Articles for September 2016

Co-mmission, O-mission; It’s all Sin – James 4:17; Mt. 25:44-45

So, what’s worse; to go through life doing bad things that hurt other people, or to go through life not doing good things that would help to enrich and edify the lives of others? You ponder that question ad nausea, and there’s just no way to make a pig look pretty simply by putting lipstick on it. There’s no way to make a wrong decision, right. And in this situation both are wrong. Simply not doing one wrong act cannot exonerate the omission of the duty one has to do a right thing, a good and moral thing.
Over a year ago, I shared in a sermon the story of Kitty Genovese. She was 28 year old girl who lived in Queens, New York and worked at bar not far from her home. One night in 1964, on her way home from work at 3 a.m., she was randomly attacked, raped, and stabbed to death in front of her apartment. 38 witnesses, neighbors, watched for over an hour and a half and not one person called 911 nor offered to help. One witness said, when asked why they didn’t call for help, said, “I didn’t want to get involved.”
When is it ever a wrong time to do a right thing? Is procrastination sin? James 4:17 says, “17Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Christians so often, focus on what they shouldn’t do and neglect what they should be doing. ‘I don’t want to sin. And that involves doing something, right?’ Well, is not obeying God’s commands a sin? Maybe once we’ve accepted the grace of Jesus and we’re saved, we should all go up on a mountain top and wait for Jesus to come again…and not sin! Sin comes in two categories:
Sins of co-mission, whereby we do sinful acts. Willful transgressions against God; overt, rebellious acts. Doing things that scripture expressly tells us as believers, not to do. Ephesians 5:3-6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do not kill. Do not lie. Do not cheat on your spouse. Don’t worship idols. Grace never gives us a free ticket to continue to sin. 1 John 3:6 says, “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.” These are sins we co-mmit.
Sins of o-mission, on the other hand, are deeds left undone; behaviors that God’s Word instructs us to do, or, to imitate, to display in our lives. These things that we “don’t do” are disobedience to our heavenly Father and they are sin. Things we don’t do that we are supposed to do. Ephesians 2:10 says that every believer is “…created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
As born again believers in Jesus Christ, we have been blessed to be a blessing to others, not just take our prize and head for home, hording it to ourselves. We are to love what God loves, and despise what God despises. Our actions, attitudes, mannerisms should reflect those of our Father… “…that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. If we truly love God, we want to be more like Him in every way. We want to resemble Him, emulate Him, and certainly obey Him.
The Good Samaritan in Luke 10 came upon a man, a despised Jew, who had been beaten severely, robbed and left for dead. If being a Christian was only limited to “not doing sinful acts”, he could’ve continued on his way, “not getting involved”, and with clear conscience; because, after all, he didn’t commit a sin.
What about us today? Do we hide behind the façade of “not getting involved”?
Matthew 25:44-45 44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Sin…separates us from God. Whether it’s a sin committed or a reflection of Christ omitted, it’s disobedience to toward our Lord and Savior – and that’s sin.
In Christ, Rick