Anglican Morning Devotion, 3 April 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:4-11; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Every man and woman possesses an innate awareness of sin. That awareness is naturally inculcated in the conscience in early childhood. But to take counsel of Godly righteousness requires more than ‘awareness,’ it requires a fundamental change in character and will. Knowing right from wrong has never sufficed in itself to result in righteous character for we are told in scripture that even the devils know and tremble. (see James 2:19).
True righteousness only exists in one source – and that source if God Almighty. We are often told by the modern pulpit that God has done away with the law completely and that there is no reason for Christians to be bound by the Law. Do we not know that we were saved One who satisfied the penalty of the Law for us? If transgression of the law describes sin, then the law is still in effect. Gid did not annul the Law in our Lord Jesus Christ, but fulfilled the terms of the Law. No man can be righteous in his own estate. We can only be accounted righteous by receiving the imputed righteousness, through grace, of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are in Him who is sinless, then we, too, are accounted righteous by imputation.
Sin is a deadly disease contracted by the disobedience of Adam at Eden. His blood flows through the veins of each of us. The leprosy of sin leads to separation from God, association with like lepers, slow decomposition of the person, and finally death. There is only one cure for the leprosy of sin – the life-giving blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we learn in First John 3:8, the very author of sin is that same serpent of the Garden, the devil. Man chose the wrong tree in the Garden. Instead of the Tree of Life (representing Christ), Adam chose the prideful pursuit of carnal knowledge and rebellion against God his Maker. The moment he disobeyed, Adam was as good as dead. In fact, he WAS literally dead in trespasses and sins. Like leprosy, sin is a road of gradual decline that ends in death: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15)
The nature of sin is disobedience and alienation from the will of God for all God wills is righteousness.
The devil entices with sinful pleasures, but he never informs of the wages that accrue to the sinner: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Well, every living soul has sinned, so how do we escape the sentence of death and Hell? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) The simple answer is that we must cease to be a sinner and live in the love and favor of God. We can do this by answering the urging of the Holy Spirit to His chosen, reject the self-will of Adam and Cain, and take upon ourselves the Mind that was in Christ Jesus. This is accomplished through a complete change in character. Love rules in the heart of the Christian, and love is guiltless of sin. “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” (Proverbs 10:12) Jesus gave only one NEW Commandment added to the Ten – that we LOVE one another as Christ loved us and gave His life for us. Though we may do wrong in error, if we act out of real love, there is no condemnation in Christ.
Sin is a LIVING death. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) Being dead, we could do nothing to save ourselves. We must have been made alive (quickened) by the Holy Spirit of God. The remedy? “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Only the Lord Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, could atone for our sins. If we die to self in Christ, we shall rise with Him at the Last Day!