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Saturday, 28 June 2014

The answer is in the book!

Antony is a delightful young Portuguese boy who regularly visits the elderly couple who live opposite us at our static caravan in France.  If we are around, he usually comes over to us for a chat - in order to improve his English language skills!

Yesterday, as we were chatting, in both English and French (we like to improve our own language skills as well!), a word cropped up that was causing all three of us difficulty.  At last, my wife disappeared - only to return a few minutes later.  "Let's check the book", she said.  "The answer is always in the book."  The book to which she was referring was one of our French/English dictionaries and, indeed, we found the solution to our little linguistic problem.

However, my mind went off at a tangent.  "The answer is always in the book."  I thought of the problems in the world; in our society and culture; in my own family circumstances.   "The answer is always in the book." 

Perhaps the Lord is telling me something!   On Monday, I ended up writing about the Maker's Manual.  Tonight, I'm writing about the Book.  In each case, I am thinking about the written Word of God - the Bible.  It does, indeed, have the answers to all of life's basic problems.  Indeed, it has the answer to life's basic problem (singular!) which is sin.  That's not a word that is considered to be acceptable in our politically correct culture.  However, that does not alter its reality.  Each of us is aware of it, even if we don't accept, or acknowledge, it. 

So what is sin?  Well, there's a full chapter on the subject in Great Words of the Faith (see above!), but it has been put, succinctly, by the authors of the Shorter Catechism: "Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God".  In other words, sin is not just breaking the law of the land; sin is not just something that is sad, or unfortunate; sin is not just something that upsets me.  Sin is failing to do what God expects from me (sins of omission), or doing what God says I ought not to do (sins of commission).

The Bible has the answer.  It teaches that, although I offend Almighty God, His love for me is such that He has already paid the penalty, and borne the punishment, for my sin.  In the Persona (not a typo - see the chapter on the Trinity in Great Words) of the Son, He hung on a cross, dying the death that I deserve to die.  I am totally unable to satisfy the demands of God's law; I can only come, in repentance (yes, there's a chapter on that subject as well!), and faith, and accept the salvation that He offers, in Christ.

Concerned about your sin?  So you should be!  But remember, the answer's in the Book.  Why don't you read it and find out more. 

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