If you’ve been around me in the past few months (or have read my articles on Kingdom Pen), there’s a good chance you have noticed my recent obsession with Marvel.
Their stories are so good and the characters… You guys, Marvel’s characters are amazing!
One of my favorite scenes is in Avengers: Endgame. The heroes have gathered together one last time before their life-or-death mission. After his epic speech, Captain America says, “Whatever it takes.”
Just thinking about that scene makes me happy.
But this post isn’t going to be me fangirling over movies. It’s actually about a very serious topic: sin.
I want you to think back to that toy you really wanted as a kid. You know, the one you always begged your mom to go look at every time you went to the grocery store.
Remember how you saved every penny and counted it every week to see if maybe this time you had enough? Or how you tried to do extra chores around the house and yard to earn the remaining money?
You were willing to do whatever it took to get that toy.
Or think about the college you wanted to get into. You spent hours studying to pass the ACT or SAT. You did your best on your applications.
You were willing to do whatever it took to get your acceptance letter.
And what about Jesus? He came to die to satisfy God’s wrath so we could be redeemed. He knew it would cost Him His life, but He did not shrink back. He was willing to do whatever it took to save us.
Yet we are unwilling to go to the same lengths to rid our lives of residual sin.
Even after we are saved and our hearts are regenerated, sin is in us. It always will be until we are glorified. But should we keep on sinning because a) we know we will never be perfect in this life or b) God will forgive us anyway?
Let’s ask Paul.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?Romans 6:1
In case you missed it, the Apostle Paul said, “NO! DON’T CONTINUE IN SIN.”
We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.Romans 6:6-7
Because we are saved, we are set free from sin. We have the freedom to chose to not sin. And when we fail, there is forgiveness through Jesus’ death.
But most of us look at sin and think, “Eh, it’s not that bad.”
That is a wrong view of sin. A very wrong view.
All sin, from outright murder to a white lie, is an offense to God and His perfectly holy character.
Here’s what A.W. Pink says about God’s view of sin in his book, The Attributes of God.
Because God is holy He hates all sin. He loves everything which is in conformity to His laws, and loathes everything which is contrary to it… For one sin God banished our first parents from Eden. For one sin all the posterity of Canaan, a son of Ham, fell under a curse which remains over them to this day (Gen 9:21). For one sin Moses was excluded from Canaan, Elisha’s servant smitten with leprosy, Ananias and Sapphira cut off out of the land of the living.
God does not take sin lightly.
Hebrews says, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (9:22)
And our approach to defeating the sin in our lives is much akin to our approach to that research paper due next week. We know it needs to be done, but we don’t want to do it. We become comfortable in our sins.
We say: “It’s just who I am. I’m naturally impatient.”
We blame others: “Well, if he hadn’t pushed my buttons, I wouldn’t have gotten angry.”
We minimize it: “It was just a few dollars. No one cares.”
The author of Hebrews notes this when he says, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” (12:4)
When talking about lust, though His words can apply to any sin, Jesus says:
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.Matthew 5:29-30
Jesus is not saying to actually cut your hands off. He is using hyperbole to demonstrate how important it is to rid yourself of sin.
Sometimes it takes drastic action.
Maybe you need to stop watching that TV show. Maybe you need to delete that social media account. Maybe you need to get away from that friend group. Maybe you need to stop listening to that music.
The battle against sin is never easy. It’s hard. It’s exhausting.
But we must fight it.
We are not alone in this battle. The Holy Spirit is working in us to sanctify us and make us more like Jesus.
It’s like the research paper I mentioned earlier. You don’t want to deal with it, but you must. The writing center or your teacher will help you, but you need to do your part as well.
The Holy Spirit will help us overcome the residual sins in our lives. But we need to put forth effort as well and not just twiddle our thumbs.
Don’t give in to sin. Fight it.
Whatever it takes.
I cannot trifle with the evil which killed my best Friend.Charles Spurgeon