The Sin That Kills (14 Of 15) by James Merritt

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I JOHN 5:16-17
"THE SIN THAT KILLS"
JAMES MERRITT

INTRODUCTION

1. THIS IS ONE OF THE STRANGEST AND MOST DIFFICULT
PASSAGES IN ALL OF THE BIBLE. IT IS DIFFICULT
BECAUSE IT IS HARD TO DECIDE WHAT EXACTLY JOHN MEAN$
BY "THE SIN THAT LEADS TO DEATH.1 IN FACT, THE
ENTIRE PASSAGE IS VERY DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND.
KENNETH WUEST IS A GREAT GREEK SCHOLAR. E SAID
THIS IN HIS COMMENTS ON THIS PASSAGE: THE PRESENT
WRITER CONFESSES HIS UTTER INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND
THIS VERSE. THEN AFTER IDENTIFYING WHAT HE BELIEVE
TO BE THE SIN- UNTO DEATH HE GOES ON TO SAY THE
REST OF THE VERSE IS AN ENIGMA TO ME AND I WILL NOT
ATTEMPT TO OFFER EVEN A SUGGESTION AS TO ITS POSSIBLE
INTERPRETATION.

2. IT IS ALSO A VERY STRANGE PASSAGE BECAUSE MOST
PREACHERS AND SCHOLARS MISS THE THRUST OF THE ENTIRE
PASSAGE. THE EMPHASIS HERE IS NOT ON THE SIN THAT
LEADS TO DEATH. THE EMPHASIS IS NOT EVEN ON SIN.
THE EMPHASIS IS ON PRAYER. JOHN HAD JUST FINISHED
TELLING US HOW TO GET OUR PRAYERS ANSWERED. IN
VERSES 14 AND 15 HE GIVES US AN ILLUSTRATION OF
PRAYER THAT IS ANSWERED THEN IN VERSES 16 AND 17 HE
MAKES AN APPLICATION OF THIS PRAYER. WHEN CHRISTIANS
FALL INTO SIN, IT IS THE WILL OF GOD THAT WE PRAY
FOR THEIR RESTORATION AND THEIR REPENTENCE. WHEN
JESUS WAS TALKING TO THE DISCIPLES BEFORE HIS
CRUCIFIXION HE SPECIFICALLY LOOKED AT PETER AND
KNOWING THAT PETER WAS GOING TO DENY HIM HE SAID
IN LUKE 22:31-32, "SIMON, SIMON BEHOLD SATAN HAS
DEMANDED PERMISSION TO SIFT YOU LIKE WHEAT BUT I
HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOUR FAITH MAY NOT FAIL
AND YOU WHEN ONCE YOU HAVE TURNED AGAIN STRENGTHEN
YOUR BROTHERS." THE PRAYER LIST OF EVERY CHRISTIAN
OUGHT TO BE FULL OF BROTHERS AND SISTER IN CHRIST
WHO HAVE BACKSLIDDEN AND GOTTEN AWAY FROM GOD.
2
BUT THERE IS ONE KIND OF CHRISTIAN FOR WHOM IT
IS USELESS TO PRAY. IT IS FRUITLESS AND A WASTE
OF EFFORT TO INTERCEDE TO THEM FOR GOD AND THAT

IS THE CHRISTIAN WHO HAS COMMITTED THE SIN UNTO
DEATH, THE SIN THAT KILLS.

I. ...


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