Presumptuous Sin

As there are degrees of sin, there’s also more than one kind; the Psalmist asks God to keep him from presumptuous sin. (Ps 19:13) There’s mercy for sins of ignorance (Nu 15:28); God overlooks them (Ac 17:30), but not lives of willful (He 10:26-27) presumption. (Nu 15:30)

Presumption is unwarranted intrusive or impertinent boldness; inexcusable forwardness; a readiness to presume; knowingly thinking, saying and/or doing things without right or permission. (De 18:20) Sin is the violation of God’s Law, Torah. (1Jn 3:4) 

Presumptuous sin then is to willfully break God’s laws, or to be careless or neglectful in keeping them (Ps 119:4); it is to despise YHWH Himself (Lk 10:16), and it’s the worst kind of sin. (Ps 19:13)

Yet even if we’re not deliberately breaking specific Torah commands, inappropriate boldness, assertiveness or confidence may be presumptuous. For example, asserting our subjective opinion as verifiable fact is problematic unless we have legitimate evidence: only objective concepts are truly verifiable. Teaching our private interpretation of scripture as ultimate truth, thereby setting ourselves up as having apostolic authority (Re 2:2), unless we are divinely inspired and ordained by God Himself to do so (Ja 3:1), is evidently equivalent to being a false prophet, deserving of the death penalty. (De 18:20)

Like the Psalmist, let’s run from presumptuous sin! As it dominates us we become slaves to darkness (2Ti 2:25-26); God’s children don’t live like this. (1Jn 3:6-8).

And while we’re running from presumption let’s acknowledge that only God Himself can restrain us and keep us back from it; if God doesn’t help us here we’re all hopelessly wicked. (Is 64:6) But God is faithful (2Th 3:3) to help us become poor in spirit.

As we find ourselves becoming free of presumptuous sin, transformed, elect unto obedience and humility, this is the gift and grace of God (Ro 5:17): we’ve nothing to boast of (Ro 3:27) or take credit for (1Co 4:7), nothing to be proud of, nothing to glory in. (1Co 1:29) Let’s rejoice … and only in God Himself. (Je 9:23-24)

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