Am I Responsible?

[Article written by Matt Nevins. Originally published in his email newsletter “The Lamp.”]

Growing up at home and going to school through the years, I have been taught that I am to be responsible for the things that I say and do. I have learned this lesson both in the environment of the home as well as in the school setting. What strikes me odd now is that several claim that we are not responsible for our sins! We can’t have it both ways. Either we are, or we are not responsible for our actions, whether actions of good works or of sin. The Bible teaches that I will give an account of all that I do (Rom 14:12), including both good and bad things.

In the Old Testament, we find that the person that sins is responsible for his own actions. Consider Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” It is quite plainly said that the soul that sins shall die. Am I responsible for my actions? YES! We also find that the father isn’t responsible for the sin of the son, not the son responsible for the sin of the father. Am I responsible for my actions? YES! God has always held each person responsible for his/her own actions. God’s word has not changed concerning this even into the New Testament.

All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. This statement was made by Paul, an inspired apostle, in Rom. 3:23. This verse says that all have sinned. Each individual has sinned on his/her own will. Each person is responsible for his/her actions. As a result of each person sinning, all fall short of the glory of God. We become unworthy to dwell in the presence of God when we sin. We sever the relationship between us and God each time we sin. Any doctrine that teaches otherwise is absolutely false!

We also read each person will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). What will we be doing before Christ? We will be giving an account of all that we have done (Rom. 14:12). Would there be a point of being before a judgment seat if we are not responsible for our sins? NO! Our deeds will determine whether we will obtain eternal life with the righteous, or eternal punishment with the wicked (Mt. 25:46). I must realize this and live according to what God has said!

Each man sins when he is drawn away and enticed by his own desires which conceives sin and brings forth death when it is fully grown (Jms. 1:14-15). Our sin puts us in darkness, separated from God (Eph. 5:7-8, 1 Jno. 1:5-10). Therefore, we are in need of reconciliation to restore and mend the relationship between us and God. We can receive this reconciliation through Christ Jesus (Rom. 5:9-11). We must realize that salvation is a gift that we do not deserve and there is nothing we can do to make ourselves worthy. The offering of salvation to man is God’s demonstration of His grace (Eph. 2:4-5, Tit. 3:4-7). We are saved by His grace and mercy, though not because of an act that we have done to make us worthy, it is based upon God’s loving kindness.

I must realize that I am responsible for my actions and you are responsible for your actions! Remember that it is the soul that sins is the soul that will die (Ez. 18:20). I am not responsible for the actions of my parents, or for anyone else-only my own. Let us then live pleasing to God so that we may be able to receive the inheritance that is promised.

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