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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2:56 PM

Hebrews 3:13 - "But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."


I turned on the television yesterday while we were at the hospital and I was amazed by the stories that were being reported on the news.  Apparently a couple out of Arkansas won the lottery….twice within a week.  One time they won 1 million dollars and the next time they won $50,000.  The reporters were just amazed that someone could be so "lucky".  I watched the story, actually I watched it twice because that is how the news is now, on a continual loop, and as I watched I couldn't help but think of the angle of the story that wasn't being reported, and that was the angle of greed.

They just won 1 million dollars gambling on the lottery, and then instead of being content, they went back and bought more tickets.  That is the essence of greed, I need more more more…...It is what sin does to us.  It tells us I can satisfy you, I can bring you pleasure and happiness, but in reality it always leaves us empty and wanting more.

After watching this news story I went downstairs to get something to eat and there in the Subway was a sign on the cookie holder: "just one won't hurt at all."  Again that is what sin says isn't it? (I'm not suggesting cookies are sinful).  This one time won't hurt or there's nothing wrong with that at all or its just once, no one is around no one will see you and we quickly give in to temptation and we find ourselves in sin.

When I left Subway I spotted a man with a shirt that had a cartoon character on the front and these words, "I may not be right but I'm never wrong."  Huh? What? If you are not right you are wrong, right?  What he was saying basically was "I'm always right."  Again that is what sin does isn't it? It appeals to our sense of pride, you deserve this sin tell us.  You aren't wrong, its ok.  Do it and smile and go on.

Sin is as Hebrews 3:13 says, "deceptive."  It tricks us into being greedy or into just one is ok or it appeals to our sense of pride.  And all of a sudden we get to close to the trap and we fall in. 

Sin is that deceptive.  So deceptive that we must fight against it or we will end up in it.  A theologian of old said, "either you are killing sin, or sin is killing you."  We must fight against sin.  Let me say it in another way IF we are going to be what God created us to be, redeemed us to be, and calls us to be we must fight against sin.  The Bible says, "Be holy even as God is holy."  God has created and redeemed us to be holy.  He calls us to be holy on a daily basis.  The only way that we can do that is to fight against sin.  J.C. Ryle put it this way, "there can be no holiness without warfare."  We've got to fight against our pride, our greed, our lust, our sin because if we don't we will fall into the trap of sin and we will be ensnared.  Romans 8:13 calls us to "put to death the deeds of the body."  That is more than just fighting against it, that is conquering it.  That is putting it to death.  If we kill sin then we are no longer captive to it.

Jesus said He come to "set the captives free."  He comes to set those free who are held in captive to fear and to sin.  He come to set us free and the only way that we can be set free is through the power of God in Jesus Christ.    That is the good news of the Gospel.