Straight From the Word: Inward Sin

We are often led to believe sin is merely an outward manifestation of an inward desire. Sin consists in the acting out of an inward disposition, a desire or perhaps an orientation. A desire or an orientation cannot be sin, it is commonly thought. However, we ought to meditate on the sweet Word of God before we take for granted any musing of man. There are many places, from the Scriptures, where it can be proven that inward desire or affections can indeed constitute sin. However, in this post, I will only focus on one passage.

The Apostle John writes:

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man (Jn. 2:23-25).

We will benefit in making two notes from this passage. First, the “many” who “believed” in Jesus had a false, or superficial faith. Second, it was the disposition of the hearts of these men leading Jesus not to entrust Himself to them. Either issue is ultimately an issue of the heart, and both are indicative of inward sin.

First, the faith these men professed couldn’t have been the true faith. For those with faith are referred to as the brethren of Christ (Rom. 8:29, 30). If these men were Christ’s brothers, why couldn’t He entrust Himself to them? Inwardly, they were self-idolaters, desiring the benefits of Christ without desiring Christ Himself. Their inward sin affected their false, exclusively external professions of belief.

Second, Jesus wouldn’t entrust Himself to these men, not because of anything they were doing at the time, but because He knew their hearts. Something in the hearts of these men was repugnant to Christ (1 Jn. 1:5). There is simply no name for a desire or disposition that offends a holy and righteous God other than sin. Let’s take this as a lesson from the Scriptures that sin indeed originates, rests, and festers in the deepest recesses of men, notwithstanding whether or not it is acted out.

Not all sin is acted out, yet every acted out sin is based on a pre-existing inward sinfulness.

One thought on “Straight From the Word: Inward Sin

  1. This was most excellent Joshua.

    I especially liked, “Something in the hearts of these men was repugnant to Christ (1 Jn. 1:5). There is simply no name for a desire or disposition that offends a holy and righteous God other than sin. Let’s take this as a lesson from the Scriptures that sin indeed originates, rests, and festers in the deepest recesses of men, notwithstanding whether or not it is acted out.

    Not all sin is acted out, yet every acted out sin is based on a pre-existing inward sinfulness.”

    Brother you have a way of writing and relating the word of God that ministers to my soul. O’ Taste and see that the Lord is good!!!!

    I do not attend a Reformed Church Joshua. The nearest is over 100 miles away. The church I do attend, the Pastor quotes from many Reformed Individuals from the past and present. Although he does not adhere publicly to the doctrines of grace. When he does teach on “The Doctrine of Justification” for the most part he seems to be right on. I am sure it is due to his reading of those within the reformed faith. I am not sure what you think of me attending a Non-Reformed Church but I am not sure what else to do other than move, but my whole life is here. Maybe that is just an excuse, I do not know. Some in the church do not what I believe and we talk out of the church about it but there is no sinful quarreling. I make no issue about it within the church. I have ministered on occasions within the church and what I believe does come through but it does not seem to be an issue. The Pastor trusts me to teach Sunday School classes. I am sure he knows what I believe.

    God bless brother and as always may the grace of Christ be with you always,

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