A Slippery Slope to Man's Decisions

In the New Testament, one of the words for sin comes from the Greek word "hamartano." The word means "to sin, to miss a mark on the way, not to hit the mark" (The Complete Word Study Dictionary -- New Testament). As Creator, God is the standard of truth and reveals His truth through Scripture. "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The Bible is God's pattern, or standard, the mark we are to hit for human conduct. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalms 119:11). "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:16-18).

 How well has humanity done in following God's commandments? Throughout history, not very well. Paul, shortly after teaching the truth of salvation and Christian living to the churches in Galatia wrote them, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-7). It is part of the human experience, once influenced by sin, to want to determine for oneself what is right and best. It also applies to the decisions made by nations, once God's perfect will is rejected in favor of the ideas and desires of humanity.

 Sin always leads one on a slippery slope into more sin, and the negative consequences that accompany it. Paul reminded the church in Rome of this attribute of sin, one which, in their own lives, they had experienced. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness" (Romans 6:19). The term "unto" in "iniquity unto iniquity" refers to motion toward a direction. It refers here to the fact sin only leads to more sin. In reality, it is a death spiral, deeper and further into sin, which leads to death (Romans 6:23). Unless the process is arrested, as was the case by their renouncement of sinful practices and turning to the righteousness of God, it only gets worse, never better. The very nature of sin, leads to more sin, worse sin, and the devastation that follow in its wake.

 Sin creates dissatisfaction, and whatever is established in it will just lead to a greater influence of it in life. "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:18-19). Without the influence of God's divine will, there is no real authority for right or wrong, except in the changing conditions of society, which is no real authority at all. We can experience God's blessings to those who live by His parameters, or we can substitute the whims of the flesh which constantly change and bring negative consequences to life. Are we willing to take a slippery slope, which can ultimately consume us? "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

 Robert Johnson, Longview, TX