AFRAID TO SIN           

      When John the Baptist first came on the four accounts of the Gospel, upon seeing Jesus Christ coming toward him, John declared, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!" Jesus was born to die. We die to sin to be born again! The only way we, any of us, can approach God is under the blood of the Lamb of God. We must look and smell like His Son before we can approach Him.

      A  beautiful story that is a perfect picture of Christ's redemptive death originated up in the northern country of Nova Scotia. A raiser of sheep, a shepherd, had the misfortune of having an Ewe who died leaving her lamb motherless. Another lamb died leaving a mourning Ewe because of her loss. The shepherd tried to resolve the problem by putting the surviving lamb with the surviving Ewe. But she would have nothing to do with the orphaned lamb. Finally, in desperation, the shepherd went out and skinned the dead lamb and placed the hide over the orphaned lamb and presented him to the mourning Ewe. The Ewe immediately accepted the little lamb because he both looked and smelled like her own. So it is with God. All who approach Him must have put on Jesus by being washed in His blood, as it were. In that final day at the last trump, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is!

      An early, eloquent Church Father, Chrysostom, had incurred the anger of Emperor Arcadius. Enraged, the emperor consulted with his consulted with his counselors as to the best "Confiscate his property!" said one. "Whom will that harm?" roared his majesty. "Not Chrysostom, but only the poor, to whom he gives."

      "Cast him in prison!" said another. "What? And let him glory in his chains?" asked the Emperor.

      "Then kill him!" said yet a third counselor. "And rush him to the gates of heaven? No way!" declared the outraged emperor.

      Finally, one wiser than the others proposed: "There is only one thing in all the world that Chrysostom fears. He is afraid to sin. We must make him sin!"

      Can the same be said of us? Afraid to sin? Or have we tamed the ugly monster of sin to the point where we can live fairly comfortable with it? Would that we remembered the words with which Martin Luther begins his explanation of each of the Ten Commandments: "We should fear and love God. . . . ."

      We should stand in awe of God because of His holiness and righteousness. We should love because of His immeasurable compassion freely bestowed on us through Jesus Christ, His Son. We should learn to recoil instinctively from the dreadful consequences of sin, and be drawn to ever higher degrees of holiness by the wondrous love poured out for us on Calvary's cross.

      We must dare never forget that it was our sin which caused our blessed Lord to die for our redemption. Out of love for Him,  may we take our stand with Chrysostom and not be ashamed in the world mockingly says of us: "He/she is afraid to sin."

      Oh, Lord teach me to walk in your ways, to hate sin, and to love You more and more. Amen!

      Just A Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.  




Updated Sept 4, 2018   

(Revised after losing the original copy).

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