"Sound Doctrine" - (Titus 2:1)

What Does God Do With His Trash?

Allen Webster, adapted

The only trash we read of God having is the sins He removes from human souls. What does God do with this trash?

He buries it. Landfills are a popular way of getting rid of our trash, and so it is with God's trash. David wrote, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1; 85:2; Romans 4:6-8).

He casts it into the depths of the sea. At times great amounts of trash have been taken out into the sea and dumped. The Pacific Ocean is actually the world's largest landfill. God uses the ocean as a dumping ground for a different kind of waste disposal. He casts our forgiven sins there. "He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19).

Two thirds of the earth's surface is water, and the deepest places on earth are beneath it. Most of it remains unexplored, never even visited by humans. Millions of varieties of plants and animals are thought to be yet undiscovered in its depths. So if you wanted to hide something, the best place on the third rock from the sun would be in the ocean.

This is the figure God chose to use to communicate to us how lost our sins become once they are forgiven. Bible commentators draw a comparison between this and the destruction of Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. Not a single Egyptian soldier survived when God cast them into "the depths of the sea"; so no sin can survive this plunging (Exodus 15:9-10).

Sins are not simply cast into the sea, but into the depths of the sea. If they were carelessly tossed from the shore, they might wash back up to be seen again. Or they might be visible at low tide. There is no chance of that happening in this case. They are forever buried at such a depth they can never be discovered.

He throws it behind him. Isaiah declared, "For You have cast all my sins behind Your back" (Isaiah 38:17), and David entreated, "Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities" (Psalm 51:9). We tend to forget things we can't see. An omniscient God never forgets anything, unless He does so on purpose. He purposely conceals our sins so they are not remembered.

He exports it. Some trash has been exported to poor countries, who either felt they could salvage something from it or felt the price they were paid was worth it. God exports our sins. He removes them from us "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12). It is interesting that God did not use the similar figure of "as far as the north is from the south" because you can only go so far north and then you must go south. Therefore, the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole is a specific distance: 12,403 miles. But when will east meet west? It never will because you can go east for the rest of your life and never start to go west. How far is it from east to west? It is infinite. That is how far God removes our sins from us.

He obliterates it. Some types of rubbish, military munitions for instance, are destroyed by exploding them. They are obliterated. You could say that God obliterates our sins. They are erased from His memory forever (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17). Forgiven sin has no history; it is forever gone. Jesus came to "make an end of sins" and to bring in "everlasting righteousness" (Daniel 9:24).

Our sins are expunged when we obey the gospel by believing in Jesus (John 3:16), confessing Christ (Matthew 10:32), repenting of sin (Luke 13:3), and being baptized for remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Since they are erased, they cannot be imputed (Psalm 32:2; Romans 4:7-8; 2 Corinthians 5:19). That is, God does not reckon this sin against us.

No Wimps Allowed

Bryan Matthew Dockens

The strength under consideration here is not physical. After all, "bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things" (1 Timothy 4:8). Instead, the focus is upon internal, spiritual fortitude, "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

The theme "No wimps allowed" is God's idea. It was He who said, "the cowardly shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). Cowardice, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is "ignoble fear in the face of danger or pain".

Danger is a most certain reality for the faithful. "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). With that in mind, tribulation should never surprise us (1 Peter 4:12).

There are widely varying degrees of persecution. Sometimes it is severe, with torture (2 Corinthians 11:24-25), imprisonment (Hebrews 11:36), and even death (John 16:2; Hebrews 11:37). Most often, though, persecution occurs somewhat more subtly in the form of verbal abuse, like mockery (Hebrews 11:36), and slander (Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Timothy 3:3).

In the face of such adversity, many will fall away, just as Jesus predicted (Matthew 13:20-21). Yet others will take courage, knowing "that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed" (Romans 8:18). Paul observed that "most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear" (Philippians 1:14). Confidence and boldness are exactly what we need, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power" (2 Timothy 1:7). Indeed, it is God who provides the power to overcome fear, like the apostle said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). May we find our strength in Him, remembering that "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" (Proverbs 24:10). No wimps allowed!

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