There is much talk in the Church over whether this is a sin or that is a sin, and who is a sinner and who is not. The simple answer is we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:58] There are those sins that lead to death and those that do not, [1 John 5:16-17] so how do we tell the difference between the two? It may sound too simple but to understand the difference between the two all we have to do is go to the Word of God.
If the Word says it is an abomination before the Lord [Deuteronomy 25:16] I would take it to mean this is not good for people to get themselves involved with. The Church is for sinners to come to repent before the Lord for past and present sins. After all sin is sin no matter which group they fall into and little sins can lead to greater sins. [James 1:15] Of course we do not have to go before the people of the Church to repent and ask God’s forgiveness, we can do that within the privacy of our own homes. However the Bibles does say to come before the each other and confess our sins and we will be healed. [James 5:16]
The confession of sins does not have to be done before a minister; it can be done before anyone in the Church. Of course there is a need to ask forgiveness of anybody we may have hurt. [1 John 1:9] However the point still remains we have all sinned before God, from the most outwardly pious person to the person seen as far from God. From the Pastor to the person just attending services each week. Sin is sin and if we say we have not sinned God is not in us. [1 John 1:10] Sin is a separation from God, so the question is how do we get back to God? I have heard many ask. Again it is simple just to ask God to forgive us and ask Jesus afresh into our hearts. That is all we have to do and we will be saved. [Romans 10:9] There are no rituals, or works, or flags, or pictures, or symbols, or idols we have to acknowledge. All we have to do is confess Jesus because He is the only way, the only truth and only life. [John 14:6] He and He alone is our only advocate to the Father, and that is Jesus. [1 John 2:1]
This week we celebrate the Feast of Dedication, a Feast Jesus attended [John10:22] The time when the Temple was re-dedicated to the Lord after it had been desecrated by the Greeks in approximately 168BC.
Without the “resurrection” of God’s Temple there would have been no place for the Messiah to come to the Jewish people. During this Feast we have a lot to be thankful for. Jesus came for the Jews first and then the Gentiles. [Romans 1:16] If the Temple of God had been destroyed the Messiah - Jesus’s first coming would have been prevented and therefore no Cross and no salvation and we would still be in our sins. [John 20:23]
Hanukah - the Feast of Dedication is held over 8 days, the time it takes to make the oil required to burn in the Temple at that time. If Jesus was born on the first day of Hanukah He could have been “Dedicated to God’ [Genesis 17:13] and this would have taken place on the eight day [Genesis 17:12] If this was the case then we have a double reason to celebrate as the Light came into the World and the darkness could not overcome it. [John 1:5] So the Light that overcomes all darkness is there for all and proof of this is within the crucifixion. When Jesus was crucified the darkness covered the earth. [Matthew 27:45] But on the third day that Light proved that the darkness had no hold on it as it burst forth from the grave. [Matthew 28:3] It is the Light of Jesus, the Light of the World, that exposes sin because when we walked in darkness the light showed us the truth and sin no longer had a hold on us. [1 John 1:7]
What better time can there be to rededicate our lives to the Lord of Hosts. We were created to know Him, to serve Him and to love Him. He came to set us all free from our pasts as He took the sins of the world upon Himself, so that we can have a glorious future with Jesus. [John 3:16] The One while on the Cross, reached out to God, “Forgive them Father they know not what they do”. [Luke 23:34] And “Man, today you will be with me in Paradise”. [Luke 23:43] At this time of the year there is no better time to rededicate our lives to God. He gave His all for us can we not give just a little in return?