February 26, 2018

Topic Day|Sin

Promise Choosers: Choose Wisely

Romans 3:13–23

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13   “Their throat is an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
  “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14     “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15   “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     in their paths are ruin and misery,
17   and the way of peace they have not known.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being1 will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Footnotes

[1] 3:20 Greek flesh

In Context:

8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. 9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

Promise Choosers: Choose Wisely



Bio | Danay Robinson

Good day, Journeyers! 

My name is Danay, and it is a joy to be a part of the Watermark community in Plano! One true thing about me is that I love thick, well-thought-out stories that move my spirit, and today happens to be National Tell-a-Fairy-Tale Day! What I love about fairy tales is that they are known for being absurd. I can fully enjoy them because I know they are unreal. If I didn't identify fairy tales as false, I would blur reality, question truth, and stunt my growth. This reminds me of the promises of sin.  

Central Truth

Sin is often belittled and overlooked as minor, but the Word would beg to differ. Sin promises destruction, and our challenge is to see sin for what it is—not for the false promises every sin has to offer. Believe in the promises the Lord has and live. 

Devotional | Sin

I once read an article about a woman who fell asleep on a plane and woke up to a man violating her. She and a witness reported the perpetrator. As the perpetrator was being arrested, he screamed, "It's not...

I once read an article about a woman who fell asleep on a plane and woke up to a man violating her. She and a witness reported the perpetrator. As the perpetrator was being arrested, he screamed, "It's not that big of a deal!"

You and I would agree that the offense was a big deal, and the victim certainly would, too. Unfortunately, I believe you and I also have a tendency to misunderstand the weight of our own offenses. When I read the article, I immediately thought of how often I offend the Lord. When convicted, I am quick to pout in my spirit and say it's "no big deal."

All sin propels us toward broken relationships, uproots our joy (Psalm 38:3), deludes the heart (Isaiah 44:20), and, most importantly, offends our gracious Lord (Isaiah 43:24). Romans 3:16-17 states that when we are under the power of sin, we are marked by ruin and misery, and the way of peace is unknown. Scripture is clear. Sin promises destruction and is, therefore, a very big deal.

The problem is that when we sin, we believe the false promise our sin of choice offers over the promise of destruction Scripture has laid out for us. The untrue promise I battle daily is this: If I get angry enough, I can control other people's behavior. Instead of that promise proving true, I have seen the real promise of anger: The destruction of unity, joy, grace, and peace within my spirit and in my relationships.

Praise Him that we are not left as orphans! God, too, holds a promise. God promises that He has set us free from every sin (Acts 13:39), that He will finish what He started (Philippians 1:6), and that He will present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy (Jude 1:24). This is why we worship!

Sin is crouching at our doors desiring to own us. Let's rule over it instead! Identify the false promises of your sin. Then, confess, pray, and fight. Hold faithfully to the Lord's promises, and life will be your victor's crown.

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. We all believe a false promise that sin offers. What is the false promise you believe?

2. Who can you pull in to help remind you of the truth of God's Word and the promises of freedom from sin? 

3. What steps can you take to uproot the false promises and plant the true promises in their place?

14 Comments available

Kristi Lichtenberg 9 months ago
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My story is so similar to Denise Hubbard. I thought keeping the rules would prevent suffering, so when pain came, I became resentful and justified doing life on my own terms. The consequences of my sin has been so much more painful and long-lasting than that of others.

Chris Moseley 9 months ago

Good Join the Journey today. Thanks Danay!

For me it is believing that worry does good. As Todd W says, worrying is believing God is not going to get it right. Worrying is also not trusting in God. Often times I don’t think my problems are big enough for God to worry about, even though I do know he cares. community. regen people. lots of online resources/messages like Right Now Media. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Take every thought captive. Turn it all over to God. And meditate on verses like these: Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 6:34

Lisa Olsen 9 months ago

Thank you, Danay! Sadly, I have found myself many times throughout my life brushing off the seriousness of sin so that I could indulge in what I wanted. To make myself feel better when the guilt came, I recited and believed the ever common lie…”I won’t do it anymore after this time,” which ushered me into the world of addiction. It would be years and years before I would be free. But by the grace of God, I am now free! It certainly did take a toll on my heart…no peace, no joy, lots of guilt and shame. I am thankful to be free from that particular bondage, but even more thankful that my salvation was given to me as a gift when God gave me the grace to receive Christ as my Savior!

Denise Hubbard 9 months ago

Wow Danay! You couldn’t have pegged me better if we were sisters…you mean my anger doesn’t change other people?!? I thought I had the RIGHT to be mad, angry, and resentful regarding other’s behavior when it crosses my lines. Thank you for calling it what it is: sin. I also believed the lie that if you followed all of “the rules”…graduate high school, go to college, don’t drink, smoke or do drugs, save yourself for marriage, marry a Christian man, that God would reward that by preventing bad things from happening to you. After my third miscarriage I was very angry with God for a long time. What I learned was that life happens and I can either be mad about it didn’t or trust that God still loves me and has my best interest in mind (Romans 8:28). Thank you for such a powerful devotion this morning!

Scott Jones 9 months ago

Danay - so great to see you this morning! Great devo. I’ve heard Todd say that all sin is rooted in the bellies that God is not good. We excuse ourselves with the belief that somehow in this instance God got it wrong - so we light our own torches. In Romans 1-7 For You, Timothy Keller observes: “Condemning others while excusing ourselves is what allows us to hang onto both our self-righteousness and our sin.” Indeed, my self-righteousness is a false promise that easily entangles me.

Jennifer Borgne 9 months ago

“The problem is that when we sin, we believe the false promise our sin of choice offers over the promise of destruction Scripture has laid out for us. The untrue promise I battle daily is this: If I get angry enough, I can control other people’s behavior. Instead of that promise proving true, I have seen the real promise of anger: The destruction of unity, joy, grace, and peace within my spirit and in my relationships.” BOOM! This was a “me too!” moment… Now continuing the train of prayer to include what OTHER lies/false promises am I operating in/on over the TRUTH His word offers. Danay, so grateful for your entry today.

greg jones 9 months ago

Sin is a big deal, well said today. Grace is always a bigger deal but it is best realized in contrast to sin. When you see your sin as no big deal you tend to see God’s grace as no big deal. Living life with great big grace toward a fallen world while knowing we are apart of that fall takes faith. The world witnessing a life lived will never be confused with a fairytale. Thanks for bringing that to light today, spellcheck doesn’t like your name this way. I type “Danay” it types Danny, your way with a devotional is uncanny.

Sorry about the rhyme, had a mind wander moment.

Michael Scaman 9 months ago

Luke 19:41–42 “… if you only knew the things made for peace…” They didn’t but probably thought they did.

No one will be justified by the works of the law … but stepping back the first use of the word ‘law’ in the Bible and only use in Genesis makes you scratch your head.

In Gen 26:5, God told Isaac his father Abraham listened to God’s voice (in some sense and kept God’s law. God even used terms for Abraham that Moses would use of receiving the law) - problem the law of Moses didn’t exist yet. Somehow satisfied? somehow fulfilled? In spirit?

Moses being inspired to add the details of Gen 15:6 and Gen 26:5 suggest Abraham had a righteousness apart from what was handed down through Moses. That jumps off the page needing some explanation

Ronnie Oldfield 9 months ago

Dynamite Devo Danay, So easy to use anger thinking it is an emotion when mostly it is a vicious weapon. Thank you for pointing us to this truth. I struggle with gauging the breadth, length height, depth of Jesus love for me. Neil’s comment helps me see how this struggle opens doors to sin struggles. Thank you both.

Lindsey Driscoll 9 months ago

Danay, oh my dear friend. You are so committed to drawing out the sin in your life, thank you for the example today of anger and reminding us of the false promises we see in sin. Q1- I too believe the lie that anger will change a situation. Maybe my husband and coworkers will totally see things my way, or start doing what is right, if clearly frustrated. Oh what a palm to forehead moment. I tend to go to bitter mouth (3:14) instead of silent mouth with accountability to God for my thoughts. (3:19) In my heart the Holy Spirit convicts me to repent of sin, make amends, and become someone who knows the way of peace. (3:17) I’m praying over identifying the sin that will pop up in my heart and mind today that will look like a good promise.

Sue Bohlin 9 months ago

Danaaaaaaay! So, so great to see your face on JTJ today! As soon as I saw that you were writing today’s devo on sin, I nodded and thought, “Nothing like a girl passionate about jail ministry to have a realistic perspective on sin!” And then I thought, The only reason I’m not in jail for my sins is the grace of God. The people in jumpsuits just got caught.

I wish sin would wear the "I’m kind of a big deal " t-shirt to remind us of what is true. It’s SO easy to dismiss our own sin like the perp on the plane, right?! But it is. And it’s destructive. As one of my wise friends says, “Every time we sin, something dies.”

It IS a big deal. https://www.textualtees.com/products/im-kind-of-a-big-deal-t-shirt?variant=29518913485

Hugh Stephenson 9 months ago

Well done Danay. False promises indeed. One of my main ones is that if I work hard enough & make enough money that I will be happy and have peace, (Psalm 127:2).

Romans reminds me that only righteousness gives me happiness and peace. My path to righteousness is to strive to know God more fully each day, experience more fully who Jesus is & why He came, and to serve others selflessly.

Awhile back I read an article in the NY Times called “Happiness 101”. In this article the psychological world discusses what Jesus has already taught us – The big difference is between the pleasure which comes from self-serving sin and the happiness that comes from selfless service.

Strangely, but perhaps not, I feel most uplifted when I have been able to serve someone but tell no one about it. It seems that keeps my pride at bay.

Hope Harris 9 months ago

Since Romans 1, Paul has shown us the desperate condition of humanity. He describes the fact of universal and intense sinfulness and guilt. He is moving us to the divine remedy.

William Barclay says this: “Paul is insisting that nothing we can ever do can win for us the forgiveness of God; only what God has done for us can win that; the way to a right relationship with God lies, not in a frenzied, desperate, doomed attempt to win acquittal by our performance; it lies in the humble, penitent acceptance of the love and the grace which God offers us in Jesus Christ.”

Neil Curran 9 months ago

Even as Christians we sin to try and fulfill felt needs for significance and security, something only the love of Jesus Christ can fully provide. When tempted to give into our feelings we need to remember and lean on the truth…the total sufficiency of Christ to meet all our needs. Do I desire to feel valued? Sure. The King of Kings, the most important person who ever lived, gave his life to save mine. He is my ransom. In his eyes I am worth everything. Am I secure? Sure. Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God. I am eternally secure and I have assurance through Jesus. Any other ways I try and satisfy my feelings fall far short and lead to broken relationships, loss of joy, blocks truth and offends my Lord. When we remember to obey him the very feelings we long for follow our obedience.

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