Behind sin works a living, personal, spiritual force called Satan. He opposes God and he considers mankind his battlefield. We know little about his origin, but we have learned much about his tactics and objectives. These should be studied carefully.
When we speak of sin, therefore, we are actually speaking of the work of Satan against God’s special creation of mankind.
It cannot be controlled. It is the lion crouching just outside the door ready to pounce and kill, Genesis 4.7; 1 Peter 5.8. It is the kudzu that will not stop growing until it has covered every good intent and smothered all good works. There is no dabbling in sin, no setting limits for sin, no negotiating with sin.
It destroys relationships, motivations, health, spirituality. Sin undermines strong foundations, creates hurts and offenses between people, accuses others of self ambition, opens up to swallow people and families alive, Numbers 16.1-34. Sin never helps, never builds up, never brings advantages, never unites.
In temptation, sin shows only its attractiveness, the pleasure from engaging in it. It tells you how much you deserve it, how others are doing it, how you can do it just once and not be hurt, how no one will know about it. Satan is the father of lies, John 8.44, and he tells every lie in the book. His is the first lie recorded, to Eve, and his greatest lies are told about God, Genesis 3.1-5.
It uses people and loves things. It manipulates for selfish purposes. Truth, faith, and love become tools of the trade. Instead of righteousness, respectability. Rather than zeal, it counsels lukewarmness in the guise of moderation. Humility over one’s own error is turned into smugness over avoiding the error of others. The commands of God become fields of doubt.
Sin kills holiness. God is holy. Without holiness no one shall see the Lord, Hebrews 12.14. So sin separates us from God, Isaiah 59.2. The one essential relationship of man is broken by sin. This is the goal of sin. Sin works to this end. When man is estranged from God, sin celebrates. This separation from God begins in this life and carries through to eternity. There is no greater damage that sin can do than separate us from God.
Sin will die
It is true that sin causes death, both physical and spiritual, but sin itself will one day die and perish at judgment. The sinner will die in the torments of hell with sin. Whoever separates himself from sin and appeals to God for salvation, in Christ, will live. Sin cannot overpower God or those who live by his Spirit. Sin will be vanquished. Sin and all sinners will be eternal losers.
“Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus” Romans 6.5-11 NLT.
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