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Lowell Brueckner

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Is Falling into Sin Normal?


 Some people would have you think that falling into sin is normal. I have read comments, such as those listed below, a number of times and I just came across this list this morning:

“None of the people in the Bible were perfect, yet God used them.

1.      Moses was a murderer.

2.      David was an adulterer and schemed to kill the husband in battle.

3.      Abraham was a liar.

4.      Jacob was a deceiver.

5.      Samson was a fornicator.

6.      Solomon worshipped other gods, married many women and kept concubines.”

Usually, these kind of statements are made by people who are trying to justify a shady lifestyle. They are misleading and really show ignorance of the Bible accounts and certainly ignorance of the ways of Christ. We’d better look at the rest of the stories mentioned:

1.      Moses… It is debatable whether Moses’ intervention on behalf of a fellow Israelite, who was being severely beaten (perhaps to death) by an Egyptian slave driver, would be considered murder in the culture of those days, although it certainly got him into big trouble with the Egyptians. Nevertheless, Moses received a “sentence” of 40 years in the desert, caring for his father-in-law’s sheep. After going through that “correctional institution” he was ready to be used of God.

2.      David… The Bible makes it very clear that David was to be plagued and his family would bring him grief for the rest of his life, because of his adultery and murder. Afterwards, one of his daughters was raped. His son, Amnon, was murdered by another son, Absalom. Later, Absalom plotted against his father, usurped his throne, and made an attempt on David’s life. Nevertheless, David loved Absalom and was grief-stricken when he was killed. Another son, Adonijah, was killed by his son, Solomon, David’s successor. From the Bathsheba incident on, David’s kingdom never shown as brightly as it did before.

3.      Abraham… did not lie to Pharaoh or to Abimelech about his wife Sarah. He later clarified his relationship to Abimelech: “She actually is my sister and the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.” (The law concerning marriages between close relatives was not given until centuries later.)

4.      Jacob… was a deceiver. No doubt about it, that was the meaning of his name, but that characteristic was manifested before his encounter with God at Bethel. There is no evidence that God was his God at that point. At Bethel, God revealed Himself to Jacob as the God of Abraham and Isaac, but not Jacob. His deceiving nature caused him much grief over 20 years of his life with his deceitful uncle Laban. At Peniel (the face of God), Jacob had another encounter with God and his name was changed to Israel, no longer a deceiver.

5.      Samson… was a fornicator and that sin eventually cost him both his eyes. From that point on, he was useless for God and a slave of the Philistines, until the last moment of his life, when he died with the Philistines, as God judged them and him. However, God’s mercy and restoring power was evident towards Samson in that last act.

6.      Solomon… was not used of God during the time that he took on many wives and concubines. He blindly followed foreign wives into idolatry. When his eyes were opened and he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, he discovered that all that he experienced, when he strayed from God, was emptiness and vanity.  

There are no accounts of these kind of failures among the leadership in the New Testament, especially after Pentecost. The Apostle John taught that everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself” (1 John 3:3). He is referring to the hope of being with Christ in heaven. The doctrine of holiness is an essential New Testament doctrine and towards that end the sinner is born again and receives a godly nature. Without that, “No one will see the Lord.” No, the Christian is not perfect, but through the new nature, he strives against sin.

The New Testament doctrine is taught clearly by Paul in Romans 6: “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? God forbid! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?... So consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus… For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? God forbid!

The Apostle John defines the Christian life in his first epistle, providing us the opportunity to judge whether or not we are born of God. Here is his conclusion concerning true conversion and new birth: “You know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him… You know that He appeared in order to take away sins: no one who sins has seen Him or known Him… The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil…”

Sin has ruined the lives of many a preacher and made him useless for God’s service. Let there be no mistake about it, God does not take sin lightly; He has zero tolerance for it and the person who makes provision for the flesh is in for a huge spiritual catastrophe down the road.


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