by: Bill Bratt, Portsmouth, Ohio


Education is very important.
The Three R's - Read'n, Rightn, and Rithmetic will help us in our everyday life from kindergarten to the day we die.
There is also another set of Three R's that can help us now and on into the Kingdom of God and eternity.
As we approach the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread we can apply these Three R's to help us grow.
Let's look at the spiritual Three R's that can help us to EXAMINE ourselves, ELIMINATE SIN, and GROW IN RIGHTEOUSNESS

R #1: Recognize SIN!

In the King James version the word Years ago there was a booklet written called: "How to sin in Hollywood"
The definition of sin in the booklet was: "Sin is thinking thoughts you ought not to be thinking about things you ought not to be doing while you are thinking those kind of thoughts."
How can we recognize sin?
God gives us a simple, clear definition for sin:
The K.J.V. says in 1 John 3:4 "Sin is the transgression of the law."
New K.J.V. says: "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. Lawlessness is the breaking of God's law."
Discerning sin is a matter of applying God's law.
At the basis of God's law are the Ten Commandments. Years ago my wife got a Home Interior plaque with the ten commandments on it.
I would ask our girls to list the ten commandments for me. When they missed one, I had them go in to the plaque, look at it and then return to me and recite to me. After a few trips they learned them all.
If you don't know the Ten Commandments, how can you possibly expect to overcome and put sin - spiritual leaven - out of your life?
God's laws are real working forces that guarantee good results when you are in harmony with them.
Our conduct reflects our obedience to God's law.
While some things are not written in the form of a direct command, the underlying principle or spirit of the law is nonetheless just as binding.

This might include: AT this season of the year we are commanded to EXAMINE ourselves, and see how God's laws expose the "leaven" in our character. 1 Cor 11:28 (NKJV) says: "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."
As we examine ourselves are we putting God FIRST in EVERTHING?
Are we humbly submitting to His authority?
Can we admit when we are wrong?

To have a better understanding of God's law we could do a Bible study on each of the ten commandments.
Take a concordance and do a word study on each of the commandments.
In the back of your Bible make a list of each commandment and list under each commandment pertinent verses for each commandment.
This would be like a chain reference that you can refer to in the future.
This kind of Bible study can be fun.
This kind of Bible study can be used for family Bible study.
Take one commandment at a time and discuss it with the family. Ask each person to give examples of how this commandment can be applied to our lives.
God admonishes us to teach our children his way of life.
We need to encourage our children and each other to think and meditate on God's ten commandments.
We need to take the steps required so that we can reconize sin.

R #2: Resist Sin!

Years ago, I used to make bread. I would mix the ingredients and the yeast, knead the dough and then watch it rise. It was interesting to see this happen. There is nothing like eating fresh baked bread.
Sin like leaven, It spreads quickly and easily.
Therefore we must resist temptation before it turns into sin.
James 1:13-15 says: "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (14) But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (15) Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
Resisting sin requires self-control, actively resisting wrong thoughts and replacing them with right thoughts.
We must bring every thought into subjection to God and God's law.
Who is responsible for our wrong thoughts.
Satan puts wrong thoughts into our mind.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
This is a promise from God.
We must put for the effort to resist sin.

R #3: Repent of Sin!

Even when we recognize sin and resist sin, we will still find ourselves falling into sin.
1 John 1:8-10 says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."
When we sin, what should we do? REPENT! Seek God's forgiveness.
We need to abandon the wrong way and begin to live the right way. God promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
We all have weaknesses in certain areas.
Some sins are so deeply and habitually rooted that they may take years to totally overcome.
Chances are that some of the sins you are working on now are the same ones you were working on when you first started coming to church.
That might be 2, 5, 10, or 20 years ago.
But, we can not use this as an excuse to continue to sin.
Ask yourself, Am I sinning as often as often as I once did?
Does this sin have as much control over me as it once did?
If the answer is no, you are growing and making progress.
Today the world is in misery because of sin.
Yet humanity rejects the very Festival - The Days of Unleavened Bread - that pictures the process that would lead them out of their sins.
We must repent of sin. Our eternal lives depend upon it.


We need to apply the spiritual Three R's in our lives:
We need to:

Return to Religion Page

Go to ICOG Home Page