April 3, 2013

Theatre of Sin

I have inadvertently gone on a run of posts on sin. I suppose this is not surprising as we all battle with sin. I figure I have one more post in me...so here it goes. I felt compelled because everyone has at least one entrenched sin - mine is anger and frustration.  I have been forced through the events in life over the last few years to make a closer examination of my problem area(s) of sin. If I do not confront my sins head-on I will never be a productive and useful in my calling without also being hypocritical and a jerk.

The truth is (as Jesus said) If we have lusted after someone besides our spouse we have already cheated on our spouse, if I/we are angry with someone I/we have already murdered them in my/our heart. This is just unacceptable and even a blind fool can see that this is just plain wrong. It is evil even to be a thinking sin or be a sinner in thought. It is possible that many people who seem to be modest and meager when it comes to evil deeds in actuality have completely sinful thought lives. To eradicate the sin is seems we need to eradicate the premeditated thoughts. They are more debased mentally than the most satanic demon because man cannot see what is inside. On the contrary, God can. They are contemplative or cerebral sinners. There are some who are smart enough to keep their mouths should so to at least be perceived as wise and good. Even a fool can appear wise if he remains silent.

Proverbs 17:28 ~ “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

There are plenty of people who do not actually physically murder others, yet they are murderers because of their anger. They murder people in thought or worse murder people’s character by unjustly maligning people’s character when they do open their venomous mouths like snakes. There are those that do not verbally blaspheme God but in their hearts they bash God in unbelief even after being presented with the Gospel and truths of Scripture. There are even those that profess Christ with their mouths but their thoughts are empty, void and godless. There are those that decry the world and its sin but their thought lives are more sinful than that of Sodom or modern-day equivalents.

It is possible that mankind can think of evil and yet his thoughts may are good; and a man may think of good and yet his thoughts are evil. A man can think of evil or sin in a good way by remembering it or recognizing it and consciously repenting of it to seek forgiveness.

To relive sin mentally is sin, you’re just recycling it. When men please themselves in the thoughts of their past sins, they literally replay the scenario over and over on a loop in their heads like a film projection on the canvas of their stained soul.

Ezekiel 23:19-20  ~ “Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses. Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.””

In this parable above, she (Israel) acted their sins over and over again in her (their collective) memory. They fantasized new images of old sins. Some people in Israel, thought sinfully of the sins they had not even done, regretting they had not partaken in opportunities.

It is even conceivable that people think sinfully while plotting or anticipating what sins they will do even though they may never do them. This type of thinking even though it does lead to a sin being acted on…is still sin!

Romans 13:12-14 ~ “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

We are not to make sinful plans for the flesh. We are not to set gasoline before the fire.

It is man’s sinning thoughts pollute him. Out of our hearts comes evil, murder, adultery, sexual immorality and so on.

Matthew 15:19-20 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

So not only should we be careful with our speech but also the wellspring of speech in the mind…our thoughts. Our words are the truth of our thoughts sprung forth. Our actions find their root in our thoughts also. Sinful thoughts are actually just of an abomination in God’s sight as our willful actions of sin. No man can know what is in the heart of other men but God knows the inside. If God knows the heart of good men, He most certainly knows the heart of the wicked also.

Genesis 6:5 ~ “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

When men think sinfully it means their will is behind their thought. This means man’s will is clearly not striving for God’s will since God’s will would never strive for sin and wickedness. The thoughts of the wicked and willful sin or plans to do sin are an abomination to the Lord.

Proverb 15:26 ~ Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord, but pleasant words are pure.

Thoughts of sin are the roots of sins that give birth to sinful actions. The branch or vine that grows out from a twist root is twisted also. Deformed thoughts give rise to deformed actions. Evil thoughts are the oil or lubrication that keeps the machinery of death in motion since all sin leads to death. It is only when man stops thinking sin that man stops sinning. Man only stops thinking when he is dead. Therefore dead is the only way a man stops sinning. Replacing some of the sin in a man’s mind with the will of God helps keep sin from ruling in a person’s life but the sin never ceases until the mind ceases.

It is clear in the Bible that the wickedness of people's lives is charged against their thought life. Jesus was clear…

Matthew 12:35 ~ “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.”

Matthew 15:19 ~ “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

The hotel that sin resides in is the brain. It (sin) takes up residence like a squatter setting up a barricade illegally on property that’s not his. Once he digs in to an entrenched position he is nearly impossible to remove. He sits in his illegal home smirking at you with a shotgun propped out the window daring you to enter and try to force him out. It is a situation that never ends neatly or cleanly. It is usually a bloody drawn out massacre of spirituality. Inside this mental hotel, prostitutes take up residence, murders and thieves. A person can literally think themselves right into Hell. If a person does not seek forgiveness for even his thoughts, his thoughts will not be forgiven him by God. It is literally Thoughtcrime to borrow a term from George Orwell. Thinking sin is literally a criminal act. Even if all of our outward sin and evil deeds were erased from view, there would still be enough within our minds to make Hitler, Ted Bundy and Caligula look like saints. David knew this to be true because he asked God to create in him a clean heart. David knew that the source of sin arose within and nowhere else.

I suppose then that it was the intent of the Gospel to bring all thoughts captive in into obedience to the will of God. The next passage is clear. We need to take all thoughts captive and align them to the will and obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ~ “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…”

It is ironic that it is much easier to reform a man’s behavior than it is to renew their minds. It is only through conformity to the image of God’s Son through God’s Spirit and God’s word that man can do this. It is the Gospel that is able to destroy these towers of strength in our own minds. The Gospel is the siege engine that grinds the stones of these towers to dust.

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