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Ben Gutierrez, one of Liberty's own, speaks at Wednesday convocation

February 11, 2009 : By Dominique McKay

Professor of religion Dr. Ben Gutierrez spoke to Liberty University students at Wednesday’s Convocation warning them to watch their step as they go out into the world and to not fall subject to the slippery slope of sin.

Citing 2 Tim. 3:13 he said, “If left unchecked, sin will grow worse and worse so watch your step.”
Reading from Ephesians 4:17-20, where the Apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians about the Gentiles, Gutierrez said there is a six-fold digression of sin. The first step he described as the “futility of the mind,” when Christians begin to depend on themselves instead of God.

“You cannot get on the slope without starting with this little step,” he said.

Next, in verse 19 Paul writes that the Gentiles are “darkened in their understanding.” Gutierrez describes this as the moment when Christians begin to alienate themselves from God’s intimacy, creating a fuzzy discernment.

“This is the person who knows right from wrong, but is having a problem discerning what is better and best,” he said.

Paul goes on to write about the “blindness of their hearts.” Citing verse 18, Gutierrez says this is when Christians begin to lack practices for their walks. He describes this step as where right and wrong come into question.

He then went on to explain what Paul describes in Ephesians as “past feeling.” He said this is when Christians become literally numb and their consciences become desensitized to sin.

“This passage says that you and I have the propensity to get so desensitized to where we are starting to actually question our salvation,” he said.

Citing where Paul writes about the Gentiles who were “giving themselves over to lewdness,” Gutierrez described this step as a complete disdain for what is holy.

“You wake up and you think ‘No, I would never do that,’ but it starts with that one step,” he said.

This led into the sixth step where Paul writes about the “greediness” of the Gentile heart. Gutierrez said this is when Christians form the selfish desire for more sin and begin to lack the concern for others.

But in verse 20, he said Paul writes that Christians have the ability to be free from this slope of sin.

“God promises you that if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanses you from all unrighteousness,” he said.

He closed by encouraging students to have a heart that is sensitive to sin.

“Where we see the baby steps of sin we [should] feel the pain, know it’s coming and run.”