Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hating Sin - Psalm 97

"Hate evil, you who love the LORD." (vs 10)

I don't know about anyone else, but I am really recognizing my struggle with sin more and more. I find myself in such a love/hate relationship with it. I hate the effects I see of it on this world and in my friends and family (particularly in my kids when their sin embarrasses me - which just goes to show the depth of my own sin). I hate it in my own life, but not as I should because as much as I hate it I continue to embrace it over and over. There's nothing like hugging a rattlesnake!

How easy it is to excuse my own sin - which again just shows the continued corruption of even the redeemed heart. That which will damn and destroy me I seem to continue in an affair with. Oh how desperately we need Christ! Oh how desperately I need Christ! How easily we can all cry out with Paul - "For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing that which I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.... Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom 7)

A couple of days ago, while we were in Montgomery, I was studying in Psalm 97 and had to hit the pause button when I came to this verse: "Hate evil, you who love the Lord."

It's one of those incredibly simple and straightforward verses that just stopped me in my tracks and I've found myself meditating on it again and again these past few days. "Hate evil, you who love the Lord." A real, true, genuine love for God expresses itself in a real, true, genuine hatred of sin and evil. "Hate evil, you who love the Lord."

As we were driving back home I kept returning to this passage and thinking about what sin is, what it does, and what it costs. The catechism defines sin as "any want of conformity to the law of God, or transgression of it." 1 John calls it "lawlessness."

The Bible declares that the law of God is good and perfect - sin is the opposite of that and in all of its forms it strikes at the goodness and perfection of the divine decree. In all of my giving in to sin I am striking at the goodness and perfection of the divine decrees and by virtue of that I am striking out at the goodness and perfection of the great Law Giver - my God and my Savior.

There is rebellion in every sin and in every act of it we would murder our God if that were possible. Sin attempts to dethrone our King and to place our selfish lusts in His place. How foolish are we as sinners. How foolish to think that we are wiser than God - which is practically what we do each time we choose the lusts of our way over the wise counsel of His. How foolish we are, as Thomsas Watson has said, "for one drop of pleasure to drink a whole sea of wrath."

Our sin hurts us, it hurts those who love us, and it grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). But more than all of that, the great vileness of sin is seen in what it cost. The price that was paid for our sin was the blood of Christ!
  • Augustine put it like this, "O man, consider the greatness of thy sin, by the greatness of the price paid for sin."
  • Thomas Watson said, "The evil of sin is not so much seen in that one thousand are damned for it, as that Christ died for it."

This year as I continue to beg of God to make seeking Him my "one thing" I am pleading with Him to make me a hater of sin and evil in order that it's degrading, disquieting, and damning effects would not hinder me from enjoying His presence. May we all do anything rather than sin. May His grace and Spirit enable us to hate it more than anything else and to flee from embracing it at all costs.

In this battle may we know the reality of the Great Physician's blood, which alone can cure this disease and remove it's power from our lives. "The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin." (1 Jn 1:7) "Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; BUT present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (Rom 6:11-13)."Hate evil, you who love the Lord."

In continual need of His glorious grace,

1 comment:

  1. I read the e-mail on "Hate Sin" a while ago, but not until this morning was I hit by the reality of HATING MY SIN. I was so convicted and ashamed over my sin this weekend of word, thought, and deed and brought to mind several things. Sunday before last, I was talking with Maggie (Maggie, thank you. Your are so encouraging to me) about my sin and "why do I do those things that I know are a sin"? You know we have been discussing the Rich Young Ruler for a couple of Sundays. This morning I was struck by the fact that I'm the Rich Young Ruler. Oh, how I can put myself up there sometimes. So haughty in the things that I proclaim I don't do, and so not acknowledging or confessing my sin. Lori, how I need your words of encouragement;what I glean from your e-mails and thoughts you put out there. I am that very question in Romans 7:18-20. Please pray for me as I pray that God, my Creator, would pierce my heart, would cleanse my heart and strengthen my faith and time spent in prayer, in His word, and fellowship with His people. Love in Christ, Donna.