Seeds of Faith: Lies Women Believe About Sin
Over two years ago, Gregg and I cleaned out our entertainment – books, movies, music, books, magazines – and removed anything that had gratuitous sexuality, sexual sin (homosexual, premarital, extramarital), bad language, immoral behavior and as far as what the children watched and exposed themselves to, disrespect of parents and authority. We also cancelled our cable television and carefully screened (through Focus on the Family’s Plugged In site) any movie we watched, music we listened to, and television show in which we might have been interested.
No one really understood why we did it, and often looked at us oddly because of it. What? No Glee!? No Criminal Minds? No Forrest Gump? No No Strings Attached? We got lots of weird looks and uncomfortable silences about it. But we had a very specific reason for doing so.
We believe that the constant exposure to sin in the films, books, television, magazines, etc., had desensitized us to sin. And, as Nancy Leigh DeMoss said in chapter 4 of Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free:
We entertain ourselves with reading material, movies, TV programs, and music that reflect worldly philosphies and legitimize profanity, immodesty, and immoral behavior, never stopping to contemplate that in so doing we are desensitizing our conscience and developing a tolerance for sin, we are increasing our appetite for sin and diminishing our hunger for holiness, we are erecting a barrier in our fellowship with God; we are programming our minds to think the world’s way (and how we think will ultimately determine how we live); we are increasing the likelihood that we will actually act out the things we are seeing and hearing; we are developing an unbiblical view of sexuality that may ultimately rob us of our virginity or destroy our marriage; we are increasing the likelihood that our children and grandchildren will become profane or immoral.
The more time that goes by observing our self proclaimed fast from sin in the entertainment we consume, the more shockingly aware of it we become. It is horribly offensive to us now to see some advertisements on billboards or in magazines we might pick up in waiting rooms, to see the themes of most movies and television shows, to see the kinds of books that are on the bookshelves at the store.
We also notice, daily, just how very deeply secular culture has penetrated the Christian culture. As recently as 50 years ago it was obtusely common to overhear and immediately comprehend references to scriptural icons in common parlance. Our parents related to each other in language by referring to the Bible, or the classics, or non-fictional people. Today, when someone says, “You’re acting like Peter,” he likely means Peter Griffin of the Family Guy instead of the Apostle who denied Christ three times and went on to be the Rock upon which the Church was built.
Our intentional abstinence from sin in the media has removed sin from the forefront of our minds and allowed us to focus on our walk with Christ. We focus on Christ our redeemer rather than on “Must See TV!” We abide in our Lord rather than worship an American Idol.
This was just one paragraph from this entire chapter. This chapter was so important and so relevant to having an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ and living a life free from the bondage of sin, that I feel like reading it every single day, over and over again, until the words are impressed in my memory. The chapter explained the lies that Satan tells us about sin: (1) That people can sin and get away with it. We see this all the time, and we even see how people benefit from their sin – with money, fame, power. But the TRUTH is that sinners will ultimately receive the consequence of their sin. (2) That sin isn’t a big deal. The TRUTH is that all sin is sin, no matter how we rationalize it. (3) That our sin is too big for God to forgive. The TRUTH is that Christ redeemed us from all sin. (4) That other people are responsible for our sin. It is human tendency to point the finger of blame and say, “He made me do it.” The TRUTH is that every choice we make is our responsibility, including our choice to sin. (5) That we cannot win against our sinful nature. The TRUTH is that we cannot win on our own, but we are not on our own. We have the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, and because of Christ’s victory over our sin, we are no longer in bondage to it.
I have the companion guide for this book, and out of the dozens of study questions for chapter 4, I have chosen just one discussion question for each of the lies laid out out in the book. This guide is designed for you to work a chapter a week, and work through several self-searching questions every day. You may find it beneficial in our study of this book to have your own guide and be able to go through every question. But, for our purposes here, following are just a few questions:
1. In your own words, define sin.
2. Have you ever compared yourself to other people and thought, “At least I’m not that bad”? what sin in your life seem less important compared to the sins in others’ lives? (Be honest!)
3. Some people struggle with receiving God’s forgiveness because they feel their sins are just too great. What types of sins do people tend to think are “too serious” for God to be able to forgive?
4. 1 John 1:5-10 says: This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. What does it mean to “walk in the light” as it relates to our sin?
5. Salvation does not make us sinless. In fact, read about Paul’s struggle with sin in Romans 7:15-25. In what ways do you resonate with Paul’s words in this passage? According to verse 25, what is the key to experiencing victory over “the law of sin”?
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