Two months ago we moved into our house here in the mountains of SoCal. Beautiful house, wonderful view, great neighbors! What more could we want?
Being from Minnesota, one of the duties for fall preparation for winter (yes, we get snow here in SoCal!) is to have the furnace checked. So today we had the guy come out. Everything was okay with the furnace, and commented how well it has been maintained.
Then as we looked around the crawl space under the entire house (about three feet high), we began to see quite a few Black Widow spiders, with plenty of eggs. Yikes! Cindy and I knew there were these kinds of spiders in the mountains. But here? Under our house? We didn’t know — that is a problem! Of course, now we know… and we are calling the exterminators to take care of the problem.
I didn’t know
As I reflected on that, it occurred to me that that’s the way it is with sin. Sometimes, sin is hidden under the covers of every day life. Sometimes because we can’t see sin, we assume it isn’t there. But like the Black Widow spiders, sin is there., and in the long run, can be much more deadly than spiders.
How do we respond to sin, the hidden sins lurking in our lives? We might plead ignorance (“I didn’t know”). Or avoidance (“It’s not a real problem”). Or we might plead arrogance (“I can handle this!). Have you used one of these excuses? Sadly, I have.
The Bible presents many examples of such “problem-solving” with sin (just read Genesis or Judges to get a glimpse of that reality. But in our current sophisticated world, we become enamored with what looks like the latest fad to solve our problems. But each gimick always leave us facing even worse consequences. Sin is like that, a deadly web (more deadly than the Black Widow!) spun by the devil, the world, and our own flesh that pulls us in. In Hebrews we read “let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us” (12:1 HCSB).
The Real Solution: I do know!
So what do we do? The first step is realizing that ignorance, avoidance, and arrogance are not bliss but deadly when it comes to sin. Thus, God calls us to repentance, we agree with God that sin is sin, this sin, this very one I am struggling with. We recognize that even “little sins” can destroy. And we admit that we deserve God’s punishment.
Second, we believe that Jesus Christ came to pay the full price of our sins. “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2 HCSB). Or “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the worl” ( John 2:2 NLTse).
Third, we confess that because of what Jesus has done, God forgives us. “ “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
And we then recognize that Jesus is the one who defeats the devil. “The reason the Son of God appeared was rto destroy the works of the devi” ( John 3:8 ESV).
The extermination is complete in Jesus Christ. We do not plead ignorance of our sin; we do not plead ignorance of our Savior. Thus, through Jesus Christ, we proclaim, “I do know.” And “thanks be to God that I do know.”
Dave at Cap’n Salty’s Long Voyage…
Heavenly Father, we give thanks to you that in your grace you have solved our problems with sin, death, and the devil. We give thanks for the faithful work that Dave has been providing through his teaching Greek and Latin, his pastoring of a congregation, and his seminary studies. May you bless him with wisdom, strength, endurance, and patience as he grow sin your grace. Bless his family throughout this process. And may your name be glorified in and through hi, Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen