with each other. A few hours later, he was in the emergency room having an angiogram. The next day, he had four by-passes and he is still in critical care. He had no idea that his arteries were so seriously clogged.
Let’s imagine, for a moment, that your life and mine was a great big heart and we thought things were fine, only to discover that several of our spiritual arteries were clogged with some of the sins that Dr. Bridges mentions in this amazing book. We wondered at times why we had no spiritual energy. We dismissed our lack of interest in Bible reading and prayer as being due to how busy we are. How about your lack of concern for those who are not saved? Does it trouble you that there is no “Plan B” to rescue them? If they are not knowing Christ, they will be separated from Him for all eternity.
The Scriptures are so clear that each of us who are truly born again are to share the Good News about Jesus with those who don’t know Him. Are we being willfully disobedient in not sharing?
Is disobedience a sin? The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 2:1-2 wrote, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the low heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.”
Jesus made obedience a test of or love for Him. In John 14:15 He said, “If you love me, Keep My commandments.” If we love our Lord, we will obey Him. To do otherwise is a sin against Him.
But, how often we talk about the sin of disobedience? Or, or that matter, any of the other sins that Dr. Bridges lists in his book.
Let me close this meditation with the words from Dr. Bridges himself.
“So, we need to be honest and humble enough to admit our subtle sins in order to experience the love that comes through the forgiveness of those sins. But we must face them in order to deal with them. The worst sin of all, in practical terms, is the denial of the subtle sins in our lives. We cannot deal with them until we admit their presence. The first step in dealing with any sin is to acknowledge it and repent in one’s attitude toward it. Paul, in Romans 8:13 and Colossians 3:5 said these sins must be ‘put to death.’”
I add, that you review the list that we gave, at the beginning. Pray over them. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you, if any of these sins have been allowed to take root in your life.
Keep yourself just for the LORD. Do everything for His honor and glory and you will consistently experience God’s favor.
Let’s determine to unclutter our lives.
God bless you Pilgrim, Pastor Leonard