Friday, October 16, 2009

Coming Clean


For three years, David Chakhvashvili gave hundreds of lectures throughout his native Republic of Georgia. He spoke on such subjects as “the technological revolution,” “the atom,” “modern medicine,” and “love in the advanced society,” all…for only $20 per hour. This all would have been fine and dandy had it not been for the fact that he was found out to be a fraud – he was a janitor who had no scientific training whatsoever. Chakhvashvili evidently received inspiration from the place where he worked…the Georgian Academy of Sciences. He had printed cards identifying himself as a professor…”doctor of technical sciences.” Well, Mr. C. was not the first person in history to masquerade as someone that he was not. Such is the life of some in our world….living self-deceived -- living a lie. The truth of the matter is that the truth will catch up to them sometime…they will be revealed. Not so funny how this works, but people’s sins do have a way of finding them out…which brings us back to Abraham and Sarah in a familiar situation.

After arriving in Gerar (Gensis 20), Abraham begins to walk by sight instead of by faith, and he becomes afraid…not too surprising, given our human nature. Once again, we see that fear of man and faith in God cannot dwell together in the same heart (see Proverbs 29:25). Abraham lies to Abimilech, telling him that Sarah is his sister; it is the custom of the land for the king to have a harem of women, and Sarah would fit right it. This is the same story as in Egypt…second verse. The basic cause of Abraham’s failure is that he and Sarah have truly failed to deal with their sin. They may have admitted their sin to Pharaoh, and confessed it to God, but…the fact that they did not genuinely judge their sin and forsake it, brings it back to the fore.

Abraham and Sarah have convinced themselves that they are not telling a lie at all…only a half-truth, which, of course, is not as bad as a lie! (Being facetious). Yet, it is worse…a half-truth has enough fact to make it believable, and enough deception to make it dangerous. The fact is that a lighthearted admission is not the same as a broken-hearted confession of sin. (See Psalm 51:17). Abraham may sin, but he is saved…he makes a mistake, but his life is not enslaved to total sin and worldliness – he is accepted before God. One preacher said, “God will not allow His children to sin successfully.” When we sin, deliberately, there are consequences and discipline that takes place (see Hebrews 12:1ff). Thanks to what Jesus has done for us…shedding His blood…we have forgiveness for our sins. We must be willing to confess our sins in order to be forgiven. When we do, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us (1 John 1:1ff), and we have forgiveness and restoration.

Paul shares with the Roman Christians that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:23). James helps us to understand the negative progression that takes place in our lives when we give in to temptation (1:13ff). We can learn a lot from the janitor and from Abraham -- “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we purpose to deceive.” If we choose to chase after sin…one will lead to an even greater sin, and so on, until we are lost. We cannot hide sin forever…it will be discovered. We are not going to be lost for making a mistake, even if it purposeful…but, we will endanger our souls by sinning habitually…setting our hearts on some particular sin or group of sins that quench the Spirit and take us away from the Lord. We have only one recourse for life and godliness, salvation and peace with God…and it is twofold – submission and confession. God is not going to turn a deaf ear toward a truly penitent sinner. When we humble ourselves before the Lord and confess our sins, asking for help…God can and will forgive us our sins. Blessings,


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