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The Deceitfulness of Sin and Its Antidote

The Deceitfulness of Sin and Its Antidote details logo The LORD is near - Wednesday, September 15, 2021
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder Jr
The Deceitfulness of Sin and Its Antidote

But encourage yourselves each day … that none of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13

The Deceitfulness of Sin and Its Antidote
The Bible characterizes the nature of sin in various ways. One of the most descriptive, and perhaps most telling upon our conscience, is the characterization of sin as being “deceitful.”

Sin is deceitful in that it makes promises it cannot keep. It holds out the prospect of pleasure, fulfillment, and contentment, but in the end it betrays its promise and bitterly disappoints. The “old man” is corrupted by “deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22). The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews warns believers about the deceitfulness of sin and its hardening effect. The more that sin is entertained, the more the conscience will be deadened to sin, until finally it is silenced altogether.

A major theme in Proverbs is the wisdom that keeps us from the paths of sin, which is often personified to us as a morally corrupt woman: “For the lips of the strange woman drop honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword” (Prov. 5:3-4). Sin is presented here as sweeter than honey, but its end is bitter. The charm of sin is gone in the committing of it; sin is attractive as a prospect, but hideous in retrospect.

But how shall we overcome this deceitful power? One has written, “We have no power to affect our own deliverance … It is the redemption of God in Christ’s death and resurrection, realized in the power of the Spirit, given when He had accomplished redemption and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, that delivers” (J. N. Darby). The antidote to the power of sin is to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16). Let us remember, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). The grace that saved us is the same grace that can deliver us.

Brian Reynolds


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