LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS
MONTE W. HOLLAND
The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays). Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.
Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.
This year I chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:
GREED, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY, SLOTH and PRIDE.
THE ASPECTS OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ARE:
#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law
#2 Defying God or rebelling against God
#3 Acts of violence to others
#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship
#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)
SCRIPTURE: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers–all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him– provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. . (Colossians 1:15-23 (NRSV))
DEVOTION: The bold print says it all—Good Friday, with the horrible death scene at Calvary, has come and gone. We are on the verge of Easter—the empty tomb and the glorious celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
This is the last day of Lent this year. We’ve taken our time to reflect on the most prevalent sins in our lives and to meditate on the antidotes to these deadly sins—with the seven virtues: humility, generosity, love, kindness, self-control, temperance, and zeal. Jesus’ death on the Cross has changed everything. Jesus has reconciled us to him. We may not be able to live the perfect life that he did, but we can live close to Jesus. With Jesus’ help we can be more identified with these seven virtues and less associated with the deadly seven—pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth.
Today is our final day to meditate on the change we are ready to make with Jesus’ help, and tomorrow is the day to announce to the world that Jesus is all the world for us—now and forever!
PRAYER: Forgiving and renewing God, with your help we will be ready to unbind ourselves from these deadly sins and ready our hearts to join with other Christians in the joyous Easter celebration. Amen.
To start at the beginning of this Lenten study on the Seven Deadly Sins, click on: Ash Wednesday: Intro to Lenten Study on the Seven Deadly Sins
To read the previous devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Maundy Thursday