“To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

James 4:17

Sin is not just avoiding evil. It is coming face to face with evil in hand to hand combat. If you look at the passage in your Bible, you see that this sentence comes at the end of the paragraph about planning what you will do tomorrow. (Read James 4:13-17) As James highlights the need to turn every day over to God, he reminds us that God has a positive agenda for our lives. God has not simply told us what to avoid, He has told us and modeled for us what we should be doing.

Now there are all kinds of sins. There are moral sins of the flesh, ethical sins of the conduct, spiritual sins of pride, sin of prejudice but the greatest sin, believe it or not, are none of these. It is the sin of omission. Now before you turn me out listen. All the other sins come about because of the sin of omission. Because the sin of omission is failing to do what you ought to do. No man can do two things at one time. So a man doing what he ought to do cannot do what he ought not to do. For a man that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin.

Most people have the idea if they don’t do certain things they are good Christians. If that were true then my brother’s dog is the best Christian I know. He doesn’t steal, he doesn’t drink liquor or any of the things we would consider bad. The Christian model calls us to not only know what is right, but to live it out by doing the good things that result from a Christ-like character.

Has God told you to pray for somebody today? Did you pray for them? Has God told you to make things right with another person? Have you done that? Recognize that the principle of sins of omission means that when we don’t respond to those promptings. The sin of omission is a deceiving sin but also a destructive sin. When we don’t do something that is right, we commit the sin of omission.

The ultimate sin of omission is to know the good news about Jesus and to refuse to obey. As the author of Hebrews wrote “how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” The obvious answer to that question is “We can’t.” Don’t commit the ultimate sin of omission by refusing to respond to the grace of Jesus Christ.

The good news of Jesus Christ is that there is a hope. Jesus died to save us from the eternal consequences of our sin. When Jesus shed His blood on the cross, it was for the purpose of saving us from every sin we’ve committed.

Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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