Sin, Original and Personal

Monday – Psalm 51.5. “We believe that original sin is that corruption of the nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason of which everyone is very far gone from the pure state of our first parents at the time of their creation….” This is where we begin. We acknowledge that we are not as God intended. We are all born “very far gone.” We all begin at the same place…in desperate need of a way out of our condition. Good Father, help me to acknowledge my deep need for you to change me, and to realize I cannot do this by my own effort.

Tuesday – Mark 7.21-23. We believe our original nature “is averse to God, is without spiritual life, and is inclined to evil, and that continually.” Our sinfulness does not begin as an act, but as a state of being. It begins within us. And it effects every part of us. So must transformation come from within, not from without? As we ask God to come into our lives and take up residence, He begins the work of regeneration from our original state. As you reread Mark’s verses, ask God to show you what correction you are able to receive regarding your thoughts… sexuality… immorality… greed… slander. Dear God, continue to change me from within.

Wednesday – Jeremiah 17.9-10. Dallas Willard states in Renovation of the Heart that “we have to recognize from our heart that… I am the one described” in Jeremiah’s passage. And that denial of this reality – often in the form of rationalization – is the primary means we use to deal with our “wrongness.” It was the tactic used by our first ancestors in the garden (Genesis. 3:12-13), and it continues with us today. Gentle God, help me to take off the blinders of rationalization and denial and accept your loving exposure of my heart…so that I may be changed into your likeness.

Thursday – I John 3.4. “We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary violation of a known law of God.” This is different from our “inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures….” And so we ask, is there any law or principle of our loving and living God that we are failing to follow? May our prayer today be: Point out anything in me that makes You sad (Psalm 139:24 LB), and then hear His gentle correction.

Friday – John 6.29. We believe that personal sin “in relation to Christ may be defined as unbelief.” Where and for what am I failing to believe? For my salvation? God could never forgive me! For my provision? Do I worry constantly over the future or my finances? For my protection: What is this country coming to? What’s going to become of my children? Where in my life do I struggle to trust our good, good Father? He wants to save us from our unbelief if we only ask.

Saturday – Matthew 22.36-40. “We believe that personal sin is primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love.” We fail to love because we fail to understand, deep in our soul how dearly loved we are. As we grow into the realization of God’s love for us, our love for him expands toward Him and toward all of God’s children. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first (I John 4:19 MSG). Begin to make this your constant and repeated breath prayer: Father, teach me that you love me. He will – and it will make all the difference in how you love.