Overcoming Sin through Christ: Hostility

  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.

Hostility

Do you consider yourself to be a hostile person? Do other people–including your family–consider you a hostile man or woman? We need to discover the identity of someone who practices hostility and then find out how to avoid this terrible sin.

We use the word “hostile” in various ways today. We may speak of a “hostile” nation when that country is against another country and declares war without cause. We may speak of a man who is acting with hostility toward his wife or children.  If a pair of men rob a bank, rob someone on the sidewalk, or engages in “road rage,” we may speak of them as hostile. Just what is hostility?

Our word hostile means “of, relating to, or characteristic of an enemy. . . . Feeling or showing enmity or ill-will; antagonistic.”[1] It means “of or pertaining to an enemy. . . . opposed in feeling, action, or character. . . . not friendly or hospitable.”[2]  The meaning becomes clear by comparing James 4:4: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  To be hostile to God is to be His enemy.  Likewise, when one is hostile to another person, he makes himself an enemy of that person.

Paul must have been filled with hostility before he was called by God.  He testifies to Agrippa the king, “I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9).  He treated the followers of Jesus as enemies—he was hostile to them.  And being hostile to them meant, in reality, that he was hostile to Christ Himself (cf. Acts 9:4-5).  Paul also said, “The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God” (Romans 8:7a).  The fleshly mind was antagonistic toward God.  He further wrote, “Although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21).

These people were antagonistic to God and His will.  They may not have deliberately done this or realized it, but their sins had this meaning and effect. The Hebrew writer said that Christ has “endured such hostility by sinners against Himself” (12:3).  They were so opposed to Jesus that they became His enemies.  Paul also said that unbelieving Jews were “not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men” (1 Thessalonians 2:15).

We can see that a hostile person is one who is filled with anger and rage, one who is utterly opposed to God and His will, one who even is at enmity with other people.  He is a person who has a “chip on his shoulder” and his speech often gives him away.  He may be angry and bitter at life and others.  In contrast, the Christian lives by the rule of peace.  “Live in peace with one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:13b).  Instead of hostility, the believer follows the Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6) and seeks to be a “peacemaker” (Matthew 5:9).

 



[1] The American Heritage College Dictionary.

[2] Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.

 

 

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