Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

We Need to get Honest!

Meditation for the week of February 12, 2012

Luke 5:8  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"

When Simon Peter was called to follow the Lord, he obviously didn’t feel “holy” enough to do that.  The Lord had used his boat to teach, then had given Peter directions as to how to fish.  Peter should have known more about fishing than a carpenter would know, but he did what the Lord told him to do and caught so many fish that the nets were breaking and the boats were in danger of sinking.  Simon assumed his sin was the reason that they were having such trouble in the midst of success.  He apparently realized he was in the presence of the Son of God Who had become the Son of Man.  He knew he wasn’t “holy” and he didn’t want to defile the Lord with his life.  He was honest and humble and introspective.

Isaiah had the same problem in the sixth chapter of the book by His name  When he saw the Lord in His preincarnate glory with angels crying “holy, holy, holy,” he said, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."

Peter was called to follow and Isiah was called to preach.  Neither of these men were boasting about their own abilities and achievements when the Lord called them.  They understood their own weaknesses and sinfulness.

Today when we preach about others sins, we often don’t see our own.  The sin of slander is practiced everyday in our so-called democratic political process, even by candidates who tell us that they are Christians.  Covetousness and even extortion are considered “just good business” by many, particularly if there is a good corporate bonus available for those who make these “good decisions.”  Homosexuality is preached against by most today while we tend to turn a blind eye to “living together” without the benefit of marriage.  Abortion is considered murder and is one of the heinous sins when we are preaching about “others” sins, but the hatred that is often seen in race and class relationships is often tolerated.  However, hatred is the equivalent of murder as is unjustified anger (See 1 John 3:15 and Matthew 5:22).  In other words, we see other peoples sins as sin, but we don’t see our own sins as sin.  Both Peter and Isaiah confessed their own sin and uncleanness before they were used of God to preach to others about their sin and need of repentance.

I am convinced that those who actually experience the reality of God in their lives know that they are weak and sinful.  They don’t hang their dirty linen out on the clothesline for everyone to see.  Neither do they boast about the sins that they committed before they came to know the Savior.  Nor are they unwise in displaying the weaknesses that they know exist in their own lives. However, they do  preach from weakness and humility, and it comes across in their approach to the Christian life.  When they preach that we are sinners in need of a Savior, they are not saying others need to be saved, they are saying that we all need to be saved.   It is a joy to hear people like this preach about the love of God as experienced in their own lives rather than hearing them try to get people to conform to a religious life-style. 

We cannot justify sin.  All the things mentioned above are wrong.  But the answer is not in turning immoral sinners into religious sinners.  The answer is to bring people into contact with the resurrected Lord, so that they too can be humbled in His presence and find forgiveness in His sacrifice for their sins.  Oh that we all could identify with Peter when he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man O Lord!”

Bruce Collins

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