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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wages of Sin

"Sin would have fewer takers if the consequences were immediate."
~ Unknown

Wages of Sin

"If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity. And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering."
~ Leviticus 5:17-18 (NKJV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
~ Romans 12:1 (NIV)

The first five books of Leviticus detail the sacrifices to be made for a multitude of reasons, sin being primary. The section concludes with the offering required when a person sinned and didn't know it.

Despite good intentions, sin is still sin, and sin must be dealt with.

Sin was very, very expensive under the old covenant. Using the best animals of the flock or herd in sacrifice for sin would be like us sacrificing something important to making a living—computer, tools, work clothing. If committing a sin meant forfeiting your cell phone, how long would it take to get your attention?

Yet more was lost than the monetary value of an animal. To demonstrate clearly that the wages of sin is
death, an animal's life was snuffed out. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." (Hebrews 9:22 ESV) In the course of 1500 years of sacrifice, millions of animals were slaughtered to point to the ultimate blood sacrifice Jesus paid at Calvary.

Because sin's eternal cost has been paid, we can sometimes forget sin's ongoing cost here in temporal realms of this life. Not only does each sin bring its related consequences, it robs us of spiritual life and closeness to God.

The wages of sin is still death.

Ironically, the way to avoid sin is also death—death of self. It is when we daily offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, laying down our own will, that we truly live.

Father in Heaven, we belong to You. You have purchased us with the precious blood of Your Son, the Lamb of God. Please help us to freely give to You whatever we hold dear. Please help us believe that You always offer us something greater.

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  1. I had a thousand analogies run through my mind today regarding sinful behavior and how we (the world) would behave different if the Lord were visible.

    Sin is an epic battle to be fought on the front lines everyday no matter who you are. It should inspire fresh awe in us daily regarding Christ's sacrifice. And on top of that, who is this awesome God who would sacrifice His son for us? That is awe inspiring in and of itself.

    Great topic Anne.

  2. My greatest possession is my Father God.

  3. So true. Lord, help us see this so clearly!

    Thanks Anne.

  4. It's interesting that we are instructed to be a LIVING sacrifice in the process of the dying ...

  5. Lately, I've thought a lot about the natural consequences of sin. When a person sticks his or her hand on the stove, fingers get burned because the stove is hot, not because God is punishing the person. I also believe there are eternal consequences for sin, and that all sin must be reconciled to God. The word "forgiveness" is somewhat of a misnomer. All sin must be paid for. Thankfully our sins have been paid for by Jesus.

    Thanks Anne

  6. "Please help us believe that You always offer us something greater." I echo this prayer.

    Can't wait to read more about "Held" over here tomorrow (I think).
    ~ Wendy

  7. We're doing a challenge that might hold some potential for you:

    I’d like to invite you and your readers to join us in a blogging challenge for the month of April. Check it out at Blogging From A to Z. It’s not too late too join up with us and we’d be honored to have you with us.

    I'm trying to maintain the balance of Christain Bloggers. Let me know if you'd like to particpate.


  8. T ~ Since we know He is indeed watching, why doesn't it affect us in every moment of of weakness? What is our problem? *sigh*

    Denise ~ The more we forfeit that He asks, the more of Him we get. We definitely get the better end of that exchange.

    Jason ~ If the presence of God does not deter us from sin, shouldn't consequences? Romans 7 resonates with me in a big way.

    Susan ~ Dying as a living sacrifice is yet one more among a myriad of wonderful enigmas our faith presents to us.

    Bud ~ Stay the course ...

    Russell ~ You made me look it up. Two Hebrew words are used for "forgive." One means "to pardon," and one means "to carry / take away." The Greek word means "to send forth / send away." I suppose Jesus has taken away our sins. I'm not quite sure how that does or doesn't fit in with what you're saying. But there it is, for what it's worth.

    Wendy ~ ALWAYS something better. Always. We're just lazy or stupid or stubborn or prideful if we refuse.

    Lee ~ I LOVE the sound of that challenge. Ordinarily, I would enjoy taking you up on that. I'm afraid this month won't work for me. But I do appreciate the invite. Thanks for including me.

  9. One of the sad aspects of life is watching as people choose sinful circumstances and, in general, have no idea what the consequences will be, both in this life and the one to come. So often I am able to do no more than shake my head in sorrow [frustration?] while my heart is screaming for them to see the truth and walk in it.

  10. Caryjo, I've no doubt that the Lord shakes His head at all of us. And indeed, one cannot walk in truth before it's seen. Good reason for us to keep our hearts in His Word and our minds stayed upon Him.

    I peeked at your profile. I love both thunder (the louder the better) and Celtic music. I'm most intrigued by "Celtic Thunder."


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