Avoiding Sin Damage—Living in the Sonlight

July 2, 2016 No Comments »
Avoiding Sin Damage—Living in the Sonlight

By David Faust

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.26.19 PMAre you spending a lot of time in the sun this summer? You will want to have sunscreen. Too much exposure to solar rays can damage your skin and even lead to cancer.

Humanity’s main problem, though, isn’t skin damage; it’s sin damage.

Satan is a murderer and a liar (John 8:44). The word evil is live spelled backward. The devil doesn’t give life; he destroys it. It’s fitting that the letter “I” falls right in the middle of the three-letter word sin. When things go wrong, I often find myself in the center of the problem. An inflated, deflated, or distorted view of self leads to all kinds of negative results.

Sin Damage

• Sin makes us guilty. Who wants to be a lawbreaker in the courtroom of God?

• Sin makes us weak. No one grows stronger by doing wrong. Bad choices chip away our willpower and make it easier to give in the next time.

• Sin makes us unclean. It soils our souls, stains our hearts, corrupts our consciences—makes us feel dirty inside.

• Sin deceives. It tricks us into thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, less reverently toward God than we ought, less kindly toward others than we ought.

• Sin dehumanizes. When we violate the pattern God designed us to follow, we distort his image and fail to achieve our full potential.

• Sin misguides. It makes us miss the mark, stray into forbidden territory, go off target, and waste time and energy chasing the wrong goals.

• Sin enslaves. It boxes us in, bogs us down, and chains us to destructive habits and addictions.

• Sin kills. Spiritual death is the inevitable result of rejecting the life-giver. “Sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15).

Why the Son of God Came

Aren’t you glad sin doesn’t have to be the last word in our relationship with God? “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). One by one, Jesus came to undo sin’s damaging effects.

Guilty? We don’t have to be. The flawless Christ sacrificed himself to save the fatally flawed. When Christians sin, “we have an advocate before the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1). Our own righteousness falls short, but his righteousness clears the path to forgiveness so the judge of the universe can declare us “not guilty.”

Dirty? We don’t have to be. Isn’t it fitting that in the New Testament new life in Christ is marked by the waters of baptism? (See Acts 22:16 and Titus 3:5.) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

When we accept God’s gracious gift, we become beneficiaries of one positive exchange after another. Sin weakens, but the Holy Spirit strengthens. Sin deceives, but Christ always tells us the truth. Sin dehumanizes, but Christ renews us in the image of our Creator (Colossians 3:10). Sin leads us astray like wandering sheep, but the good shepherd guides us in the right direction. Sin enslaves, but Christ sets us free. Sin kills, but Christ resurrects and renews.

Sin hovers over humanity like a dark cloud. What a difference it makes to live in the light of the Son!

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

Daily Readings

July 4


John 8:2-11

No One Without Sin

July 5


Acts 13:36-41

Forgiveness of Sin

July 6


Psalm 38:17-22

Confess Our Sins

July 7


Acts 26:12-18

Open Their Eyes

July 8


James 1:12-18

Enduring Temptation

July 9


1 John 2:1-6

Walk Free of Sin

July 10


Romans 3:9-20

None Righteous . . . Not One

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