Aug 23, 2008

Satan's Devices Pt. 2: "It's just a little sin, no big deal!"

This temptation and device that Satan uses is one that is common to all.  We tend to justify ourselves by this distorted reasoning.  The thing to remember is that small sins still have great consequences.  Consider when Adam and Eve ate from the tree in the garden.  What a harmless little thing, right?  As a result, "just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12).  That's just great, now the whole world is infected.  Ultimately, because "the wages of sin is death," whether great or small, God did not spare His own Son who took on both great and small sins (2 Cor. 5:21).  Why would we think He should spare us?

We must also remember that if we justify our smallest sins, we then make room to commit greater sins.  Puritan preacher Thomas Brooks writes, "When a man hath begun to sin, he knows not where, or when, or how he shall make a stop of sin."  This seems due to the fact that we often make excuses for greater sins because we think it's too late to turn back.  If you're already up to your waist in it, what difference does it make to sink another inch or two, right?

In addition, small sins are usually the most dangerous because we don't make them out to be a big deal as we would a greater sin.  So what ends up happening is we let them build up until it weakens and destroys us.  It's much like a person's physical health.  Someone who is a little over-weight is usually less concerned about their health than a person with cancer.  They tend to sweep it under the rug until it becomes too late, where they find their arteries blocked.  So is the person who is not concerned about temptations to sin in small ways.

Whether great or small, the weight of our sin offends the Living God and should help us next time not to be too quick to give our excuses and justifications.  Sin, no matter how small, is a big deal to the God-Man who was tortured and crucified by it.

Aug 22, 2008

Satan's Devices Pt. 1 - Fishing & Painting (aka "Deception")

If you've ever been fishing, you've practiced the art of deception.  Don't get me wrong, I don't believe the Lord holds this against us, but it's a great parallel to how Satan works.  Fish enjoy all different kinds of bait, whether it's worms, grubs, or whatever.  Many fishermen even use lures to "lure" and deceive the fish into thinking it's real food.  It's pleasing to their eyes. It looks good on the outside, and when they decide to go after it, they quickly find that there's a hook underneath that has captured them.  Satan is the greatest fishermen in the world.  He knows perfectly how to present the bait and hide the hook.

He does the same with us.  When he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden, his bait was this, "You won't die if you eat of that tree.  In fact, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods yourself, knowing good and evil."  His bait perfectly hid the hook that was only discovered once they bit into the fruit.  The shame they experienced, God's curses that came upon them, and the great loss that followed proves that they had been captured by the great deceiver.

Satan even baited the hook when He tempted Jesus.  "Look at all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor!  You can have it all Jesus, if you bow down and worship me."  Jesus didn't budge.

Satan's not only a great fishermen, but he's a talented painter.  What he does is he uses all different shades and colors to paint over the ugliness of sin, to get us to stare at it and pursue after it a little longer than we should.  The problem with his paint is that no matter how he beautifies sin, underneath it's just as ugly and filthy as ever.  A poisonous pill is never less poisonous if it's made to look like headache medicine.  It will still kill you if you swallow it.