The deceitfulness of sin

“Sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:15 (NIV)

It is rather difficult to talk to people young and inexperienced with sin that it is ugly and not beautiful. If you suggest that going on a drunk is a waste of time to a freshman in university he/she will turn their back on you. But speak to an alcoholic who has ruined their life with drink and you will discover a very different attitude expressed.

Find someone cheating on their marriage partner and you will see a person having a fantastic time. Visit them later in life and they will confess their actions were cruel and thoughtless regarding their spouse and children.

Sin is remarkably alluring to anyone who seeks it for themselves. The tragedy is that committing sin is like starting to do drugs. There is a rush and euphoria for a time but soon the constant use of the drug will waste your body and destroy your life. Ultimately it is the same with sin.

A Bible scholar of the past once pointed out that Jesus denounced three categories of sin in particular, the sin of the publican which was sensuality, the sin of the Sadducee which was pride, and the sin of the Pharisee which was hypocrisy. Jesus reserved His most vigorous denunciations for the sin of hypocrisy.

Jesus certainly spoke of other sins such as covetousness when he called the man a fool who built up a fortune in assets and ignored God (Luke 12:16-21). He also referred top the deceitfulness of riches in Matthew 13:22 and Mark 4:19.

Jesus wants a people who will serve Him from the heart and not simply their lips. One time He said of His generation, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain” Matthew 15:8 (NIV).  It is only when our hearts match our speech that we worship acceptably.

We need to examine ourselves to see if we have an open or secret longing for the beauties and promises of sin. Sin, as a seed promises all kinds of fruit. But when it is full grown is the angel of eternal death. Sin is remarkably deceptive in its first approach to anyone and we should be very alarmed by its efforts to entice us into its trap.

Alternately, the idea of living a life which is pleasing to God can be unattractive initially. The thought of self-denial for the sake of Jesus makes many people indifferent to Him. We are taught in our selfish society to put ourselves first and all else second.

In the movie Chariots of Fire there is a scene where some officials of the British team are trying to persuade Eric Little to run on the Sabbath. Little’s conscience would not allow him to put his country ahead of his allegiance to God. One of the officials grumbled that in his day it was “King and country first”. Apparently he was not impressed by Eric Little’s placing of God ahead of his country.

Anything we place above God is an act of sin. God will have first place or no place in our lives. Look at your own life and consider whether the Creator is with you or not. What do you find attractive? Is it possible you are deceived?

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