Even ‘self-isolation’ can’t protect you from sin, says Bible teacher John Lancaster.
It was first discovered in a newly-wed couple enjoying their honeymoon in an exotic location. He was an ‘alpha male’ (in the purest sense of that term); she was a woman of flawless loveliness. Together, they were a couple of perfect human beings lovingly walking hand in hand in a setting of breathtaking beauty. In the cool of the day, their heavenly Father walked and talked with them and blessed them. Everything in the garden was lovely – until the serpent emerged from the undergrowth and struck the fatal blow.
Everybody’s got it
The story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Genesis chapters 2 and 3) is not just a fable; it is a vivid account in picture language of how the virus of sin infected the human race. The serpent, a symbolic name for Satan, the enemy of God, determined to destroy this beautiful couple. In doing so he coiled around their minds, appealing to their self-esteem, telling them that the safety limits God had placed in the garden were an infringement of their rights, aimed at restricting their freedom to achieve their personal dreams of self-achievement.
Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lies, took of the forbidden fruit and the serpent’s fangs closed, releasing the deadly venom of sin into the bloodstream of their spiritual and physical life.
From there it went viral! The infection passed to their children, increasing its spread until it became a pandemic. As the Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And again: “There is none righteous, no not one.” And yet again: “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”
The truth is, no one is immune. The virus of sin is in me – and you! What is more, as Romans 5:12 warns us, this infection is fatal. No amount of ‘self-isolation’ can protect us – ‘The soul who sins is the one who will die’, because ‘the wages of sin is death’. Sin separates us from a holy God who is the source of all life, and eventually causes us to die spiritually and physically.
God has a solution
But there is a cure: “The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
It is the glory of the grace of God that he so loved the world that had sinned against him that he gave his only Son to save us from death. The death of Jesus and his resurrection means the power of Satan has been destroyed and the deadly infection of sin has been overcome in the lives of those who receive him as Lord and Saviour. That involves facing up to the fact I am infected with the virus of sin and calling on the Lord Jesus Christ to save me from its power.
Like others, I stood at my front door and joined in a ‘thank you’ round of applause for the self-sacrificing work of NHS and other important workers. It was right to do so. Today, and every day, I also want to applaud the sacrificial life and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, who ‘loved me and gave himself for me’.
That means more than clapping, singing songs and banging saucepan lids, or even saying little prayers. It means realising that I must surrender my life to him, asking him to cleanse me from sin and to live in me so that I become spiritually healthy with his gift of eternal life. And that goes for you, too.
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Thank you for the challenging and balanced articles in "Heroes of the Faith". In all that is available to read these days there is little that stands in the face of overwhelming liberalism facing the church. Your articles remind us about the price that people paid to stand for truth according to the Word of God. I liked very much how you brought into balance the George Whitefield statue story. Nowadays we only ever hear one side of the story. Racism and slavery is a festering wound existing from generation to generation. You have exhibited wisdom and empathy in your article.