“So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.” (Romans 6:21-22)
To succeed in the battle against sin, the very first step we must take is being able to tell ourselves the truth about sin. Most often, we find ourselves going back to the evil we had promised never to do again is because we do not really believe there is anything wrong with it. We are not able to resist temptations to sin because deep within us, we believe there is something to enjoy from sin.
For instance, when you tell a child to stay away from fire, he/she immediately thinks there is something beneficial about fire and due to their mistrust of you, they feel you are trying to deprive them of what they would enjoy from fire. Unfortunately, this is the same attitude we have towards keeping God’s commandments. We think that by obeying God, we would be denying ourselves of the pleasures of life.
Until we begin to tell ourselves the truth about sin, that its only reward is death, that sin ultimately deprives us of the true pleasures of life, it would remain a great challenge to us. When a doctor tells us to avoid a certain type of food for the sake of our health, our love for that food dies and we begin to see it as poison for us. No matter how strong the temptation to eat that food may be, we have no problem staying away from it.
In the same way, we must be able to tell ourselves that: “sin is poison, sin kills, sin destroys.” Sin is not simply an offence against God; it is primarily an offence against myself. Every sin is suicide, whenever I choose to sin, something very precious dies inside me, my friendship with God suffers and I become less and less of what God made me to be.
Jesus says in our Gospel passage this morning that he had not come to bring peace on earth but rather division. In our struggle against sin, we must remember we cannot afford to be friends with everyone. If I understand the gravity of sin, then I must be willing to let go of even my family members if that is what it would take to avoid sin.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, help me serve you over above anything else. Amen.
Bible Study: Romans 6:19-23, Psalm 1 and Luke 12:49-53).