The Seven Deadly Sins

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The Seven Deadly Sins are a list of sins including: Pride, Anger, Envy, Impurity, Gluttony, slothfulness and Avarice.

What are the Seven Deadly Sins

After a minister had spoken strongly against sin one morning, one of his members said, 'We don't want you to talk so plainly about sin because if our boys and girls hear you mention it, they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so bluntly about sin.'

The minister wnet to the medicine shelf and brought back a bottle of strychnine marked POISON. He said, 'I see what you want me to do. You want me to change the label. Suppose I take off this poison label and put on some mild label such as peppermint candy. Can't you see the danger? The mider you make the label, the more deadly the poison.' (Graham Billy, The Seven Deadly Sins, p.9).

The classification of The Seven Deadly Sins came about at the end of the sixth century by Pope Gregory the Great. He maintained that every sin man commits can be classified by seven words. He named the sins: pride, anger, envy, impurity, gluttony, slothfulness or laziness and avarice or coveteousness.

1. Pride

Pride seems to be the sin that comes first. "Pride goes before destruction [or a fall]" (Proverbs 16:18). "Pride is thus the mental and moral condition that precedes almost all other sins" (Billy Graham).

What is pride? "It is a haughty, undue self-esteem out of all proportion to our actual worth. It is that repugnant egotism which is ruplsive to both man and God. It is that revolting conceit which swaggers before men and struts in the presence of God" (Billy Graham).

2. Anger

Anger is one of man's most destructive sins. It can destroy relationships, homes, churches and communities. No one is immune from anger. Anger murders, assaults and attacks causing physical and mental harm to its victims.

As James says, "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19b-20).

3. Envy

"Envy and jealousy can ruin reputations, split churches and cause murders. Envy can shrink our circle of friends, ruin our business and dwarf our souls" (Billy Graham).

Envy has much to do with money and possessions. It creates an unhealthy competitiveness. That's why the Bible says, "Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another" (Galatians 5:26).

4. Impurity

"The sin of impurity at the outset does not apprear ugly and venomous. It comes in the guise of beauty, symmetry and desirability. There is nothing repulsive about it. Satan clothes his goddess of lust as an angel of love, and her appearance has deceived the strongest of men" (Billy Graham).

Impurity destroys relationships, families, homes and churches. Impurity distorts one of God's most precious gifts to man, which is human love. It often drags it down to the level of beasts. That's why God said, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).

5. Gluttony

"Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins and has been placed by the church fathers right alongside pride, envy and impurity. It is a sin that most of us commit, but few of us mention. It is one of the most prevalent sins among Christians (Billy Graham).

What is gluttony? Simply put, gluttonly is overindulgence. Gluttony is at the heart of the philosophy of prosperity and plenty. A philosophy that says: build bigger...take it easier...drink more...enjoy life more.

Philippians 3:18-19 says, "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-who set their mind on earthyly things."

6. Slothfulness or Laziness

"The Bible indicates that the sin of slothfulness engenders a negative kind of life which is stagnant and ineffective and which renders a person unworthy of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Spiritual laziness is not only a sin against God-it is a sin against yourself. It measures the distance between what you ought to be and what you actually are. It shows the difference between the person you are and the person you could be" (Billy Graham).

Slothfulness or laziness leads to unfaithfulness (See Matthew 25:12). It is insidious and subtle.

7. Avarice or Coveteousness

What is avarice or coveteousness? It is greed. It is the philosophy that says, "Look out for number one!"

"It cheats, robs, murders and slanders to achieve its desires. The Bible teaches that we are born with the sin of avarice. We read in Jeremiah 6:12 that 'from the least of them, even unto the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness.' Babies are born with selfish, grasping, greedy natures. Though they cannot make requirements known in words, they have a way of making their desires known" (Billy Graham).

The Seven Deadly Sins may seem inescapable, nevertheless, Jesus has set us free from the power of sin (John 8:36).

Source: Graham Billy, The Seven Deadly Sins (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott Ltd) 1956

Beware of the Captive Power of Sin


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