Text: “And His (Christ’s) disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“…I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me…”
Good morning, often confused Christian! When we read two texts of Holy Scripture, like the texts above, we often get just a bit confused. But the Lord God Whom we love and seek to serve is not the Author of confusion. When we humbly ask, the Spirit of God will shed Divine light on our subject. Praise God it is so. We have a Divine Helper!
“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you all things to come.” (John 16:13)
Christ’s disciples encountered the blind man in John chapter nine and asked an important question, it is a deep question, it is a vital question - but while we mere mortals have many many such deep questions, only God has all the answers. We are constantly encountering deep and dark situations - but Christ Jesus, our Saviour, is ‘…the light of the world…’ (V.5)
Children can often suffer as a consequence of parental sins. The alcoholic father spends all the family money on booze, thus the children suffer social deprivation. The bingo-addicted mother squanders her husband’s wages in the bingo halls, and the children suffer as a consequences. Parental sin can indeed bring dire consequences for the children concerned - but the children are NOT morally responsible for their parent’s sins!
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Eternal death). The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
Therefore, from this Scripture we are taught that personal sin bears personal responsibility. We are ALL personally responsible for our own personal sins. Godly parents are NOT responsible for the sins committed by their children!
However, the question is even deeper than this. For example, a child brought up in an environment of constant particular sin, will be more apt to commit such sin themselves. Drunkenness, drug-abuse, immoral living, gluttony, untidiness, foul talking, and careless living - can all be negative learned behaviour! Parents, be careful how you live! You children are watching, listening, and learning from YOU! What you do, they will learn to do!
“Train up a child in the way he/she should go; and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Today’s Bible Lesson makes it quite clear then: While children can be deeply influenced by parents and older siblings in the context of positive and negative learned behaviour patterns - every individual person is personally responsible for our own failings, short-comings, actions, words, and SINS.
“But let every man/woman prove (test) his/her own work, and then shall he/she have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his/her own burden.” (Galatians 6:4-5)
Furthermore, while we can transgress known legal and moral laws; while we can trespass against each other, and do each other wrongs and do so constantly - we can only SIN against God, for God ALONE is Holy! Praise His Holy Name! (1 Peter 1:15-16)
“Therefore by the deeds of the law (Ten Commandments) there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin…for there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (I.e. the perfect righteousness and Holiness of the Lord God, found only in Christ Jesus!).” (Romans 3:20-23
This is why even the apostate Pharisees knew that God alone can forgive sins. “…Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7) God alone is Holy. Therefore it is God alone Who can be sinned against!
However, here is the good news, my friends: “But if the wicked will turn (repent) from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes (by faith in Christ Jesus), and do that which is lawful and right (confessing sins when we fail to do so), he/she shall surely live, he/she shall not die (Eternal death). All his/her transgressions that he/she hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him/her; in his/her righteousness (Christ’s righteousness) that He hath done he shall live.” (Ezekiel 18:21-22) (Acts 16:30-31) Wow!Thought: True repentance to Christ brings cleansing from ALL sins!