...from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men...
Thoughts for Today:The King James Version translates our passage today, "...from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..." Ungodliness is sin against God. Unrighteousness or wickedness is sin against man. So what's the difference? When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, the first four dealt with our relationship with God: 1. You shall have no other gods beside me; 2. You shall not make to yourself a false idol; 3. You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain; 4. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. While the final six dealt with our fellow man: 5. Honor your father and mother; 6. You shall not commit adultery; 7. You shall not steal; 8. You shall not kill; 9. You shall not bear false witness; 10. You shall not covet.
Ungodliness denies the character of God, His holiness and sovereignty. For example, when evolution is taught exclusively in our schools and is separated from creation, we deny God's very existence -- that is sin against God. Unrighteousness, on the other hand, denies the law and regulation by God. When a man drinks and drives, then crashes his car and injures or kills someone else, that is sin against man. Regardless of what the majority think, God will judge both -- sin against Him and sin against man. It is unavoidable.
Questions to Ponder:Do you follow the Ten Commandments of God? Before you answer too quickly consider: Number 1. How important is your standard of living -- have material possessions become your god? What about number 6? Jesus tells us that if we've ever looked at a woman lustfully we have committed adultery with her. That's a pretty tough law when in our society, lust is encouraged in every magazine advertisement and television commercial, and actual adultery is more commonplace than fidelity. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. We are all guilty, to one degree or another of both sin against God and sin against man. I guess the question is this: What will we do about it -- continue on or turn from our sin?