CLEAN HANDS AND A pure heart: doctrine and sin. The NT standard for sin is much higher than the OT standard. Jesus gets to the heart of the matter, “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” And a few sentences later, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:22, 28
How could Jesus demand so much from His followers? He knew that through His death and resurrection, He would be able to give men the power to overcome the wicked intentions of our heart. He condemned sin in the flesh. Now, through His blood and the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life, all sin can be conquered. Yet, we have to appropriate that power. The thought of something is not sin, for even the enemy will put thoughts in our head. He has done this from the beginning, “Did God really say?”
Satan infiltrated Eve’s thoughts with doubt about the Word of God. However, left unchecked that thought will have its way in you. It is the meditation of that thought that creates the lust that creeps into the heart and thus defiles the man. For this very reason that if you call your brother a foolish idiot (or another derogatory term) in anger, it reveals a heart that has hatred in it. If you see an attractive man or woman, and you begin to meditate on thoughts of them thus producing lust; you have committed sexual sin in your heart. For out of the heart flows the words of your mouth and the body’s actions.
These internal heart sins have the ability to truly corrupt and destroy the man. “For the love of money is the root of all evil”. Love here in this Scripture, means desire for money. Desire is an internal yearning thus producing greed and left undisciplined produces theft. If you watch Forensic Files, greed also produces murder. The desire for money has led many away from the faith (1 Timothy 6:10). Coveting another’s things is not an external action; but left undisciplined produces hatred, adultery, murder and the like. Hating a brother in your heart is considered murder, 1 John 3:15.
We are commanded to keep our heart and mind pure from the taint of any and all evil by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:4-6) and to be transformed, to renew our mind by submitting our thoughts and will to the Word of God (Romans 12:2). Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee. This is vital to NT doctrine. I have heard preachers say, “as long as you are not acting on that sin, you are ok”. Wrong. This is not what Jesus commands. We are to have clean hands and a pure heart. He did His part, now we must do ours: avert your eyes, be mindful of what you are giving ear to and who you keep company with, pray for the Spirit to search your heart and mind so that you can get rid of unrighteous thoughts, discipline your flesh and exercise self-control.
Stop being lazy and making excuses for bad behavior. You do not have to continue to sin! This is a lie from the pit of hell. In fact, continuing to sin willfully by not exercising discipline and self-control and saying, “I’m under grace” is trampling on His blood and counting it a common thing. His finished work on the cross provides the power to conquer our thoughts and overcome any evil intentions the enemy shoots at us. Sin starts with a thought. Right sin doctrine matters. #runyourrace
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