THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN


                                 Phil Scovell

                           Copyright (C) 2003/2007

                             All rights Reserved

                                  Hebrews 3:13

     But exhort one another  daily, while it is called To  day; lest any of
     you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.


          If we are born again, we know what sin is.  So, in some respects,
     sin,  I suppose, ought to  be considered the  worst?  After   all, sin
     renders a  person to  eternal condemnation  without God  and sentences
     them to  an eternal hell.   Right?  "For  the wages of sin  is death,"
     (Romans 3:23).  Fortunately for us,  the book  of Hebrews was  written
     to those who are Born Again.  For the Christian, therefore, 1 John 1:9
     is  applicable  to our  sins and  not  the wages  of sin  mentioned in
     Romans.  "If we  confess our sins, he is faithful  and just to forgive
     us our sins, and to cleanse us from  all unrighteousness."

          Have you  ever noticed that 1  John 1:9 refers  to the sin of   a
     Christian  as  "unrighteousness?"    This  is because  the  sin  of  a
     Christian  is  different than  the sin  of  the lost  sinner.   A lost
     person, that one without Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of  their
     life, commits sin because he is a sinner.  That is, he is  born with a
     sin nature and therefore, he sins.  A Christian no  longer is of  that
     same sin nature  because he has  been born  again and   the Spirit  of
     Christ dwells within him.  In other words,  our  spirit, at the moment
     of conversion, was recreated so the   Holy Spirit could come and dwell
     within  us  at that  moment, (See  2   Corinthians 5:17  and Ephesians
     1:13).  So when a Christian sins,   it is not a sin which will condemn
     them to  hell because  the Bible   clearly  teaches we  are no  longer
     condemned.   Thus, the  Christian,   who sins, can  quickly restore  a
     perfect  relationship with Christ   by confessing  that committed sin.
     We are then cleansed from all  unrighteousness and made right with God
     in all respects to that  sin.

          Righteousness is the character and nature of God.  We become Born
     Again and His righteousness, His  character, becomes our nature.  That
     nature is the  new man and is  sinless.  As a Christian,  sin distorts
     the true nature and  character of God, therefore, Christian sin  is an
     act of unrighteousness  not an act of  eternal condemnation.  A   lost
     sinner must  first confess  Jesus Christ as  the Lord  of His  life in
     order to secure the righteousness of God.  A Christian,  on  the other
     hand, already has the righteousness  of God.  So I repeat, the  sin of
     the born  again believer is an act of  unrighteousness and not the sin
     of condemnation.

          We can look at it this way.  The  lost person cannot just confess
     His individual acts of sin and be born again; He has to  admit that he
     is a sinner, cannot save himself,  and makes Jesus Christ the Lord  of
     His life.  In other words, 1 John 1:9 is only applicable to Born Again
     Christians; the unsaved,  or lost person,  cannot claim its  spiritual
     efficacy for  his sins.   When We, as  Christians, on the  other hand,
     commit a sinful  act, it is a  distortion of the nature  and character
     (righteousness) of God.   To  clear up this  garbled picture of  God's
     righteousness flowing from our newly  recreated spirit, all we need to
     do is to  confess a committed sin  and we are instantly  cleansed from
     all unrighteousness.   This is literally  the putting off  of the  old
     man.  (See  Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:9).  Our spirits have been
     recreated in order to provide a place of holiness for the  Holy Spirit
     to dwell.   Our physical bodies will not be  regenerated, or redeemed,
     until Christ returns.  Likewise, our minds are not born again and must
     be renewed and refreshed by the Word of God continually.  (See  Romans
     12:1-3, Ephesians 4:22-25, and James 1:21).

          In Hebrews 3:13, Christians are  told to exhort each other daily.
     The  Greek  word  for  "exhort"  comes  from  two  Greek  words  which
     literally  means to  call someone by  name and  to come along  side of
     them to instruct or comfort them.   The Greek word is very similar  to
     the  word used  to refer  to the  ministry of the  Holy Spirit  as the

          The  terminology,  "while it  is    called  today," means  to  be
     consistent about your encouragement,   that is, continue to  encourage
     them until victory comes.  What is  the purpose of this exhortation or
     encouragement?  It is Christian   accountability and responsibility to
     serve other  Christians in   need.  If  they are troubled,  attempt to
     encourage them until they   are restored to a right relationship  with
     God.  If they are  grieving, seek to comfort them.   If they are sick,
     draw along side   of them and minister to  them in their illness.   If
     they are  suffering from a broken heart,  identify with them.  If they
     are   spiritually wounded, help  them rebuild  strength.  If  they are
     afraid, lead them to truth.   If they are living a sinful life,   pray
     for them and attempt to show them the  way.  If they have a  financial
     need, give what you can and agree  with them in prayer if  you  can't.
     Galatians 6:2 says  we are to bear  each others burdens.   It does not
     say to wait  until all of your  own burdens are eliminated  before you
     begin to bear the burdens of others.

          I could go on  but by now you get the picture.   All of that, and
     much more,  is exhortation.   This is why, on  my website, I  post the
     motto on  my front  page which  says, "Be  nice  to everybody  because
     everybody  is having a  tough time."   Why should we,  as  Christians,
     maintain this type of an attitude?  "Lest any of you be harden through
     the deceitfulness of  sin."  The Greek word for "harden" means to make
     hard, obstinate, or   stubborn.  The word  for "deceitfulness" in this
     verse is  a Greek word  from which  we obtain our  word for apathy  or
     apathetic.   My dictionary defines  apathetic as, (Without  emotion or
     interest,   impassive,  indifferent, insensible,  lethargic, listless,
     phlegmatic, stolid, unconcerned, uninterested, and unresponsive).

          I  have already defined sin in context of this passage but again,
     it is important to note that it is not the sin of condemnation but the
     sin of  unrighteousness.  The nature  of sin is total destruction.  In
     the  life of the lost, they are condemned forever.  In the life of the
     Christian, sin,  when allowed  to go  unconfessed, hardens a  person's
     ability to walk with God in harmony.  We become stubborn,  inflexible,
     and obstinate.   Indifference and unconcern creeps in  and we continue
     to  walk  further  away  from God.    If  this  is  done long  enough,
     eventually the sin, which is  separating you from a right relationship
     with God,  doesn't seem so bad any longer.   Compound the problem with
     drugs,  alcohol, sexual  immorality,  the  choice  of  wrong  friends,
     spiritual isolation, worldly reasoning, unnecessary secular  education
     for  the  wrong  reasons,   intellectual  justification,  legalism,  a
     cultivated mundane attitude,  and our hearts become hardened even more
     by the deceitfulness of sin.

          The only real tool the devil has  to use against us as Christians
     is deceit.   Why?   Because  the devil  knows that  the Christian  can
     confess  committed sin to  the Lord, according  to 1 John  1:9, and be
     instantly cleansed from all unrighteousness once again and walk in the
     righteousness of God.  So what might  the devil do instead in the life
     of a Christian?   He simply deceives us   over and over again.   Let's
     consider some  examples of  how the   devil  works  in the  life of  a
     Christian by deceitful means and, in most cases, even without sin.

                             End Of Introduction

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