Saturday, April 08, 2017

Surprising Sinner

Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 1 Timothy 5:24

Paul the apostle had looked around at men for many years both as a Pharisee and as a follower of Jesus. Paul also held the Spirit and the Word in him and learned deeply from both. As he poured out his teaching to Timothy, Paul observed a curious thing, or, perhaps it is obvious to us as well with the prompting of Paul's words and the dear Holy Spirit of God in us. Yes, some people have obvious sins according to the Law. No question, no doubt about it, they in their present darkness like to sin, can't stop themselves, and don't even try. These are the clearly evident sinners and Paul tells us that their sin is already reporting in to the judge even before their court date.

On the other hand may well be people we know. Their sins are kept compartmentalized in the private life. To the public these are pillars of the community, perhaps even ministers and deacons. Their sins follow later, but judgment is still certain. Now this is not to cast a dark shadow over ministers. Most ministers I have heard will admit that sins exist in their minds and hearts. Like our Lord Jesus, we will resist being called good for the knowledge the Holy Spirit has given us regarding our own sin. Yes, I will say us, because like many a minister before me, I have seen the beast of flesh born of this world in me and he is a sinner all the way. Paul admitted to having his own old man, and he didn't like the presence and weakness for sin his flesh invested in himself. So, are these the ones whose sin follows later? No, there is still another group.

There are those who sin privately and yet take their public persona as evidence of being good. They forget, if they have ever read them, the words of Jesus that tell of how sin committed in the mind is still sin. These will stand in the judgment and present their public face as evidence of their goodness and worthiness to enter God's Heaven. However, Jesus will not know these surprising sinners who looked so godly to us. He will know of their sins as they come later to bear an unholy witness.

Better to confess to our Lord right now than to face judgment with a pack of mongrel sins following along behind us. Give 'em up and let the Lord cleanse them from us!


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