THE ATTITUDE OF JESUS TOWARD SIN.
Much is said about dispositions and attitudes. Attitudes are very important because attitudes determine conduct. Our conduct is certainly important because our eternal destiny is determined by conduct.
Many people represent Christ as meek and lowly but fail to show other aspects of his character. They seem to think that Jesus Christ was a "softsoaping" compro- miser. Although Jesus was indeed meek and lowly, His attitude toward sin was not one of compromise and weakness. Let us now consider the attitude of Jesus toward sin.
JESUS RESISTED EVIL.
In Matt. 4:1-11 there is a record of the temptation of Jesus by the devil. On each of the three specific counts mentioned Jesus replied by saying, "It is written." He resisted temptation by appealing to the Word of God. We learn from Heb. 4:15 that He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." On one occasion when Jesus found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money, He showed His displeasure by making a scourge of small cords and driving them all out of the temple. He "poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables." He said: "Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." (See Jno. 2:13-17). We should "resist the devil" and be will flee from us. (See Jas. 4:7). Our resistance to the devil should be "steadfast in the faith." (See 1 Pet. 5:8,9). Yes, Jesus not only did not engage in evil, but He openly and vigorously resisted sin!
ANGERED BECAUSE OF SIN.
"And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath day, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." (Mk. 3:1-6). Observe the fact that Jesus "LOOKED ROUND ABOUT ON THEM WITH ANGER, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts." His soul was stirred to righteous indignation by sin. He hated sin! We learn from Prov. 13:5 that "a righteous man hateth lying..." Israel of old was commanded to "hate the evil, and love the good..." (Amos 5:15). The psalmist said in Psa. 119:113 "I hate vain thoughts..." and in Psa. 119:104 he said: "Through thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way..." We learn from Eph. 4:26 that we should not sin although we may become angry. There may be times when we would do well to be angered because of sin, but we may mistake the times.
JESUS CONDEMNED SIN.
In Matt. 26:24 Jesus said, "...woe unto that many by whom the Son of man is betrayed..." Luke tells us in 17:1,2 that Jesus condemned those who would cause others to sin. In Lk. 17:3 Jesus said: "...If thy brother trespass against thee rebuke him..." We read in Jno. 8:34 that Jesus said: "...whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." In Gal. 2:11-14 the apostle Paul condemned the sin of hypocrisy although it was practiced by the apostle Peter. We read in Mk. 6:17 where John condemned adultery although it was practiced by Herod. Surely, to follow Jesus, we, too, must condemn sin!
JESUS DENOUNCED SINNERS.
Jesus hated sham and hypocrisy in religion. He fearlessly denounced the Scribes and Pharisees because of their sins. (See Mk. 7:1- 13 and Matt. 23). He pronounced "woes" upon them and denounced them as hypocrites. He even said unto them: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matt. 23:33). If we would do our duty, we will endeavor first to be right ourselves and then condemn sin and denounce sinners as did Jesus. (See Matt. 7:5; Rom. 2:1,21).
WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE?
Really, dear reader, what is YOUR attitude toward sin? Do you sincerely strive to RESIST EVIL? Are you ANGERED because of sin and do you really HATE EVERY FALSE WAY? Are you willing to condemn sin and denounce sinners, and support and encourage those who do? Or do you walk easy and tread lightly and not get "involved" when sin is prevalent and needs your attention? Do you compromise the truth by "justifying the wicked" and "condemning the righteous?" If your attitude toward sin is not like the Saviour's, then do not be hypocritical by claiming to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. YOU shall recieve a "just recompense of reward."
By: Carrol R. Sutton, in The Instructor, Vol. 6, No. 7 July 1969.
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