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The subtlety of sin

Isaiah 1:16-17

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Sometimes sin will come into our lives without notice and in that, it is like here in this chapter where the nation of Israel had become corrupt through empty ritualism with irrelevant sacrifices that were not in line with the Law of Moses. The Jewish people sin started in a subtle way and then turned in to blatant disregard to Gods Laws and ways.

This is very much like us as Christians in our walk with the Lord, sin can creep in, in such a subtle way. Like for example these attributes, being prideful, vain, acedia (lack of care), envious, wrathful, slothful, greedy and gluttony etc.

In another way, we might think our plans and ways are superior to God, just like the Jewish people in these verses. We so need to stop this mindset and repent and follow God way for us.

We as Christians need to be vigilant and regularly examine ourselves before the Lord in prayer asking Him to make us aware of any unacknowledged sin. In my life I have prayed for the Lord to show me my sin and at times in church the Lord has showed my wrong ways through hearing the Word of God being preached. It was not a pleasant experience, where I was sunk into the chair my nails crippling under the seat, the Lord exposing my sin before Him.

I am so glad in 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Whether if our sin is subtle or blatant, you need to nip it in the bud and confess your sin and remember that our sins and iniquities were placed on Jesus on the cross, who was the sinless son of God and took the punishment for our sin.

You see God is holy and righteous and He hates sin. He can’t bear sin or a sinful person in His presence. We are all sinners, spiritually dead and deserve the judgment of God.

That’s why He sent His son to live a sinless life here on earth, that we have hope of eternity in Heaven. If Jesus wasn’t sinless there would not have been any need for the sacrifice of sin upon Jesus on the Cross.

From the sin of Adam and Eve, death came into Gods perfect world that he created for mankind. Through the sin of Adam and Eve the whole of mankind was born into sin and that is why God sent his only son Jesus into this world who was sinless. He lived here a perfect and sinless life, so that He was put on the cross and took the punishment for our sins.

After He took the punishment and died on the Cross, three days and three nights he was in the heart of the earth, and He rose from the dead. This giving proof in which was foretold in scripture and which Jesus himself prophesised that he was the Son of God.

So, you have a choice today either to live in your sin or continually repent when you fall short, I hope you will take time to ponder this chapter and two verses 16 and 17 where God starts to plead with His people to return to a right relationship with him.

The topic of the week is to open and study these two verses and any other verses in scripture that will help us to be aware of the subtle ways that sin enters our lives.

1. Let us start in verse 16 it says: – “Wash you, make you clean;” What does it mean to be washed? Is it by water and soap or is it a spiritual cleansing?

2. Verse 16 says: – “put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes;” what is this evil? Why has it become before Gods eyes?

3. Lastly in verse 16 is says: – “cease to do evil;” How do we cease or try and stop evil?

4. In verse 17 is says: – “Learn to do well”, How do we learn to do well?

5 Secondly in verse 17: – “seek judgment” How do we seek judgment? Why would we want to seek judgment?

6. Then is says: – “relieve the oppressed” who are the oppressed?

7. Lastly in verse 17: – “judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Why judge the fatherless? Who were the fatherless? Why plead for the widows, what have they done?


I hope these questions will give you some guidance and I look forward to getting more from this study.

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