A People Laden with Iniquity

Isaiah 1:2-3 ESV

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
‘Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand’.”

Under the Old Covenant, God’s people were his people by physical birth, by being Abraham’s descendants, whether or not they believed in God. And God defined belief then and now as obedience, and unbelief as disobedience. But under the New Covenant we are God’s people by spiritual birth via dying with Christ to sin and by being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Now, if we are God’s true people we should be those who are no longer walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Sin should no longer have mastery over our lives to where we obey its lustful desires, for Jesus delivered us out of our slavery to sin so that we might now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. For if we walk in sin and not in righteousness, and not in obedience to God, we don’t have life in him. We are not saved from our sins and we will not inherit eternal life.

But does this mean that we will never sin? No! (see 1 John 2:1-2). But it doesn’t mean we will sin, either, but that it is possible that we might at some time sin against the Lord. And if we do, Jesus is our advocate who speaks to God in our defense. But this does not apply to those who continue in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord and against their fellow humans in direct defiance to his commands and in sinful rebellion and hate.

But many of these people who are living in sinful rebellion against the Lord, who are continuing in their sinful addiction, make professions of faith in Jesus Christ. And many of them were brought up attending and participating in the gatherings of the church, and some of them are Bible teachers and/or pastors of churches who are in positions of spiritual leadership and influence over others within the gatherings of the church.

And so they regard themselves as children of God and as those having salvation from sin and eternal life with God. Even if they have been taught the truth about the results of willful defiance of God’s commands and of deliberate, obstinate, and habitual sin, most of them ignore those Scriptures and they create their own god and their own gospel in their own minds which allows them to keep on in their sins and to still have eternal life.

Isaiah 1:4-6 ESV

“Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.

“Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.”

So, these are people who have knowledge of God, who have made a profession of faith in God (in Christ), but they are not living the life they profess. They profess one thing but do another. And they are offspring (spiritual or physical) of people who also rebelled against God but made professions of faith in Christ, and who went through the motions of religious practice. Either one or both of their parents or ones who led them to faith in Christ and taught them the Scriptures were also rebellious and wicked.

So, the picture here is of people who are following in the footsteps of those who went before them and who had some influence over their lives. To say that they are laden with iniquity gives us a picture of people still living under the weight of bondage (addiction) to sin. They are those who are evildoers, in practice, who deal corruptly, and who have forsaken the Lord by continuing in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord.

To say that they are utterly estranged is to say that they are totally and absolutely separated from the God they claim to serve. They claim to have fellowship with God but by their deeds they deny him. So that makes them liars. The truth is not in them. They are not in genuine fellowship with God for they have not departed from their lives of wickedness.

Now, not all of them are yet being struck down. Many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, who continue in deliberate and habitual sin, do so freely without any obvious forms of judgment or correction against them. So they are able to strut about freely in their pride, claiming to be walking in fellowship with the Lord while they knowingly are still returning to their lives of sin over and over, and to doing what ought not to be done.

But whether or not they are yet facing any kind of judgment and correction, the message is still the same. Why will you continue to rebel? Why do you knowingly and deliberately keep on in your sinful practices which are opposed to God and which you know hurt other humans? And then why do you put on a façade of righteousness and holiness to try to convince others that you are holy when you know you are still addicted to sin?

Your whole body is given over to the flesh to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and not to God and to living according to his righteousness. You are not honoring God with your body, as you ought, but you are honoring yourself and your own flesh by making it your lord and master and by worshiping the flesh instead of God. You are morally depraved, spiritually corrupt, self-indulgent, hypocrites, and liars, who do not honor God with your lives.

Isaiah 1:9 ESV

“If the Lord of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.”

There are differences of opinion I have heard on what Sodom and Gomorrah’s sins were all about, but from what I understand, the primary sin was sexual in nature and has largely been associated with homosexuality. And the Scriptures are clear that practicing homosexuality is practicing sin against God. But whether the habitual sin is heterosexual or homosexual it is still committing sexual sin against God in practice, and that is wrong.

I think one of the main things about Sodom and Gomorrah was not just sexual sin, and it was not just primarily homosexuality, but it was that this sin was permeating the church or God’s people or the gatherings of people who profess faith in God (in Christ). And this is where a lot of what is called church in America is today, for sexual (addictive) sin is running rampant in the gatherings of what is called church in America.

And it isn’t just that sexual idolatry and adultery are running rampant in the gatherings of much of what is called church here in America but that it is being given the blessings of God via the teaching of the cheap grace gospel and via lack of genuine and loving church discipline. For many are teaching a gospel which does not require dying with Christ to sin nor living to God and to his righteousness and so many are being given freedom to keep sinning.

Now, I want to say something here about homosexuality. It isn’t just about having sex with someone of the same sex as you. I believe it includes masturbation which is sex with oneself, and it is a sexual desire for oneself to please oneself sexually with oneself, and sometimes in preference over sex with one’s spouse who is of the opposite sex. And this is destroying many lives and marriages, for it is also adultery against one’s spouse.

But this isn’t just about sexual sin, especially addictive sin, but this is about rebellion against the Lord Jesus and willful defiance of his commands and a stubbornness of heart and mind toward continuing in sin regardless of what the Scriptures teach and regardless of how much one is hurting others by their addictive sinful practices. And the call is what it always is which is to humble yourselves before God in genuine repentance, turn from your wicked ways, and now follow Jesus in obedience, and you will have life eternal.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Broken Cord

An Original Work / August 29, 2018

Your bond is broken
With your Lord and Savior
And your testimony is
Separate from Him.

Your words not matching
Your actions today.
Repent of your sin and
Bow down and pray.

Live what you testify
In truth always.

Purity’s lacking in
Your life and witness,
For you profess one thing,
But other you do.

Not moral, spiritual.
Still of the flesh.
Not living in truth to
What you confess.

Lying about it
Puts you in a mess.

Living a lie is your practice,
‘tis true of you.
Masquerade righteousness –
None of it true.

Your heart is not given
To your Lord God.
Because of how you live,
You are a fraud.

Turn from your sin and
Give your life to God.

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