“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
We don’t fear sin enough. We see it glorified and celebrated in the culture around us. As followers of Christ, we CANNOT minimize sin, we must see it for what it is and then respond biblical. Our biblical response to sin should be immediate confession and repentance. Then extreme gratitude for what Christ has already done on the cross. I heard a song this weekend for the first time, What Sin?. It has a powerful chorus:
What sin, what sin?
That’s as far away
As the east is from the west
What sin, what sin?
It was gone the very minute you confessed
Buried in the sea of forgetfulness
Praise God for the forgiveness for sin we have available through Jesus Christ!
James outlines a process of falling deeper and deeper into sin. Sin is an act or feeling that transgresses something forbidden or ignores something required by God’s law or character, whether in thought, feeling speech, or action. There are two broad categories of sin. Sins of omission are ones where we fail to do what we should; sins of commission are ones where we do what we shouldn’t. Either way, Christ has paid the penalty for each and every sin. This payment only applies if you accept the free gift of God’s amazing grace!
Sin is a process, not an event. This passage uses the imagery of childbirth. Anybody who has been around a woman giving birth knows how long and arduous the process is. You don’t just show up and pick up a baby! The same goes for sin. A married man or woman doesn’t just wake up in the bed of someone not their spouse. They are deceived by satan, then the desire becomes stronger as their thoughts and eyes linger longer and longer on what is forbidden. There may be moments of flirtation and then the mind goes crazy. Eventually, this sin grows up and gives birth to death. Adultery kills relationships. This process applies to every sin; some processes move faster than others. For me, it’s food. A craving enters my mind as I drive by a restaurant… eventually, I must have that food and go out of my way to smell it… then “give in” and get it. If I keep it up, my “Mac attacks” will eventually result in a heart attack (death!).
The only way to stop this process is through Christ. Christ not only set you free from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin over your life. Positional freedom in Christ is a fact; practical freedom is an ongoing process of learning to listen to the still, small voice of God.
What about you?
Where in the process of sin are you?
Do you think you are beyond the help of God? You aren’t.
Do you feel that if you are this far down the road, you might as well continue? You shouldn’t.
How can you practically get help from God and others to help you apply the overcoming power of Christ to your sin?
Have you let Christ bury your sin in the sea of forgetfulness?