'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Is it appropriate - or is it even possible - to define a "greatest sin"? After all, the Apostle James said that if we break even one of the commandments we have broken them all (James 2:10). However Jesus was asked which was the "greatest" commandment in the law, and then He proceeded to point out the greatest and the next to the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:35-39). So perhaps we will not go too far afield if we can discover a "greatest sin".
From the times of old many have attempted to categorize "sins". This seems so tempting, and convenient, because it seems to simplify living a righteous life. In many ways this helped lay the foundation of what is called Legalism. If it is possible to sin by degree, then since all have sinned and all do sin, the conscience is assuaged if we only commit small sins. The Apostle James perceived this inclination within the Jewish converts of that time, as he addresses this in his epistle. In many places in God's Word, the word for "sin" is translated in the plural when it should be in the singular, and is often accompanied by the definite article "the". There are no "little sins" and "big sins", except in one sense. Some sins (sin) may appear to have a greater or lesser apparent affect than others. This has helped give rise to the temptation to categorize EFFECTS of a given act that is labeled as sin. This of course is a very shallow and surface observation of what sin is about, and leads to all types of corruption of how God looks at sin.
Using this approach to sin, the ways to commit sin can be almost infinite, leaving the law breaker in a hopeless struggle (if there is a struggle) to "not sin"! A hands-on approach to avoid sin eventually would occupy every moment of every hour of every day of our lives. We could think of and do nothing else except constantly ponder if this was sin, or that was a sin, did I sin in that, or perhaps what I did just now is sin. No wonder the Apostle Paul described the law as he did (2 Corinthians 3:6-11).
Surely we can see why attempting to define sin by degree, and to successfully become righteous by doing so is not possible. The whole process becomes absurd. In view of this, is there then, a "GREATEST SIN"?...
The answer is - YES.
However it is not revealed as a statement or a "law"in a physical or legal sense. Ironically, we must look beyond the legality of the law to find what God sees as the greatest sin illustrated by the law. As is the case in so many true realities, the answer to the physical is found in the spiritual. As with all "sins", it began in the Garden of Eden, and "that tree" (Genesis 2:15-18; 3:1-6). Most often we immediately conclude that Eve and Adam were disobedient to God's command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And this is certainly true. However, lets us "reverse engineer" this account, and look a little deeper into what has occurred. The serpent was definitely tempting and deceptive and lied. When Eve answered the serpent's question about what God had said, SHE LIED - she added to what God had said. We would say today that she only exaggerated what God had said. But it WAS a lie. This "adding to" what God had said was really the SECOND "sin", and this sin of adding to God's words is considered very grave by God - so much so that Jesus gives a warning to all who handles the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19). Eating of the fruit of the tree was the THIRD.
It was all disobedience, but what was the FIRST and the "greatest" sin in the Garden of Eden...?
This led Eve and Adam into disobedience, and all disobedience is "SIN", but disobedience is only A RESULT - UNBELIEF is the cause!
If only they had BELIEVED GOD...!
We see this truth all through the pages of the Bible. Israel did not BELIEVE God, and it prevented them from entering the promised land (Numbers 14:1-11). Unbelief is also the reason Moses could not enter the promised land - ever (Numbers 20:12)! He did not enter because he struck the rock; he struck the rock because he did not believe God, and this unbelief kept him from entering. After all the years of being the friend of God, and suffering in Egypt, and all the years of wandering, the sin of unbelief kept him from finally crossing the Jordan with Israel.
Unbelief - the "GREATEST SIN"!
Unbelief causes lack of trust, and lack of trust by Christians cuts us off from God's assurance, and leads to apprehensions and worries, and a plethora difficulties in our walk with Jesus.
Someone has said that there is ONLY one sin that keep us out of the Kingdom of God - UNBELIEF! Unbelief stops all processes in their tracks, cuts off all help, and isolates us from God. Without belief, God will not and cannot act. He will not compromise His holiness by honoring unbelief! Most of the world is wallowing in unbelief. The Bible witnesses that they are "willingly ignorant". They have chosen NOT to believe God the Father's witness of His Son Jesus the Christ - that He has paid the penalty of all their sin - but THEY MUST BELIEVE this, and turn from their unbelief.
Some have said they WANT to believe, but they just can't. If you WANT to believe, it is most likely that you CAN believe in Jesus Christ. There is an apparent example in the Bible of one who felt the same and he said: "...Lord, I believe; help my UNBELIEF!" (Mark 9:24)
I pray - I implore you, that you BELIEVE today...and no longer live in UNBELIEF - the GREATEST SIN...
Continued unbelief will cut you off from eternal life - by believing, you can have life everlasting.
"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life"- John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)
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