Sin

Can You hear me now?

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Apart from John 9:31, also see:  Job 27:9 and 35:12; Psalm 18:41; Proverbs 1:28, 15:29, and 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:11 and 14:12; Ezekiel 8:18; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:13; and James 5:16.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, references for John 9:31.

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Do This and You Will Live

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“Do and live” is the promise of the law.  But since no sinner can obey perfectly, the impossible demands of the law are meant to drive us to seek divine mercy (Galatians 3:10-13,22-25).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:28.

The Necessity of Forgiveness

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And whenever you stand praying,

if you have anything against anyone, forgive him,

that your Father in heaven may also

forgive you your trespasses.

But if you do not forgive,

neither will your Father in heaven

forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25-26

“Anything against anyone”- An all-inclusive statement that includes both sins and simple dislikes, which cause the believer to hold something against another person.  “Anyone” incorporates believers and unbelievers.  

“Forgive”- Jesus states the believer’s ongoing duty to have a forgiving attitude.  Successful prayer requires forgiveness as well as faith.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Mark 11:25.

The Old Way

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A believer’s unregenerate self – “our old man”.  The Greek word for “old” does not refer to something old in years but to something that is worn out and useless.  Paul uses the term “body” and “flesh” to refer to sinful propensities that are intertwined with physical weaknesses and pleasures.  But the term “flesh” is not equivalent to the physical body, which can be an instrument of holiness.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 6:6.

Through One Man

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Adam’s sin brought universal death – exactly opposite the result he expected and Satan had promised: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).  Christ’s sacrifice brought salvation to those who believe Him.  Unlike Adam’s act, Christ’s act has – and will – accomplish exactly what He intended (Philippians 1:6), i.e., spiritual life (Ephesians 2:5).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 5:17.

Who is the Law for?

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The Law was not meant as a means to self-righteousness, but a means to self-condemnation, pointing man to his sin, leading to conviction, repentance, and pleading to God for mercy.

Commentary from notes for 1 Timothy 1:9, the MacArthur study Bible.

False teaching

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False doctrine – anything claiming to be the truth that is in fact a lie.  

False teachers typically claim to have the superior knowledge (as in gnosticism).  They claim to know the transcendent secrets, but actually are ignorant and infantile in their understanding.

Paul identifies 3 characteristics of false teachers: 1) they “teach otherwise” – a different doctrine, or any teaching that contradicts God’s revelation in Scripture; 2) they do “not consent to wholesome words” – they do not agree with sound, healthy teaching, specifically the teaching contained in Scripture; and 3) they reject “doctrine which accords with godliness” – teaching not based on Scripture will always result in an unholy life.  Instead of godliness, false teachers will be marked by sin.

Commentary from the MacArthur Study Bible, notes for 1 Timothy 6:3, 6:20.

A Saving Faith

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The greatest tragedy that can befall someone is to think he’s saved, only to discover after death that he isn’t.  We’d all like to believe the claims of those who say they’re Christians, but Jesus gives a harsh warning because He knows many will be deceived.  They will sit in churches week after week, professing that Jesus is the Son of God, but won’t ever really enter into a personal relationship with Him.

Intellectual faith isn’t the same as saving faith.  It’s not enough to know facts about Jesus or to believe He died and rose again.  Even demons believe that (James 2:19).  Salvation involves more than mere knowing.  It requires trusting that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin, receiving His forgiveness, turning away from old sinful ways, and entering into a relationship with Him.  What matters is not what we say with our mouth, but what we believe in our heart.

Although you probably won’t understand all that happens at the moment of salvation, when Christ becomes your Savior, He also becomes your Lord.  As the Master of your life, He then has the right to govern what you do.  His Holy Spirit takes up residence within you when you are saved, and that means you will change – God’s Spirit continually works to remove sinful attitudes and behaviors, replacing them with His spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

We recognize a person’s salvation not by his profession but by fruit.  If you are truly saved, your character will become more Christlike over time, and your desire will be to obey the Lord.  This does not mean you’ll never sin or stumble, but overall, your life will be characterized by obedience.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, December 18, 2017.