Echoes From the Campfire

Without duty, life don’t make any kind of sense.  If folks are going to live together they have to abide by some kind of rules, and the law is those rules.  The law doesn’t work against a man, it works for him.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Catlow)

    “Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be”
              –1 Thessalonians 5:22 (Amplified)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:   “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  –1 John 5:19 (NASB)

    To start with I want to look again at the verse I finished with on Monday.  

         “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
                   –1 John 2:1-2 (NASB)

There is so much involved in these two verses but I want to deal with a few things to help us along the way.  To help us when we are faced with the issues of the day.  Right here, John sees the danger and knows the frailty of human nature.  He sees man in his complacency, he sees him in his hopelessness, he sees him when he compromises and when he is depressed.  He doesn’t want us to sin, but if we do, “children,” we can go to the Advocate–Jesus Christ.
    John wants to give us a message in these troublesome times.  When the world is topsy-turvy and terror abounds.  He gives a command, yet at the same time he gives comfort.  He exhorts us, and also gives us consolation.  There are two parts here:  what we have to do; and what God is always ready to do for us.
    Here is the answer!  Never forget it!  Never lose sight of it!  The answer is the Word.  The Word defines sin for us:  disobedience to God’s revealed law; anything that is condemned in the Bible; disobeying conscience; and governing our lives by desires and not by truth.

         “To live a life of sin means that we are not governed by God, that thoughts of God are not at the center of our lives, that we do not ask ourselves, ‘What would God have me to do, what does God prohibit?”
                   –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Do not sin, but do the will of God.  What is it that we are to do?  I always like the Shorter Westminster Catechism, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
    Sin breaks our fellowship, our relationship with God.  People clamor for relationship, but sin breaks that relationship.  God tells us not to sin, for it is abhorrent to Him.  Sin is what caused the death and suffering of Jesus; it was sin that brought God down from heaven.  Sin is dishonoring to the gospel, to its claims, and its power.  Sin is inconsistent with our profession as a Christian–if people continue to sin they deny what they profess to believe; they are inconsistent and self-contradictory.  Sin will lead to doubts; it will make you feel uncertain of your relationship to God; it will make you feel that you have no right to pray.  Sin will lead to a sense of utter hopelessness.
    Ahh, but now go back to the verse above.  We have an “Advocate.”  Someone to stand in our place in front of the Father.  Someone who came to bear our sins.  Someone who paid the price–the propitiation.  That Person is Jesus Christ.  Little children, do not sin.