Some years ago in a city in Illinois, my wife and I went to try out a new restaurant. We were seated at a booth with clean napkins and silverware on the table. The waitress gave us menus and brought us a couple glasses of water. Just then a cockroach crawled out from under one of those clean napkins. The waitress reached over and squashed that cockroach with her thumb and then wiped her thumb on her clean apron. I looked across the table at the horrified look on my wife*s face and I said: We aren*t going to eat here are we? I don*t think I ever saw my wife move as fast as she did to get out of that restaurant before or after that. It is a little humorous to remember an experience like that but it was certainly not funny at the time. The way my wife felt about that cockroach is much the way that the Lord feels about our sin. Cockroaches can carry about germs that can make us sick or kill us and sin can make us sick or kill us. God hates it. He hates it because of the harm it can do to us and because He loves us. Sin can do more damage than cockroaches. We should hate our own sin more than we hate cockroaches. We should also hate the sin of those we love because of the harm it can do them. The apostle Paul hated his sin.
Romans 7:15: For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
It would be helpful to us if we hated our own sin the way most of us hate cockroaches and the way Paul hated his sin.
If we have had a desire in our hearts to commit sins we have already committed them in our hearts. If we offend in one point we are guilty of all.
Matthew 5:28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
James 2:10: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Paul lists some sins that we are all capable of and then lists some of the fruit of the Spirit. Keep in mind that if there are any sins in the list that we have not committed, we only missed them because the Holy Spirit restrained us from committing them. We sin to the extent that we are able.
Jeremiah 3:5: Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.
Galatians 5:19-21a: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, . . .
Compare those things with the fruit of the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22-23a: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: . . .
Quite a difference, isn*t there? Praise the Lord, He wants to forgive our sin, help us to stop committing it and replace it with the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Just as the waitress killed that bug, we should desire to mortify (kill) our sin. If we don*t want to kill it, the Lord has more work to do on our consciences.
Colossians 3:5: Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: