Omission vs. Commission - Lake Forest church of Christ

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OMISSION VS. COMMISSION

James 4:17

Omission vs. Commission

 We continue our study of the book of James by wrapping up chapter 4  We study but one verse together tonight, the last verse of this chapter  However, there is so much contained in this one verse that we should learn from and take heed to

Omission vs. Commission

 The Bible addresses sin all throughout its pages  When we think of sin we think about things such as lying, stealing, murder, adultery, etc.

 In other words, we think of committable acts

Omission vs. Commission

 James addresses a different type of sin here at the end of chapter 4  What James says certainly applies to our lesson last week  However, there is a much broader sense in which we need to consider it for ourselves

Sins of Commission

 To help us understand our passage a little better we need to talk first about sins of commission  When you think of the word commission you might think of the word commit  Commission actually means the act of committing

Sins of Commission

 When we think of sin we usually think of it in terms of committing an act contrary to God’s will  “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (I Jn. 3:4)  There is the idea of committing an act

Sins of Commission

 Going back to the Garden of Eden we see the idea of “don’t commit this act”  The Ten Commandments were full of sins of commission  Even in the NT we see sin being mostly described as acts that are committed (Rom. 1:29-32; Gal. 5:19-21; Rev. 21:8)

Sins of Commission

 Most of us go through life concentrating on not doing the things which are against God’s word  It’s obviously good to focus on doing what He has asked us to do  However, there is more to the Christian life than not doing this or that

Sins of Omission

 James talks about a sin of a different type here at the end of chapter 4  “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”  James now defines sin in a different way than we are used to

Sins of Omission

 Sin is not just committing an act  Sin is also omitting something that is good to do (that we know to do)  There are certainly sins of omission that we may be guilty of  A good example is the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37)

Sins of Omission

 Both the priest and the Levite knew that it was good and right to help, yet neither did anything  It seems the sin of the rich man was that he failed to help Lazarus (Lk. 16:19-31)  Jesus spoke of the sin of omission in Matthew 25:31-46

Sins of Omission

 Remember that we were created for good works  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10)  “…zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14)

Sins of Omission

 If we fail to do those good works that we know to do, then we commit a sin of omission  “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all…” (Gal. 6:9-10)

Sins of Omission

 For those who knew to do good and did not do it, Jesus said that they will be beaten with many stripes (Lk. 12:47)  Paul spoke about his (our) struggle with sin in Romans 7:14-20  He covered both the sins of commission and omission

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