This morning, I had the privilege (though very difficult) to teach at our Youth Worship on both the anatomy of sin and the liberating work of the Gospel, as we did a study on 2 Samuel 11-12.
This is that period in history and Scriptures where the renowned King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, which led to more trouble (i.e. cover-up for sin, killing of Uriah)… and was ended only by God’s intervention through the prophet Nathan.
These are hard lessons to teach, but their always worthy to pass on.
As I continued to ponder on this crucial matter, I can’t help but remember to put two very huge statements together (though written centuries apart), especially in the context of our real, daily battle with sin.
Susana Wesley was one day asked by his child, the renowned John Wesley, on how she would define or describe sin… and here was her profound response:
“Son, whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away your relish for spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the power and authority of the flesh over the Spirit, that to you is sin, no matter how good it seems.”
Many years after, John Piper spoke these very words at the Reformation 500 Conference in Hong Kong:
“How do you break the power of the promise of sin? Not merely by saying no. But by the promise of a superior pleasure. Sin cannot deceive a heart that is so satisfied in Jesus.“
Whew. Truly, the ever-faithful promises of God are infinitely better than the false promises of sin! In fact, they’re simply incomparable… and incompatible!
In this daily warfare that we experience, I pray you and I would find our greatest delight and satisfaction in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that we would count all things as loss and rubbish in comparison to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus. I pray that the Lord would give us daily grace to FACE sin in such a Word-anchored manner.
What do I mean by this? I believe we need to do the following:
- Fresh start by seeking God’s forgiveness and transformative power (1 John 1:7-9)
- Acknowledge our desperate daily need for God’s help (Psalm 121)
- Create space for developing spiritual habits and doing meaningful activities (1 Timothy 3:14-17)
- Enlist trusted partners who can help you sharpen your faith (Proverbs 27:17)
Let us never play with sin, my dear friends.
Instead, count the cost. Embrace the Cross.
Follow Jesus… and keep following Him!