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Dear COA family,

What is the nature of the act of sinning?

Some may view sinning as simply yielding to the temptations of our flesh.

For example, you may see something you like very much that is not yours, and because of your desire for that object, you scheme, cheat and even kill in order to obtain it. In a sense, you have given in to your fleshly desires to do what is wrong in God’s sight.

King David experienced the same fleshly desires. He was on the rooftop surveying the houses of the people of Israel when he noticed Bathsheba bathing in the privacy of her house. Disregarding the fact that she was married to one of his mighty man, Uriah, he gave in to his sinful desires and sent for her to sleep with her.

Or we could view the act of sinning as due to the fear of being punished or shamed. We try to escape being discovered and thus do what is evil.

In King David’s case, he soon learnt that Bathsheba was pregnant. In order to cover up his act of adultery, he hatched a wicked plot to have Uriah killed in battle so that his sin would not be found out. He gave in to his fear of being outed for raping his subordinate’s wife and how that would affect his reputation.

Yet it is instructive to know that there is a more fundamental reason for sinning. It is finally the lack of regard for God.

It works like this: beyond the temptations we face or the fears we experience, ultimately, in sinning we are not trusting that God would provide for us despite his promise to do so or we are doubting his ability to save us. We are in fact saying, “God, you are not trustworthy nor are you true to your word.” And this attitude is what angers God so much about our sin.

That was why the prophet Nathan went to the root of David’s sinful act regarding his disregard for God: “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?… because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:9-14.

Let us all realise at the heart of our intentional sins, it is at its root despising God’s word and God himself. Knowing this will help us understand why we truly sin and depend more on the Spirit to live a holy life in fear of God.

Revd Ian