• Jack Selcher

The Three-Letter Word

George MacLeod said, “The mystery of man is that he is bad when he wants to be good.”1 We’ve experienced the three-letter-word—sin.

Paul argued that sin is everyone’s problem by stringing together scriptural beads from Psalms and Isaiah. No one measures up to God’s righteousness (verse 10). We’re as far from His perfection as a round of par golf is from a score of 18.

A sheep in summer looks white. But not in winter when the background is new-fallen snow. If we compare ourselves with others, we might conclude we’re pretty good. But when we compare ourselves to the snow-white purity of Jesus, it’s a different story. Unlike Him, we seek pleasure, power, fulfillment, fame, and fortune, not God’s will.

We’re guilty because we haven’t heeded God’s word or our conscience (verse 12). We’re as corrupted and useless as a bag of rotten apples. As yeast permeates dough, sin has invaded and defiled every area of our lives. We have a terminal disease, but we don’t know it.

Our speech demonstrates the wickedness of our heart (verses 13–15). It disproves our head-in-the-sand-notion that we’re good people. We lie. Our words and tone of voice injure others. We harbor bitterness in our heart against some people. When people disagree with us, we get mad. Curse words readily form in our minds.

I’m not getting picky. These traits are the essence of sin. Destruction and misery lie all along and at the end of a sin-driven life (verses 16–17). Conflict with God, self, and others is a way of life. There’s no peace.

Sin-driven people don’t fear God (verse 18). They rarely think of Him, don’t trust Him, and live as if there were no Judgment Day. Knowing God personally gradually transforms people’s words, thoughts, deeds, attitudes, relationships, priorities, and goals.

We’re sinners under God’s judgment. We’re without excuse when our deeds are measured against His requirements (verses 19–20). The more clearly we understand God’s standards, the more deeply we sense our failure to meet them. We’re all guilty.

Realizing their guilt, the Jews said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37, NIV). Peter said they must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. He promised they’d receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise was for them and for those who are far off. That’s us! Have you repented and received Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord? If not, there’s no better time than today.

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1. The Horror of Human Evil - Faithlife Sermons

I invite you to check out my book, His Power for Your Weakness, a devotional discipleship resource and to share it with others: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B09NZG9W7L&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FSRD4SGCXC35KMZ6ED5R

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

Photo: Sin | Thomas Hawk | Flickr

You can find this blog at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/post/the-three-letter-word

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