Putting Sin on the Altar
"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." -Galatians 5:19-21
We live in a dangerous world today. And I'm not just talking about the dangers of drunk driving, murderers, terrorists, or drugs. It has to do with the way we see our humanity.
As our humanity runs the show more and more, more of us try to make our particular brand of sin socially acceptable. When this happens, everything becomes muddied and grey - there is no such thing as black and white morality. But the fact of the matter is, there is a right and wrong. There is a plumb line of morality that exists and would make our world better if we could all learn to embrace it.
The problem with this as we go on is that we see no need for salvation. We think we are good on our own, (even if we don't feel that way all of the time), and so we go on in life, defensive if anyone calls attention to our sin and cites it as a problem. We may even go to extremes to get the government to agree with us. But in reality, any sin is a huge problem. Proverbs says, "Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery." -Proverbs 29:1
When Abraham put Isaac on the altar, it was a prophetic sign of things to come, for Jesus especially, but also for us. When we put what may be dear or close to us on the altar, God can use that greatly. The fact that Abraham put his own flesh and blood on the altar is testament that we, too, need to put our flesh on the altar - we are "crucified with Christ, so it is no longer I that lives, but He that lives in me." (Galatians 2:20) The very fact that we need to put things on the altar is what allows us to step into God's kingdom!
Are you willing to put anything in your life that is not of God on the altar today?
Related resource: Pleasing God: Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification, by R.C. Sproul