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Delighting in Sin — 43 Comments

  1. I agree with your post as it relates to those who are not professed christians. It is a different story and very fine balance of not looking at others sins that are professed christians and our duty to follow Probvers 27:5 and 2 Tim 3:16 in LOVE for sin you thru Gods grace have gained the victory over.
    Though Hams curse is probably the basis for why the bible states not to rebuke an elder in 1 Tim 5:1.

    Amen!(2)
    • Kristen, was your question below directed to me or to Stephen? (There's a technical issue that doesn't allow me to reply on that thread.)

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      • You however both of you may reply i would be interested to hear his take on the question as well. Thanks

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        • Oh, I see. I do see the person delighting in my sin as one in need as a Savior. I don't actively try to 'do' anything to win that person over to Christ. I don't trust myself to do or say the right thing. I just pray to my Father for that person and I ask my Father to do something about my anger toward that person. I know I'm supposed to love my enemies (I'm not sure if I should consider this person my enemy or friend). I think that if God wants me to love my enemy it's God's responsibility to figure out how he's gonna get me to love my enemy. I do want to love my enemy, but I have no idea how to do that. Regarding counseling, I wouldn't want a third person mediator in this situation and I have tried to talk to this particular person but she doesn't seem to be very good at listening, so since I am angry I think it's best if I say nothing to her. So I think my role in this person's life will be to pray for her, and I trust God so I know that He will allow both her and me to understand what we need to understand.

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          • Kaaramel, thank you for your candid reply. May I encourage you in this that God has equipped you to do his will. It's called forgiveness. Forgive that person and you will find your anger disappearing see them for the limitations that they have in their on spiritual walk in loving others the way Christ would have them. One reason we can't rebuke a non believer is found in 1 Corinthians 1:18 but as believers we should understand the meaning of the cross and God calling us out of darkness into His marvelous light to Glorify Him. We glorify Him when we forgive those who wrong us. You and that person will be in my prayers. God bless.

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        • Thanks Kristen. I understand what you are saying. But even the power to forgive those who have wronged us come from God. I won't actively try to do anything. If I try to 'do' I will be acting in my own righteousness, and my righteousness is like filthy rags. I am confident in the fact that God knows me. God knows that I long to be one with Him. I will pray and watch and wait for His power to work in and through me. Thank you for your prayers. I will pray for all believers.

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          • Kaaramel said:
            >> I won’t actively try to do anything.

            Kaaramel, here's what an inspired writer says:
            "We are to do all that we can do on our part to fight the good fight of faith. We are to wrestle, to labor, to strive, to agonize to enter in at the strait gate. We are to set the Lord ever before us. With clean hands, with pure hearts, we are to seek to honor God in all our ways. Help has been provided for us in Him who is mighty to save. The spirit of truth and light will quicken and renew us by its mysterious workings; for all our spiritual improvement comes from God, not from ourselves. The true worker will have divine power to aid him, but the idler will not be sustained by the Spirit of God." (Ellen G. White, Faith and Works, 48.1)

            The Bible agrees: "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12).

            May God bless you with knowledge unto salvation.

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  2. How convicting and timely! Thank you for sharing this inspired word. May God bless you as you seek to edify the believers.

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  3. Thank you for your message which I will be sharing with a few friends. How important it is to treat everyone with love instead of judgement.

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  4. I find this message so important. I dont know how to describe it but indeed but it is so telling! It reads like an insipiration-it talks to the inner man.

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  5. Thanks for that wonderful story and insight. I have once worked with a colleague who used to still from were he worked. One thing i learnt of him he never trusted anybody and was always suspicious of others. So a thief thinks all people to be thieves. God we all need your grace and mercies.

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  6. I recently offered a friend a place to stay while he was sorting out his MA registration with a local university. I had no expectation of him contributing towards living expences although he insisted, which I accepted. Problem is, he was the kind of Christian that would simply not practice his faith, or Christianity. He drank alcohol, could not keep his promises, and basically became burdensome. I found that eventually I could not pray freely, especially when he was drunk. I eventually asked him to leave. But I feel like Ham, because for all the problems he may have had, I looked at how I was affected, and did not consider his struggles.

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    • My name is Albert I am also putting some one up while they sort them selves out don't beat yourself up over this situation you can't be all things to everyone only Jesus can so move on Christ now's your heart

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    • Xolani,
      I pray that you don't beat yourself about the matter, because you tried to help the person by taking him in and assisting him. The person chose to live that particular lifestyle, and exhibited that type of behavior in your presence and in your home. Therefore he reaped the consequences of his own actions. God commands us to give a person a glass of water to drink if they need it, but you don't have to live with them. I think you can move on, and focus on today's blessings and situation, and as Paul says forget about the past, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14.
      Many blessings to you.

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  7. We must thank God for loving us so much.if we all have to look back en remember what the Lord has done.Only God can cover our nakedness because we all naked in different way.Maranatha

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  8. Thanks for this eye opener. Often times we are quick to point out the sins of others while keeping ours covered up.

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  9. This is indeed a mini sermon, a very timely one. Many of us professing christians do the same, sometimes with good intentions, hoping that someone will speak to the erring/offending person but the outcome is usually worse than anticipated and leaves the erring one badly hurt. If we notice flaws in another we should take the initiative to approach that one with brotherly love and humility to help affect a positive change/resolution.
    We should not think that we are so strong as to overlord on that person because as Paul tells us, we should be careful lest we ourselves fall.
    Good work; may God bless you abundantly so that you continue under His inspiration to post such great insights.

    Amen!(0)
  10. Drinking alcohol is (not) a sin. Drunkenness is.

    Deut 14

    26And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

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    • David, there is disagreement on what "strong drink" means. According to some sources, it is not necessarily an alcoholic drink. Thus that text does not prove that God recommended the drinking of alcoholic beverages.

      When we consider the effects of alcohol on the brain and the body, we are indeed sinning against God's laws for our bodies when we indulge in alcoholic beverages.

      The first area to be affected by alcohol is the area of the brain that scientists believe to be the center of judgment, which controls our moral behavior, among other things. As Christians, we believe that God communicates with us through our brains, and thus, with alcohol, we are obstructing God's means of communicating with us.

      And that's not even addressing the negative effects on our bodies which occur even with "moderate" social drinking, without ever getting drunk.

      Without the consumption of alcohol more than 100,000 lives a year would be saved in America alone. That should give us pause to think.

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    • David, if you reread my post, it was not about whether or not drinking alcohol was acceptable, but rather about how we should respond to the problems we notice others struggling with. If you have anything to add on that topic, we would love to hear it.

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  11. Pray for me i have a drinking problem you can sent me any prayers or Lessons to may above email.
    God bless.

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  12. Someone in my church has been doing exactly this tome for about two years! I couldn't put my finger on what it was about this person that troubled me until a few weeks ago. It was not that she said things that were incorrect, its that she was glorifying herself in my sin (and I often saw her do it to others), probably unintentionally but it still has a detrimental effect.

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  13. The word of God teaches that we must not see our brethren committing sin and say nothing or else thier blood will be required of us by God himself. We must tell them about it. While I agree that we must not use it as an occasion to sin ourselves, we do have a responsibility toward others to help them to be saved. God knew Ham's motive behind his statements. If they were pure no curse would have ensued.

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    • We should be cautious as to how we use scripture to justify our actions. Often times when we "tell" people about their sins we seldomly inquire of the Holy Spirit as to what to say. So it's WE that's doing the "telling" and not Christ in us. What's the point of " telling" to keep their blood off your shoulder, to justify that you've " done" what the Bible said or is it to see that person living victoriously and saved in the Kingdom? If our motives are the latter then our "telling" will be done prayerfully.
      Just saying......

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    • Actually, Laurel, the Bible says that Ezekiel is the watchman. Ezekiel was a prophet. He had a special calling. I would hesitate to set myself up as another Ezekiel. The Bible calls the devil the "accuser of the brethren." (See Revelation 12:10) I would think long and hard before I chose to begin the work of accusing others of their sins. That ground is very dangerous ground.

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      • Is there a difference between being an "accuser" and going to a brother or sister in love to tell them that we believe they're heading the wrong way?

        What about warning a driver that a bridge across a canyon is out just around the corner? Should we refrain from doing so because we are not part of the highway patrol?

        The post makes the point that gossiping is equivalent to "delighting in sin," and I agree. I believe that if we, in genuine love go directly to the person we see to be in error, we will be far less likely to gossip. Genuine Christ-like love implies that we would be willing to die for the person.

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        • Thank you for your comment, Inge. Where I see the problem is in the statement "when we believe they are headed the wrong way." We can cross the line when we presume to know God's will so perfectly that we try to become the Holy Spirit to someone else. For instance, if we were there, we could have felt that we were serving as a "watchman on the wall" by telling Salmon not to marry Rahab because the Bible tells Israelites not to marry Canaanites. Yet from that union ultimately came King David and also Jesus.

          In "Counsels on Sabbath School Work" we are reminded on page 48 that we are constantly liable to err, and in "Testimonies" volume 4, page 65 we are advised that we would be better to err on the side of mercy rather than intolerance. If I am prone to make mistakes, I had better be very careful before I enter into the work of correcting others. Better that I praise the good in others than that I set myself up to be seeking out their sins.

          Suppose we had gone to Salmon as in the above example, and he responded that he was convinced that what he was doing was right no matter what the Bible said about Israelites and Canaanites intermarrying. Would we then take it to the church board and seek he be censured or disfellowshipped? We would have been Biblically correct, but we would have been working directly against the purposes of God.

          And how effective would our efforts have been anyway? As Ellen White wrote, "No one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many have thus been driven from Christ and led to seal their hearts against conviction." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, page 129.

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          • Rebuking salmon according to how God designed would not have been working against God. You seem to think we box God in by doing so God would still end up bringing her into the church much like boaz and Ruth, Moses and Zephora remember it is God who straighten paths for those that are in Christ. We are to do as he instructs us to. It is not our jobs to damn anyone to hell however where there is instructions to give or rebuking to be done if we are in right relationship with that person seeking to help them it must be done.

            Amen!(1)
  14. Thanks for the postings, they are really edifying. Andrew, you are a great guy who many should strive to be, you are in my prayers. David, as much as it isn't sinful to drink alchol, you also don't want to be called unwise by touching it, as suggeted by Proverbs 20:1 Let's be mindiful on how we bring out ideas, lest we tempt the weaker brethren- just a thought

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    • That is not what that verse says. Reread it again. It does not say you are unwise for (touching) it. It says (if) you are (deceived) by it, you are unwise.

      I don't want to cause a brother to stumble. However, I especially don't want to twist scripture to put demands on people (like abstinence from alcohol) that are found no where in the Word of God. Same with vegan-ism. (These) are the things that unfortunately can make our Church seem/ be cultic... depending on your (individual) SDA Church.

      Andrew, attend AA. God bless you brother!

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  15. David, you are right, there is no absolute prohibition against drinking, however, that being said, perhaps you need to reread Prov 20:1 again. There is no implied "if" in that verse. It simply states what wine and strong drink are (mocker, raging (KJV)) then says that those who are "led astray" (NIV, NKJV; "intoxicated" NAS; "going astray" YLT; "deceived" KJV.) by it are unwise. Not because they are unwise when deceived by it but because they are unwise when they fail to understand its true nature (what they are) and heed the warnings and go ahead and drink it anyway. Those that do such things are unwise people who become deceived after consuming it (Ref. Prov 23:29-35).
    Proverbs 20 then becomes a great big flashing sign just like the skull and cross bones on bottles that warn, "you touch - you take an enormous chance with your life". So, if you are inclined to think its OK go ahead and let people think that its alright to enjoy the sauce but you also had better tell them that they should also like playing Russian Roulette. As for me, I choose not to do that, rather I will take the warning seriously and tell other people why.
    Incidentally, we don't need to use the Bible to come to that conclusion. National statistics back up the warning beautifully without invoking religion.

    Amen!(1)
  16. Noah's son, Ham, showed a lack of respect and love for his father. Instead of mocking and laughing at his father's weakness and sin, he should have helped him. Similarly when we come in contact with people during their weakest moments we don't need to judge them; on the contrary, we need to help them where they are.

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    • Thank you Elle! May love prevail, or what is this life? What is the universe? What is to know God? Is all these not love? God is love, Christ never rebuked or condemned. Rather, He led the way by patience and love He drew men to the Father.

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  17. Thank you for your reply above, Stephen. I understand that you are concerned with an attitude of criticism and censure, and I am in sympathy with that concern. And I certainly agree with the idea of erring on the side of mercy rather than intolerance.

    But let’s get back to that example of the bridge out around the corner and the motorist on his way to plunge into the abyss. Shall we fail to warn him because we are not part of the highway patrol?

    Do we love our children if we fail to discipline them?

    Do we love our brothers and sisters if we see them heading the wrong way, and we do not go to them with a heart full of love? The end of my previous post is crucial. If we are to love as Christ loved — which is possible only in His strength — we must be willing to die for those we would wish to correct. Then our approach will not be one of “censure and reproach.”

    We are all sinful and erring. We all make mistakes. Shall that stop us from doing our best to cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in this world?

    That leads to another question: Does the Holy Spirit ever speak through people, or does He only speak directly to individual minds?

    [I don’t believe that tolerance is a Christian virtue at all. I see it as a very poor substitute for love. Love is active, whereas tolerance is passive. Love is self-sacrificing, whereas tolerance is aloof. But that may be another discussion. 😉 ]

    I believe there are several principles to keep in mind regarding “reproving” a brother or sister. One is Christ’s counsel to take the beam out of our own eyes so we might see clearly to remove the splinter in someone else’s eye. (Luke 6:41-43) The other is His counsel of how to resolve differences — by first going to the other in private, then taking another brother or sister along, and then taking it to the church to determine the nature of the issue. (Matthew 18:15-17) What I see Christ envisioning in His counsel is a very close family relationship among members of His body, so that we might look out for one another in love.

    I believe if we all followed the counsel in Matthew 18, there would be no case of “delighting in sin,” such as you referenced in your post.

    That’s just the way I see it. 🙂

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    • Inge, I feel the need to speak up in favour of your balanced approach to the subject. Stephen, as good a point as your article made (and I, for one, thank you for it), I believe that Laurel was presenting a much needed counterpoint to it. The Bible doesn't call only Ezekiel to watch for souls. Look at Leviticus 19:17. "You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him." Clearly, there are times when love cannot remain silent. Absolutely, being a accuser is treading on dangerous ground. Nevertheless, as in most matters, there are dangers in both ditches. We could even end up reproving the innocent, just because WE thought they were in danger of being too intolerant! Just saying...

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      • R.G. thanks for your input. Perhaps I have strong feelings about that passage in Ezekiel. IF so, it is because I have seen so many hurt and driven from the church by unloving people citing that passage as their authority for all manner of accusations and offenses against their brothers and sisters in Christ. What these accusers do not seem to realize is that by doing this they are bringing judgment upon themselves.

        I am not advocating that there should be no church discipline. The Bible does not support that. However, our great problem is where to draw the line in mercy and love. I have even seen us rush to judgment over the text about the appearance of evil when no evil has been committed. I truly feel that our problem is not that we are not rebuking enough but that we are doing so far too much.

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        • I feel what you are saying, Stephen. My understanding is that the text about the appearance of evil is not even a correct translation, with respect to current English at least. We are to avoid every form or type (manifestation) of evil. If Jesus had agreed with the more extreme interpretation, He would not have healed on the Sabbath as He did, because it would appear evil in some people's eyes.

          No doubt, you have put your finger on a very great and severe problem. Nevertheless, I also see a huge problem in that blantant sin and evil are too often going unrebuked and uncorrected in the church. When we who profess to be followers of Christ choose to live in the flesh, rather than in the Spirit, every kind of problem flourishes in the church, including rebuking when we shouldn't rebuke, and not rebuking when we should. I absolutely agree with you that, if we must err, we should rather err on the side of leniency. But, to err deliberately is not right either. What Paul said to the Corinthians, regarding their overly tolerant attitudes, could all too often be said to us. "Your boasting is not good." How can we truly love the sinner unless we also hate sin?

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          • Well said, RG. Balance is the key.

            Regarding the "appearance of evil" translation, I agree completely. However, in my experience, it is hard to get anyone to listen to that point during a rush to judgment. Sometimes a mob mentality seems to take over.

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  18. I often wondered about this incident and what the curse of Ham was. But it is encouraging to know that there is enough issue of our own to deal with rather than wasting our time with others faults we need to pray for them. Not say oh look they do worse than I. I quit using alcohol in 1983 and never drank since. The only way I over came was. this prayer I prayed. "God take the urge to drink away from me" then I took the steps to contact someone who took me to Camp meeting the next day. I was afraid the urge would come back but it never did. I studied the Bible every day and prayed. God is good and He works. I still have to work on great deal of issues of turning it over to Him. Thanks and God Andrew strength and take his urge away fill it with His goodness.

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    • Speak the truth in love --- Eph 4:15
      (If you cannot do this do not say anything.)

      As one who has experienced someone delighting in and glorifying herself in my sin, I agree with and understand Stephen's original comment; I have this to add:

      If you go to a fellow believer and tell her that what she is doing is wrong, and she tells you that she knows it, leave her alone. If you go to a fellow believer and tell her that she ought to stop what she is doing, and she tells you that she cannot stop, leave her alone. Do not go to this person and say that you know what she is going through because you experienced it, and do not in the same breath point out that her sin is worse than yours, and you would never do what she did. Finally, when this fellow believer gets victory over this sin through God's grace and power, do not tell others how you 'loving' tried to make the believer stop the behavior, and do not declare incredulously, "I do not know how/why it took you so long to overcome!"

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      • Question for you... The person delighting in your sin, do you not see them as one in need of a Savior as well? How then would you win them over to Christ? Many times the professed Christian that languish in sins they cherish becomes the victim of others however the same God that leads them to victory would require them to love their enemies to win the over much like the prodigal son brother who remained at home. Should he be damned for hating his brother or will someone take the time to understand him and counsel him into victory? We are all sinners in need of a Savior and the only way we are going to make it is to encourage one another in Love which is how God said he would know us.

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      • Sorry, Kristen. I missed replying to your question as apparently the site only allows so many levels of replies. To your question I would simply refer to Romans 3:23. That seems to answer the question of who is a sinner and in need of grace.

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  19. The Holy Spirit has led me to believe that being an "accuser of the brethren" is simply throwing there sins into there faces and pointing out how much better we are than them. It has selfishness as its root. Tear them down so as to build ourselves up. It's the old "I'm right your wrong" agruement used to make us feel better about our own deficiencies.
    Now that does not mean that there is never a time to open another brother or sisters eyes to wrongdoing. If I love someone and do not wish to see them go astray, I do believe that it is ok to point them in the right direction.That does not mean beat them over the head and belittle them. Sometimes just a personal testimony of a struggle I have been through shows the care that I have for their struggles. Also, I tend to always rely on what the Bible says about the situation. I have found that it decreases an argumentative tone when it isn't my thoughts. But, this is why living our faith is so important. If I live a life opposite to what I share with others, then any loving nudges I do may look to have alterior motives.

    Amen!(0)

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