SIN’S SALES PITCH
Sin is a smooth operator. Yes, when the desires of our world, the devil, and our flesh seem fetching to us, it can be hard to resist that smooth operator. Why? Because like the dirty dope dealer he is, Satan is tempting us with wares he knows will tantalize us. That salesman of sin tries to suck us in with the same temptations he knows we’ve fallen for before.
“Pleasure is yours to purchase,” that serpent says. “And in the transaction, you are selling me something, too—a little slice of your soul…”
And sadly, too many of us take 1 John 1:9 too casually: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We think, “Oh, well…God will forgive and forget…” But what we sometimes don’t realize is that it takes time for God to forget, for there is no time in heaven, right? We forget, too, that God is a real Person with real feelings. Yes, we wound Him deeply with our woeful words and our wicked wanderings. True, also, real tears course down His chiselled cheeks when we give in to sin. Yes, He is bitter-sweetly blue that He blesses us so much, and, in return, we repay Him with so much rebelliousness.
Oh, how we must hurt His soulful heart at times. We think we’re having fun. Meanwhile the Son is definitely not shining. Instead He is hiding behind a mask of clouds, crying His poor heart out. Yes, our actions affect the Almighty in ways we can’t imagine. Our misdeeds resonate resolutely in the heart of our Redeemer who paid the penalty for those sins with His blood, sweat, and tears. Yes, our God’s heart breaks sometimes. Meanwhile, we are thinking, “Oh well...He’ll forgive me. He always does. God understands…”
But there is hope. When the world, the flesh, and the devil are summoning us to sin, we can recognize their voices. They are screaming, “Go for it! Go for it!! GO FOR IT!!!” But with God, there is always time to think a matter through. We must consider the consequences. Do we really want to crush our Creator’s heart? Do we truly want to grieve this gracious One who went to such great lengths to rescue us from eternal ruin? Do we really want to repay His wonderful treatment of us with wickedness? When put that way, it’s kind of hard to hurt a sweet Guy like that, isn’t it?
I thought so…
When we do give in to sin, however, we are kind of cursing God to His careworn face…in effect, we are saying, “God will understand. He knows my weaknesses and the temptations that so easily trick me, that I am powerless to prevent myself from being a pushover to my propensity for this particular sin. After all, it is my perpetual nature…
Wrong. We can do something about it. We can say no! because when Christ sent us the Comforter, we took on a brand new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yes, God does understand, but it doesn’t soften the blow on His battered and bruised heart. The truth is we sin because we want to sin. We are thinking about only ourselves…our wants…our desires…not about God…about what He wants…about what He desires…
When we do consider our Creator’s feelings and say, “NO!” to temptation, we are sometimes in for the fight of our lives. But take heart. We have all the power we need to resist those terrifically strong temptations—that power is called Resurrection power! That’s right. The same power Father used to raise Jesus from the dead resides deep down inside each of us believers. The Apostle Paul put it perfectly: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). That means we have all the power we need to say, “NO!”
Moreover, Paul’s letter to the Philippians proclaims: “I can do all things (resist temptations, even) through Christ who strengthens me” (4:13).
Not only that, but Jesus will help us fight those foes of sin that want us to follow in their footsteps. For example, when the urge to sin does strike, all we must simply say to the LORD is, “Jesus, I take this thought captive in obedience to You (2 Corinthians 10:5). Now please do Your part? Thanks, LORD.” And He will. Just watch as those temptations turn about face and march away forthwith. Yes, Jesus will take the desire for them away from us upon request.
Works for me.
No, I am not saying we will be able to resist all temptations that tramp our way. What I am saying is that we can have more victories than defeats if we keep God’s truths close to our hearts. For surely, it does feel good when we are feeling pure, doesn’t it? When we know we are right with God? That we are pleasing Him—not grieving Him? Yes, it surely does…
So, the next time, sin drops round our doors, let’s not answer the call. Instead, let’s shout a shrilling, “Take off!” to that salesman of sin, that putrid peddler who is pushing us to buy his booty. And we must remember, too, that the Savior who sold His soul to death once will help us to resist Satan’s seemingly irresistible sales pitches. Because that Savior lives in our souls now.
And as an added note, we can confidently tell that slick salesman we are not interested because we have the power now to do so—Resurrection power—the power to boot his backside back into the back alley from which he brazenly emerged. We can say, “I refuse to repay my Redeemer with wickedness and wound Him to the core of His wholesome heart. Sin! You have no power over me anymore. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death! (Romans 8:2)! I ain’t buying your baloney today. So, take off!!!”
When we say that, we are making a power play—and God will back our play.
All scriptural references are taken from the NKJV Bible, 1985