2002-06-04 - Could You Repeat That?
Zechariah 13:1 In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.
I'm not sure if you knew this but yesterday, June 3, was National Repeat Day. I'm not sure if you knew this but yesterday, June 3, was National Repeat Day. As Christians we repeat a lot of things. You may not be like me but I tend to sit in same spot in church every Sunday. As a further example, the order of worship is generally fairly similar week to week, and even what is included in worship is generally the same week to week. My church begins with a call to worship, and ends with a benediction. Among other elements in our worship there will be two Psalms and two hymns sung, a sermon, a pastoral prayer, an Old Testament and New Testament reading, and of course, the collection of the offering. It is fairly repetitive.
There is nothing wrong with repetition in principle. We could look at many aspects of our lives and notice the repetitious nature day to day, and week to week. Some repetitive aspects of a Christians life are not so good. We can be prone to fall into sinful patterns. All too often Proverbs 26:11 applies to us. "Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly." Christians are not above falling into besetting sins. A besetting sin is one that continues to be a set back to our spiritual walk with Christ. It is that sin that we struggle with and no matter how firm our resolve to kick it, we still yield to temptation and it becomes our master.
"Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him," 1 John 3:4-6. The fact that we all do sin could make this passage a bit troubling. This is why it is important to understand what is in mind here. What is in mind here is the practice of habitual sin. It is the continuance in deliberate and willful sin that this passage is speaking about. This passage is telling us that to do so is inconsistent with the nature of a Christian and the hope he or she maintains in Christ.
Christ has delivered us from the guilt, power, and pollution of sin. Shall we then continue on in besetting sins? It is a rhetorical question. 1 John 3:8 pulls this all together. The implication is that to continue on in habitual, willful and deliberate sin is to evidence ourselves not to be children of God, but rather obedient subjects of the devil. If Christ has delivered us from the power of sin than to indulge in perpetual sin is to deny the power of Christ to deliver us from sin.
1 Corinthians 15:3 tells us that Christ has died for our sin. In Romans 6:6 we are told that our old self was crucified with Christ. The reason for this is "that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." The Romans 6 passage continues on and then in verse 12 we are given the first command in the book of Romans, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts." In Christ we have every advantage over the power of sin and in Scripture we are admonished, even commanded, to forsake sin. I know this is a life long struggle, but there is victory in Christ over sin as we appropriate His mercy through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to our hearts. Let us then seek to put our repeat sin days behind us, just as repeat day is over this year.
Psalm 32:1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!
Soli Deo Gloria,