by Anne Lang Bundy
What are the different kinds of sin? How are they overcome?
Last week's question addressed generational sin and the sources of temptation to sin: the devil, the world, our own desire.
The study of sin is as unpleasant as sin itself. After hours of studying dozens of words related to sin, I'm plenty sick of it. The types of sin might be narrowed down to the following categories:
Iniquity – general worthlessness and moral corruption within us
Ignorance – carelessly sinning or backsliding
Perversion – distorting God's ways
Betrayal / Transgression – knowingly crossing over to evil
Wickedness – deliberate, premeditated evil in rebellion against God
Miss the Mark – doing wrong simply because we fail to do right
One last word summed up everything: GUILTY.
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
~ James 2:10 (NKJV)
How many crimes must a person commit to become a criminal? Only one.
How many sins makes us guilty of being a sinner unfit for Heaven? Only one.
Sin needn't be exhaustively analyzed to understand that we're sinners without hope of overcoming apart from the power of God. We don't defeat sin by studying sin, but by fixing our eyes on God and understanding His righteousness.
To overcome the eternal death penalty of sin:
• acknowledge that God is allowed to make the rules for His creation, and it is wrong to violate His rules regardless of any explanation we'd offer;
• admit to being a sinner and ask God for His forgiveness through Jesus Christ;
• resolve to turn away from sin (repent of sin).
Among the many ways to overcome the power of sin are these:
• acknowledge that God is wise and knows what's good, that He loves us and wants us to have true joy, that goodness and joy cannot be obtained apart from Him—and resolve to do God's will;
• faithfully read the Bible without ever believing that you know God well enough;
• cultivate dependence on God by continually praying to Him;
• when you sense God's Holy Spirit prompting you to action, yield immediately to increase His power;
• develop spiritual discipline by saying "no" to self-indulgence (fasting helps!);
• spend time with people who follow Jesus to strengthen a bond with Him;
• use caution to avoid being conformed to worldly influences.
I plan to address this last point next week in response to a question about the difference between being in the world and of the world.
© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Image source: nolanyogilaw.com