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Seven Deadly Sins

Seven Deadly Sins – What are the Deadly Seven?
The Seven Deadly Sins, when mentioned, conjure up ancient tales of dark deeds and dark characters, like Faustus and Mephistopheles. Dr. Faustus supposedly sold his soul to the devil, the evil Mephistopheles and, in so doing, made himself prey to all types of corruption and degradation. In his descent into wickedness, the ruined Faustus committed all of these deadly sins: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth. These sins were considered deadly because they led Faustus, or any man or woman who would commit them onto a path from which there was no return.

The characteristics that are considered to be the seven deadly sins can be described this way: Pride is the exaggerated opinion of one’s worth in comparison to God and others and a willful oblivion to one’s flaws. Envy is the unhealthy longing for the possessions, abilities, or status of another. Gluttony is excessive indulgence in the pleasures of food and drink. Lust is extreme desire for sexual and sensual gratification. Anger is manifested by fits of wrath and rage due to intolerance of others. Greed is an insatiable desire to acquire material goods. Sloth is an almost pathological laziness which hinders productivity and good health. Anyone possessing some of these vices was considered evil; anyone who possessed all of them was utterly doomed.

Seven Deadly Sins – What is sin?
By using the words “seven deadly sins,” it suggests that there are serious character flaws which may exist in a man and that the deeds which are produced as a result of these flaws have fatal consequences. All death is a type of separation; spiritual death is separation from God. The Bible indicates that sin ends in death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

James, the brother of Jesus said it this way, “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15).

But what exactly is sin? While there are many definitions of sin, the broadest and most accurate definition of sin is found in 1 John 5:17: “All wrongdoing is sin...” In other words, all unrighteousness is considered sin. And how can we know what is considered wrong? The Bible has clearly and emphatically indicated that which is not right; God's laws and standards are very specific, showing us His utter and complete holiness. Anything, even the most minor infraction of the law is an affront to the holy God, and is therefore sin.

In Romans, Paul indicates that the Gospel or Good News reveals the righteousness of God: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed...” (Romans 1:16-17).

How is the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel? The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again; Jesus paid the price. Jesus paid this price by being brutalized and massacred in ignominy on a cross. This painful and humiliating death showed us God’s attitude towards sin.

Seven Deadly Sins – What makes any sin deadly?
The Seven Deadly Sins as set forth in literature -- pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth -- are by no means an exhaustive list of sins. We have already established that all unrighteousness is sin, but the book of Proverbs also lists seven things that God hates: “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19) Yes, God has indicated that these are things that he despises and that every wrong is sin -- but He has also provided a remedy:

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

God has promised to make us pure and white and whole; this cleansing and purification was provided through His Son, Jesus Christ. There was no contribution from man. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). All we need to do is believe that Christ died for us and accept Him as Savior and Lord.

If God has provided a remedy for sin, how can it be deadly? The deadliness of sin was erased through the death of Christ and the shedding of His blood. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to earth for the express purpose of accomplishing this. However, if we do not believe and accept what God has offered, than any sin we commit will be deadly. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son” (John 3:16-18).

“Father, I come humbly, as a little child, asking you to forgive my sins. I know that your Son Jesus Christ died in agony at Calvary that I may be saved from my sins. I know that He died and rose again. Help me to always remember the suffering our Lord did on the Cross. May I live a life of victory pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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