Recognising and Removing Sin Makes a Difference - 27 October 2017

Louise Gevers

“Therefore, rid yourselves of … all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1

God’s standard for His people in all situations, for all time, is love. What makes someone turn his back on that? Maybe the self-righteousness that causes hypocrisy?

If you have been the victim of slander, envy, hypocrisy or deception, you will know that love doesn’t live alongside sin. In the text, Peter tells his readers to eradicate these sins from their lives which God had already forbidden in the Ten Commandments.

Think of the hostile situation of the woman caught in adultery: two people are caught deceiving their spouses. A group of religious people bring one culprit to Jesus for judgment, but they have really already judged her, and want to stone her; but the other party escapes their interest. (Perhaps they will envy him later, or slander him?) But Jesus exposes their hypocrisy and turns their test for Him onto them: whoever has not committed a sin may throw the first stone. Where would we have stood?

We are all guilty of committing sins of varying degrees and would have to slink away like them if confronted. Yet ridding ourselves of deceit and hypocrisy is difficult because the world is ruled by the “father of lies” (John 8:44) and at the core of our being is a “heart (that) is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” (Jeremiah 17:9) But when you can recognise the enemy and the problem, you can fight it! This as a positive growth step which gives us an opportunity to strengthen our stand against the devil. And we have the undergirding of the Spirit who sets us “free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

 If we are going to make a difference, we need to be completely honest with ourselves to address this problem. So often we don’t even measure up to our own standards. Since the first lie, man has wrestled with dishonesty through fear of punishment, pride, or to protect someone else; but now we need to disentangle ourselves, and not be hypocrites who think that we can do wrong, but judge others.

Jesus will free us from all this. Then our responsibility is to distance ourselves from whatever tempts us again, even if it comes through ordinary, seemingly harmless, things like advertising, television, or social media or anything else. Know yourself and your weaknesses.

Proverbs 12:22 says: “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are trustworthy.” Let us honour Him fully in this and pray with David, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Prayer: Father, set me free from every kind of deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander and let me know the joy and freedom of Your forgiveness. Amen

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