The Curse of Sin

Posted by Elaine January 14, 2017 at 12:00 AM AEDT

Temptation to do something wrong always looks attractive… but when we are lured in, like a mirage, things are never what they seemed and the bite of sin ( doing what you know is wrong) can be deadly.

All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Revelation 3:5

I once read of a man traveling through rural Pennsylvania who stopped at a bridge where a young boy was playing near a river. Looking for a place to fish, the man asked: “Are the fish biting today?” The boy answered: “No, but the worms sure are.”

The man smiled, got in his car and went on his way. A few hundred yards down the road from the bridge, the man stopped at a gas station. As he chatted with the attendant he told him about his conversation with the boy. A look of horror came over the face of the attendant. Together they raced back to the bridge — too late — the little boy was dead. The “worms” the boy had been playing with were actually baby rattlesnakes.

So too I watch in horror as people around us play with sin. We see a young couple involved in premarital sex; a spouse taking flirtation with a co-worker to another level; a teenager sampling his first beer — we know disaster will follow. Sadness overcomes us because soon their lives will be full of misery and despair.

The Bible tells us the pleasure of sin only lasts for a season.Even seemingly small sins are dangerous and will eventually trap us. In our passage today, Paul asks: “What then? Are you going to keep on sinning because you are under grace?” I certainly hope not because we all know where sin leads:

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God! -harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!

But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Galatians 6:7

Something to Ponder:
Whether we’re under grace or not — sin still has a consequence to us, including those around us. Sin causes death — to our bodies (a former alcoholic might be going to heaven, but that doesn’t mean he won’t die from cirrhosis of the liver); our families (a Christian who was unfaithful in marriage might be forgiven by God, but there are still long term effects upon children and finances); etc. What has sin destroyed in your life? It can begin so innocently, but like the poisonous venom of even a baby snake, it will ultimately prove deadly. Author unknown

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Here the Bible speaks of the danger of continuing to live the way we want after giving our lives to Jesus:

So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realise we packed up and left there for good?

That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace – a new life in a new land! When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life – no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word.

When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time – remember, you’ve been raised from the dead! – into God’s way of doing things.

Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want?

Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits.

All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom! I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture.

You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing – not caring about others, not caring about God – the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness? As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!

Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. Romans 6

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Don’t Throw It All Away
So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-23

Please pass it on to your friends because those who you love have a right to know!

2016 – From Elaine Costin – Capturing Sunrise