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It's For Your Own Good: Day 3

(Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.) When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgment.
John 16:7-9

“World” as used here does not refer to our planet, but to the kosmos, the world system. In other words, the way the world looks at sin, righteousness and judgment is wrong. Jesus had come to provide a thundering rebuke to its grievous error.

The root of sin is not found in an outward action, but an inward attitude. Murder, for example, is the outward result of the inward sin of anger. The root of the sin of adultery is found in the inward sins of lust and covetousness (Matthew 5:21, 27).

Sin is not something we do, but something we are. It is as much a part of our DNA as our eye color. Sin entered the world when the first man and woman chose to disobey God and has been part of human nature since. (Do we need to train our children to disobey?)

If the sin problem begins with inner attitudes, so must the solution. However, the righteousness offered by the scribes and Pharisees was comprised of rituals and rules that measured righteousness by one’s own outward performance, but had no ability to change the heart.

Naturally, any judgments about right and wrong that followed from such a superficial, subjective foundation would be way off course.

BTW: It occurred to me as I was writing this that there might be a lesson here for us who inhabit a truth-starved, 21st century kosmos. When we are attempting to understand where an individual or group really stands spiritually, instead of asking, “What do you believe?”, a better question might be, “What is your definition of sin?”.

Nancy Shirah       

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