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Jim's Jots and Tittles. . .


The ribbon that ties together all sixty-six books of the Bible together is sin. The sin of mankind and God’s plan to remove that sin.

It has been said that sin takes us farther than we want to go, costs us more than we want to pay, keeps us longer than we want to stay, and has consequences we don’t want to claim. That is why sin is so deceitful.

This describes the sin of Adam and Eve. This describes the sin of adding or taking way from God’s word as expressed in Revelation 22:18-19.

One of the unique characteristics of the Bible is that it deals bluntly with the sins of all. Paul writes in Romans 2:11 -- “For there is no partiality with God.”

David of the Old Testament committed a sin that took him farther than he wanted to go. And it certainly had consequences he did not want to claim.

Whether we are speaking about a king or a worker named Demas, the consequences of sin are the same. Sin separates one from God!

The word sin is used in 25 books of the Old Testament. It is used 89 times in the book of Leviticus. The word is used in 15 books of the New Testament. It is used 43 times in the book of Romans.

Leviticus deals with all the sin offerings the children of Israel had to offer. Yet Hebrews 10:3-4 tells us that those sacrifices were a reminder of sins year by year because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin.

The book of Romans teaches us about a sacrifice that can remove sin--Christ Himself.

Romans 6:6-7 tells us about this freedom -- “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”

And Hebrews 9:15 tells us that the sacrificial death of Christ provided redemption for those who lived under the first covenant if they had been faithful to that covenant.

But even though God has provided a redemption for sin, James says we will still sin because we will get carried away with our desires. In James 1:14-15 he writes-- “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” And when we make a habit of this, it is then that we become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and can reach a point to where repentance is impossible (Hebrews 6:4-6).

In 1 John 3:4 John says that everyone who practices sin practices lawlessness and lawlessness is sin. Sin separates one from God and continued willful sin will move one so far away from God that one can become blind to that separation.

The Greek word translated sin literally means “failing to hit the mark.” When we sin and violate God’s will we have failed to hit the target--God’s word.

In Colossians 1:23 Paul tells how we can keep from missing the mark-- “if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel you have heard....”

And the Hebrew writer writes in Hebrews 3:14-- “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.”

You see, sin begins in the mind. That will determine whether our behavior is good or sinful. In Philippians 4:8, Paul describes how a Christian is to think-- “whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, and if anything is excellent or worthy of praise, the your mind dwell on these things.”

As one preacher said:

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

—Jim Hunt