Marshall Stiver exhorts Christians to expose every detail of life to sincere and truthful scrutiny, because each of those details influence the speed and direction of our overall spiritual course. God’s instructions are repetitious and detailed. For example, we keep the Days of Unleavened Bread annually, like the other Holy Days, with clockwork regularity. These practices are teaching tools, that combat our natural proclivity to backslide.
The Passover reminds us that we have been redeemed from sin. The Feast of Unleavened Bread points to the freedom granted by this redemption, and the responsibility we bear to respond accordingly. We are required to take action, separating ourselves from sin, changing and overcoming, and living in sincerity and truth. Neither legalistic self-righteousness, nor permissive self-acceptance, will achieve God’s goal; rather, diligent maintenance according to God’s instructions observed in sincerity and truth.
Sin starts small
If we actively hunt for weeds, we will find and remove them before they takeover. Similarly, sin starts small, but is easily removed at this stage. Unattended, it metastasizes. Every thought we harbor is discernable as either sincere and truthful, or malicious and wicked, if we are mindful to compare it against the standard of God’s way and His Holy Spirit. Continually subject your thoughts to this process.
Laxity quickly deafens our capacity to hear and understand God’s warnings and instructions. The pride inherent in our corrupted human nature wants to trivialize our sins, and thereby refuse to subject them to the glaring light of sincerity and truth. Becoming divorced from reality in this way enslaves us to a culture of malice and wickedness. We even deceive ourselves that we are living in truth.
Obedience at the physical level is a small but important step to peeling back the blinding scales of spiritual deceit; it opens a channel of communication with God. Conversely, disobedience closes such communication down. By obedience, and earnestly asking for sight, God will show us even the sins we don’t know about. We need His help, and can confidently rely upon it.
Every little flap of the wing propels us in one direction or another. Ultimately, God will cast judgement without giving quarter. It is possible for those called to put the sacrifice of Christ to an open shame, and thereby fall from grace. We are individually responsible.
Exodus 12:15 — I Corinthians 5:7 — Matthew 16 — leaven of the Pharisees — sincerity and truth — Days of Unleavened Bread — James 1:14 — overcoming — Passover — Proverbs 26:2 — removing sin — Jeremiah 8:7, 16:9 — Jeremiah 17:9 — I Samuel 17:1-25, 29:21, 10:23 — Psalm 139:23 — pride — leavening — Psalm 19:12 — presumptuous sin — Hebrews 6 — Proverbs 4:23-27 — compromise — spiritual blindness — Luke 13:18