1 John 3:4 - Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
The essence of sin is man’s transgression of the commands of God. To sin is to violate His holy standards. It is disobeying or not conforming to God's law in any way. But let me also say that the impetus of sin is selfishness. Can you think of a sin that doesn’t involve an “I want?” Think about it….
- Pride? This is the motive of sin in us. Flesh wants what it wants.
- Lust? This is to unlawfully want what we want.
- Jealousy/Envy? “You can’t have that; I want it.”
- Murder? "I want to kill you." Or maybe… “It’s not convenient for me for you to live.”
- Lying? Self-preservation, aggrandizement, or advancement.
- Idolatry? That when we decide to worship gods we are more comfortable with.
- Not giving God one day in seven? That's about our schedules, our leisure, and our comfort.
- Greed? Again, that says, "more for me."
- Disobeying parents? Again, about how we feel and what we want.
So then sin, at it’s core, is about us, not Christ.
In fact, the spirit of the age is humanism. You could call it self-ism. So if this is true….
Then why do so many churches and preachers foster this attitude with ear-scratching (2 Tim 4:3)? Why are so many books about what we can get from God? Why are so many programs offered for spiritual consumers? When the church becomes about man and man’s desires, it actually flows with a sinful paradigm. Look at church marketing. Look at our ads. "Best church in such and such city!" "Awesome youth ministry!" I know I've done this too. :(
Great care must be taken to keep the focus on Christ and every mindset God-ward. For so many, it’s not “let’s go worship;” it’s “let me go get my blessing.” Me. My wants. My felt needs. My desires. What I’m comfortable with. What is best for me.
This destruction (that we cultivate!!!) manifests in other ways, then we wonder why “Christians” say and do stuff like this:
“I don’t want to be married. I don’t want to be a parent. This church isn’t meeting my needs. I ain’t forgiving anybody! Forget this I’m out. I’m not giving. I’m not serving. Their choir is better. I don't 'feel led' to evangelize.” Etc.
God’s Word is perfect. All that is needed for our healing is there…it just doesn’t look like it to modern eyes sometimes. I wonder if we don’t preach the whole counsel of God because if we did, we know people would leave for blessings and breakthroughs. We’ve fostered a massive, sinful attitude of Christian selfishness for decades. We are so blanketed with it we can't always see it. And we are paying a price right now.
The prophetic voice reminds us to crucifiy self and sinful desires, and find our ultimate blessings and security in Christ and His finished work alone.
2 Timothy 3:1-2 ESV - But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. (2) For people will be lovers of self…