It’s not all about sex, theft, lies, and murder
We must not take a verse like this and emphasize too heavily the issues of the outlaw or those of moral laxity. Shortcomings are not limited but stretch far and wide. Consider the following: theft, dishonesty, small lies, overcharging, disrespect, self-over-others, little tax evasions, ethical missteps. These, too, are matters that reflect the heart. These are ungodly deeds and styles the doing of which resulted in that great separation of us from our maker. The “practice of sinning” includes these things.
Verse 5 tells us that Jesus appeared from heaven to remove the myriad of our sins. He had no sin but took upon him all of ours. By doing so he became the atonement for us by taking up the penalty for them.
One cannot stay close to him and continue to practice these types of behaviors. How, after all, do you condone behavior that cost another their life? Not only so, but cost them their life to rescue yours?
“A proverb a day.”
Our family has long practiced reading a chapter in Proverbs after supper each night1. Look at the following verses from last night’s reading in the fifth chapter.
21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. 23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. (Proverbs 5:21-23–NIV)
Do such verses suggest sin + Jesus has any merits whatsoever? How can these first-century teachers generate any credence by saying that cleaned people can run back like pigs to the mud of sin and wallow there? Our desires may not die when we submit to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but as Solomon says here in Proverbs, we must discipline those desires. We must be led by Christ, not our own folly. Animals can chase their desires. People must by God’s power and the set of the mind train them, contain them, stay them. That is being lawful. Maybe in an odd play on words, we could call ourselves inlaws?