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Tag Archives: sin

The Man Born Blind

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out. Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. (John 9:1-41, NRSV)

I once was blind but now I see. How many of us can say this?

Those in authority ask the man born blind how he gained his sight, and after answering the same question many times he asks, “Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Which just makes those in authority angrier.

How many times has the truth smacked us upside the head but because it was different than what we had learned or wanted to hear we didn’t believe it and had to keep asking for the answer or proof?

Jesus came to help those who would listen to hear and see the wonderfulness that is all around us. He came to teach us all how to live the love of God.

If we admit we can’t see without Him, He will give us sight, but if we are trying to do it on our own we will never see.

I once was blind and know I am still blind, but thanks to Jesus I can clearly see!

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The Joy of Forgiveness

While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

(Psalm 32:3-4, NRSV)

When we bottle up the wrong things we do, those sins that keep us from God we are worse off than confessing them.

Here the psalmist says while I was silent my body wasted away. The sins needing to be confessed festered and rotted away at him so it was destroying him. But when we release our wrongs they are taken by God and removed from us and we are freed.

 

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The Joy of Forgiveness

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

(Psalm 32:1-2, NRSV)

Is your sin covered?

Not do you have it covered up so no one can see it because even if you think you have it hidden, it is not hidden from God?

And you will not be happy or blessed if you are hiding sin from God.

The best way to cover your sin is to lay it at the foot of the cross and allow Him to take it all away.

The Lord will take it and see your contrite heart and open spirit and remove your sin from you and it will be covered forever!

So be forgiven and give it all to God.

 

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fulfilled the law…

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:8-14, NRSV)

Have you ever wondered how you might fulfill the law?

Paul tells the Romans here how to do that and it is really simple.

Love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law! It is that simple. Then Paul goes on to explain the commandments and how by doing them you are really loving your neighbor. So if we can love each other, we will fulfill the law.

That is what Jesus came to show us. That we need to love as He loved us. Without exception and where we were.

So fulfill the law and love your neighbor!

 

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Communication!

“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:15-20, NRSV)

If someone has done you wrong then go and talk to them. If they won’t listen to you, then go back and take another congregation member with you. If they still won’t listen bring the whole congregation along.

This is the way we deal with sin in the church. This is the way we are supposed to deal with others who hurt us in the church.

We are to communicate with them. Tell them they hurt us and seek reconciliation.

Let us practice this sort of love and communication and see how the world might change!

 

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Love

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21, NRSV)

Don’t pretend to love others, actually love them.

And what does that mean? How do we love another?

Help them to see God’s love for them?

Tell them all the things that are wrong in their lives?

Point out all the reasons they are going to hell?

What did Jesus do to the woman at the well? or the woman caught in adultery?

He asked them about their lives and told them to go and sin no more. He didn’t point out all of their faults. He told them that they were loved as they are and that they need to focus their lives on God.

He did not focus on the wrong. He moved above it and loved them.

So love others. Just as Jesus loved you.

 

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War inside

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25, NRSV)

Do you feel the tension?

This passage always reminds me of the song War Inside by Todd Agnew (you can hear it below).

Paul here tells the Romans that once God comes in we are new creations and the power in our flesh that wants us to do the things we don’t want to do is sin, and the grace of God is more powerful, but there is a war between grace and sin inside of us every day.

But through the power of God, we can succeed. Not on our own, but through His power, we can do what He needs us to do.

 

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