Excuses won’t expunge sin

Children sometimes say the most interesting things. Their excuses/explanations for disobedience (not doing what they've been told or doing what they've been told not to do) can often turn anger into laughter, which can be good, although the disobedience still has to be dealt with (Proverbs 17:22).

Sometimes the excuse comes from innocence. For example, it was recently stated at our dinner table, "I can't eat my vegetables because my fork will get dirty." Apparently, the child wanted to save us the trouble of washing another dish. Nice try, but we run two full sets of flatware through the dishwasher about every other day.

Sometimes they're rather childish as in the Old Testament when Aaron said he threw the gold into the fire and out came the calf (Exodus 32:21-24). How miraculous!

Sometimes, the excuse is the basis for continued intentional disobedience. For an actual example using another child at our dinner table, "Burp. Excuse me. Burp. Excuse me." In that case, rather than asking forgiveness for the burp, that youngster was demanding permission for the next one because the burps were intentional and giggling was involved.

In a Biblical example, Saul claimed good intentions for saving some animals for a sacrifice to God that God had told him to utterly destroy (1 Samuel 15:1-15). But, that didn't make it okay (Romans 3:8; 6:1, 2). While it's not the focus of this article, God doesn't want us doing anything we think good that causes us to disobey him (1 Samuel 15:22, 23).

The point of this article is that our excuses will not get us off the hook for our sin.

An acceptable Biblical excuse was given when Abimelech planned to take Sarah as his wife because she was beautiful and Abraham had said she was his sister (Genesis 20:1-7). It seems God actually protected Abimelech from sinning because he recognized God's sovereignty and it was his intent to maintain a clear conscience and clean hands rather than sin. In a similar scenario, Pharaoh, on the other hand, didn't consider God's will and took Sarah as his wife, which led to severe problems (Genesis 12:10-20).

Problems come now and for eternity for those who don't obey God (Romans 1:18-20; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10). There's no excuse for sin because God has provided the means of forgiveness for past sins and power (faith) to prevent future sin (Acts 17:30, 31; Romans 1:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

If we take advantage of Jesus' death to pay for our sins, we'll be excused from those sins and stand justified in God's presence (Romans 6:23, 3-5; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Peter 3:14; Philippians 2:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

When we've submitted to Jesus in baptism, he cleanses us with his blood [Hebrews 5:8, 9; 9:14; 1 Peter 3:21 (New American Standard Bible); Colossians 2:11, 12; Acts 2:38, 39; 22:16]. Then, when God looks at us, he sees Jesus' blood and passes over us instead of punishing us (Hebrews

9:22; 1 Peter 1:18-22; 1 John 1:7; Exodus 12:13; Romans 5:9).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net

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