A Life of Holiness
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.”
Psalms 5:4-6 NLT
God is Holy! He is perfect and pure! Sin has no place in His presence. His character cannot abide wickedness. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “God loves the sinner but hates the sin”. This is true, yet not correctly understood and applied. Yes, God loves people. I’m so glad He loves me. How about you? However, God is repulsed by sin and by sinful people. Have you ever loved someone and yet hated their wicked ways? In today’s scripture, we see in verse 5 that the Word of God says “...You hate all who do evil.”
The word “hate” is translated from the Hebrew word “sane” (pronounced “saw-nay”). This Hebrew word means “to be repulsed” or “odious”. Have you ever walked into a room and had the stench of something hit you in the face? If so, it was repulsive and disgusting. This is the idea that the word “sane” is communicating. God is disgusted with wickedness and wicked people. This doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love them. This simply means that He despises the dirty, rotten stench of the sin they are wallowing in. Because of His righteous, Holy character, He cannot accept wickedness or wicked people. We must be very clear in our proclamations concerning sin. God has never accepted sin and never will accept sin!! In fact, because of sin, the sons and daughters of Adam are under a curse and are under God’s angry judgment (wrath). Let me be specifically clear here: God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11 says this: “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” Ezekiel 33:11 NLT The reality is this: God is our creator and He is saddened by our sinful condition. His Holy character cannot accept sin. So what do we do? This is the good part! We come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was God in a human body (see John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:15-20 and 2:9). God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT God, Himself, became one of us (a human - this is called “the incarnation”) and died a substitutionary death in order to redeem us from our wickedness.
We are left with two options:
1. Accept the gift of salvation through Jesus, be forgiven, and live forever. (see John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23; 10:8-10, 13; I John 1:9).
2. Reject this offer of salvation and perish eternally. (see John 3:18; 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Hebrews 2:3).
The only hope of reconciliation with God is Jesus Christ!!! (see John 14:6) There is no other way to be made free from wickedness. “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”” John 3:36 NLT
One last thing. We must not preach and teach that we are now given a license to sin because we are under grace. God’s grace sets us free from sin, not free to sin!! “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Romans 6:14 NLT Wickedness is still abhorred by God! Now that we are forgiven, let us strive to live in honor of our Lord and Master, not in honor of that wicked one called the devil! If we are Christ’s, let’s act like it!! Why shouldn’t we? After all, didn’t he excruciatingly suffer for our sins? Why would we want to flaunt that? “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 NLT
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, search me and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wickedness in me. Purge me and purity me through the blood of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. By the power of Your Holy Spirit within me, help me live a life of holiness and keep me from the wickedness of this world. In Jesus name, Amen!!
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Rev. Curtis Norris