Journal Ps 35-36 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.” Ps 36:1-2
Observation: It is good to identify a truism from His Word; something that you can hang your hat upon in full confidence.
Analysis: There are discussions going on everywhere about “nurture or nature.” It is even infecting the Church and negating (believe it or not) the power of the Gospel.
Preaching the Gospel to myself is remembering AND acknowledging a key tenant: “ALL have sinned; ALL fall short…” (Ro 3:23). Confession: I tried to write Ro 3:23 from memory and I made a significant mistake. I wrote “all have fallen short” as if it was a progression from not-sin (innocent of sin) to sin: I became sinful through a series of age-related issues from an innocent state. Not so. The Gospel starts from Man being fallen as an incontrovertible/undeniable/irrefutable character issue. As the offspring of Adam, Man is sinful and needs salvation/redemption.
Knowing then that ALL MANKIND is sinful, we are confidently able to declare that ALL MANKIND, wicked as they are, undeniably knows that they are transgressing before the Most High God.
So, the next time I ask myself, “I wonder if they know that that is sin?” when they act immorally, dress provocatively, curse, engage in sinful relations, or just act unkindly, uncharitably etc. etc., the answer is indisputably “Yes.”
I can’t let myself off the hook either. Looking at the Man in the Mirror, the Spirit speaks to my own heart, pointing out where I fall short—and I can be too eager to toss it away in the noise of my own mind, saying, “No one will know; I can’t be found out.” Be quick to confess it to God right there, right then, and determine to repent.
Prayer: Father, the truism stands and is part and parcel of Your Gospel. Forgive me that I too quickly toss it to the side and try to rationalize my behavior because I try to talk over Your Voice and say, “I can’t be found out; my sin was in my mind or was in private.”
I have faith and confidence in your Love for me; my desire is to please You in everything that I do even though I know and am increasingly aware of the war within me. Help me walk worthy of the Gospel, Lord Jesus.
Ricky Two Shoes