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The Dissection of a Sin


The other day, I found myself in an awkward situation. I observed a mini feud between two friends, and realized that I had unwittingly thrown myself in the middle of it. I knew I was in a place where I would appear guilty.

What did I do? I asked one friend to not let on that I took part in it, so as to relieve me of any appearance of guilt. Now, let me say, I wasn't guilty. At that point I had done nothing wrong, I just knew it would appear that I had to the other person. So, I manipulated the situation to 'clarify' my innocence.

What's the problem with that? A lot. I sensed it in my soul immediately.

First, my manipulation meant I didn't trust God to reveal my innocence in the situation. I trusted my own craftiness. I did not trust in God's sovereignty over all circumstances. This trust in self rather than God seems to be at the heart of a lot of my sin.

Second, I showed cowardice. Instead of being willing to face up to the situation no matter how bad it looked, and speak the truth no matter how awkward it seemed, I opted to take cover in secrecy.

Third, I encouraged my friend to lie. Though I did not ask him to lie, my manipulation led to a subtle lie on his part, that I was no doubt partly responsible for. If I had not chosen to be manipulative, there would have been no lie.

Sin is most dangerous when it looks friendly: “Sin comes to us, like Judas, with a kiss; and like a Joab, with an outstretched hand and flattering words.” (J C Ryle, Holiness)

I confessed my sin, first to God. Thank God that I have a mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Thank God that I have a Savior. I did not, indeed could not, try to earn forgiveness, rather I look to my only hope in life and death, Christ.

Then, I confessed my sin to another. This is simply a safeguard to my own heart. I looked to a trusted person and explained what I had done, without trying to defend myself.

Finally, I dealt with the situation and admitted guilt.

Why? What does all this matter? Because we love God, and sin displeases him. Because He is worth it. Because holiness matters.

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First Baptist Church of Haverhill has received a grant of $49,980.00 to enable its minister, Pastor Rick Harrington, to participate in the 2019 National Clergy Renewal Program. First Baptist Church of Haverhill is one of 150 congregations across the United States selected to participate in this competitive grant program, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Established by the Endowment in 2000, the program’s grants allow Christian congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.  Ministers whose congregations are awarded the grants use their time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in reflection and renewal. The approach respects the “Sabbath time” concept, offering ministers a carefully considered respite that may include travel, study, rest, …

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“How to Find a Church” Endorsements

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Pastor Rick Amendola, New Life Christian Assembly of God.
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The Reverend Canon Brian Bethke, the Anglican Diocese in New England.
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