Overcoming Sin through Christ: Changeableness

  Overcoming Sin through Christ

A Comprehensive List of Sins

(Alphabetically Arranged)

Richard Hollerman

The plan of this study is simple.  We will look at a large number of sins, one by one, alphabetically.  We will define the sin, describe it, and comment on it, along with noticing Scripture references on the particular entry.  Some illustrations will be offered along with the description.

Changeableness

Are you turned on to the Lord one day, but then on the next, you have very little thought about Jesus?  I’ve known certain people say something one day but they are apt to have a complete change of mind the next. We may assume that such a person will follow through on a commitment that he or she made, but later they change their mind. In fact, they are well-known for their changes!

We know that one of the basic attributes of the Lord God is His unchangeable character.  “I, the LORD, do not change” (Malachi 3:6).  James says the same.  “The Father of lights” has “no variation or shifting shadow” (1:17).  “God is unchanging in his character and therefore in his giving of good, unlike the variation of the night changing to day or the shifting shadow caused by sun or moon.”[1] The Lord Jesus is also changeless: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  On the other hand, God does vary His dealings with man according to the different circumstances of life and our responses to His requirements.  Jeremiah 18:7-12 shows that “the Lord retains the right of limiting His own absolute sovereignty on the basis of human response to His offers of pardon and restoration and His threats of judgment and destruction.”[2]

If God remains the same in His basic character, He calls on us to be the same way.  We are to be consistent in our Christian character and godly behavior.  On the other hand, we may change our intentions according to different circumstances.  This is the part of wisdom.  We are called on to refuse the wrong and do the right and this we must do if we would be faithful to God.  God says, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.  Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17). We must exercise our will to make good decisions.

What do we mean by changeableness?  We mean the tendency to change one’s commitments, to change one’s decisions, and to change one’s plans.  We do know that wisdom will dictate that we change our plans and intentions when this is best.  For example, Paul decided to return to Jerusalem through Macedonia rather than sailing from Corinth/Cenchrea (Acts 20:3).  And we know that it is a virtue to so hunger for and seek for truth that one is willing to change one’s religious connections and spiritual convictions (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). 

But when we refer to changeableness, we mean that some people are so double-minded and lacking in convictions, that they change from day to day, depending on their emotions and feelings.  Their friends and family can’t count on them and depend on their word.  If they say that they will meet you at 7 PM, they may not arrive until 7:30.  If they say that they will read a certain book, they may never complete the reading or maybe read it six months late.  If they say that they will help with a project, they simply won’t show up or will make other plans.  They are excited about someone one day and a week later they have lost all interest.  When it comes to Biblical beliefs, they hold to one position one week and have changed positions a week later. 

It is time that Christians grow to maturity (Hebrews 5:14) and be settled in their positions.  They must no longer be like “children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15).  Let us “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Let’s follow through in our commitments, let’s keep our word, and let’s not be at the mercy of emotional changes or behavior.  Let’s be steady, solid, and responsible—at all times and in all situations.

 



[1] ESV Study Bible, note.

[2] NASB Study Bible, note.

 

 

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