Living without God

By Not Known

How would you define ‘sin‘?

Many of us would define sin in terms of outward acts such as theft, physical violence or sexual relationships outside of marriage. Or perhaps some of us go deeper and refer to the inward attitudes of greed, hatred, lust and such like that lay behind the outwards acts.

The Bible certainly labels these outward acts and inward attitudes as sins that need repentance and confession. They are attitudes and behaviours to keep ourselves from and to guard against. If we knowingly and wilfully persist in them, they cut us off from God (1Cor 6:9- 11)

Is there more to sin than this? 1 John 3: 4 is interesing: Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. These words go to what someone calls the sin behind the sin. This is the rejection of God and his rule over our lives. In effect, the ultimate sin is to declare independance from God and to live for ourselves and without God. All individual sins of thought, word and deed build on this ultimate sin of godliness.

We see an example of the sin of godlessness in Psalm 14: 1: The fool says in his hearts, “There is no God.”

The Biblical fool is not ignorant. He knows that there is a God, whether though the testimony of creation, conscience or through God's self-revelation in the Bible. But the fool chooses to suppress this knowledge in his inward parts and acts as though it were not true.

Most of us would claim not to commit this sin of godlessness and cite our attendance at worship as evidence in our favour. Surely this is proof that we are not God-rejecting atheists? But what about the practical atheism of the person who affirms God at public worship, but then denies him in their heart and in the practical business of day-to-day living?

Today's Bible passage (Luke 5: 1- 11) challenges us to live with God in our heart, mind, soul and body. A God-centred heart will be seen in radical and risky obedience. We too must leave the security of our 'boat‘ and walk in our waterworld with no visible means of support. This kind of obedience relfects the faith that God calls us to. In turn that faith reflects a heart in which we declare that ‘you are God and I am not‘.

Let’s not follow the fool and deny God in our hearts. Let’s be wise by acknowledging God in our heart and showing it in faith and obedience.