The Death Penalty
Theme of the Week: What's the Big Deal About Sin?
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NET)
Dig Deeper: Romans 6:15-23
Sin is unbelief, an insult to the truthfulness of God. It is unbelief that shuts the door to heaven and opens the door to hell. It is unbelief that rejects the Word of God and refuses Christ as Savior. It is unbelief that causes people to turn a deaf ear to the gospel and to reject the miracles of Christ. And it is unbelief that causes us to turn a blind eye to our own sin (1 John 1:8). Sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8). All wrongdoing is sin.
To sum it all up: God hates sin (Ps. 5:5). Sin incurs the penalty of death, and no one has the ability to save himself from sin's penalty, nor to cleanse his heart of its filth. That's the bad news. Now here is the Good News: It was God's love for sinners that sent Jesus down from heaven to wipe out the very thing that holds us hostage to guilt, shame, and utter hopelessness. He has crushed sin's power through his love, which reflects his compassion, mercy, and divine grace.
God's offer [of salvation] is to all sinners (Jer. 33:8). Sin's masterpiece of hopelessness is overshadowed by God's masterpiece of forgiveness and mercy.
—Billy Graham in The Reason for My Hope: Salvation
My Response: How might a close nonbelieving friend respond to today's reading? Why do I think he would respond this way?
Thought to Apply: Everything sin touches begins to die, but we do not focus on that. We see only the vitality of the parasite, glowing with stolen life.—Neal Plantinga (theologian, writer)
Adapted from The Reason for My Hope: Salvation by Billy Graham (Thomas Nelson, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, thank you for the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. Help me to have a healthy and realistic understanding of my sin, knowing that I needed your grace and mercy for my salvation, and I also need your grace and mercy each day of my Christian walk.
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