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Thursday, March 27, 2014

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us

THE QUESTION OF INNOCENCE

Have you ever thought about innocence? I mean in regard to how innocent do
you feel, (in general), about your life? Technically innocence is defined
as, "the state of being not guilty of a crime or other wrong act" (Webster).
I guess when we judge ourselves, the matter of guilt or innocence would fall
under what you perceive as a crime. I read a couple of interesting reports
regarding self proclaimed innocence that you might find interesting also.

Take for instance the credit union manager in Eugene, Oregon, who was
charged with embezzling $630,000 from her company over 6 years. The woman
admitted to a jury that although her hands had indeed taken the money, her
heart, mind and spirit were innocent because it was one of her multiple
personalities that had committed the crime.

Then there was the soccer fan in London who was convicted of threatening a
well known French soccer star. When the guilty verdict was handed down, the
fan grabbed the prosecuting attorney in a headlock and attempted to punch
him, screaming, "I am innocent! I promise! I swear on the Bible!"

Then there was a man in Bay City, Michigan, pleading innocent to the charge
of stealing some rings. He changed his mind when he learned that his
girlfriend was in the hallway outside the courtroom showing off the rings.
(Ben Franklin's Almanac)

You see, each of these people proclaimed innocence, until they were faced
with the evidence and judgment, really, until they were faced with the
truth. Again, how innocent do you feel about your life?

2 Timothy 4:1 speaks of a future where we will be" "In the presence of God
and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of
his appearing and his kingdom."

Sometime back I had a conversation with a man who declared that he had "no
sin in his life". I read to him 1 John 1:8-10 which says: "If we claim to be
without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us
from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to
be a liar and his word is not in us." I asked him what he thought about what
John wrote. I remember his response very clearly even today. He said, "I
don't know what it means, but it doesn't mean what it says."

How about you, does God's word mean what it says or not? Hebrews 4:13
reminds us: "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything
is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give
account." Guilty or innocent, what do you think God will say about you?

Russ Lawson

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