Summary: Let us never forget that even though we are forgiven, washed in the blood and cleansed from sin, that there is still a high price for sin that must be paid.
THE HIGH PRICE OF SIN
by Pastor James May
All around the world, congregations are gathering this day to celebrate the Lords’ Day. In every pew, and in every chair, there will sit a man, woman or child who comes with only one intent in mind and that is to, somehow, make Heaven their home. In this church we have come together to worship God and to pray that we are found worthy, through the Blood of Christ, to escape the wrath of God, praying that our sins are washed away and awaiting that day when Jesus comes to take his church away.
Yet, there exists a paradox in every life here this morning, and in every man, woman and child in every church. (A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true) That paradox is that while we are born again, cleansed from sin, and dead to sin, there is still an ongoing and never ending battle with sin in this life. We never outgrow the ability to fall into sin. We never reach a point in this life where we have arrived and the possibility of sin entering our lives is no longer a problem. We must be ever on guard against the sneak attacks of our adversary as he does all he can to undermine what God is doing in us and through us. We must never forget that he is like a roaring lion, going about and searching for those whom he can destroy.
We can’t let our guard down, not even for a moment, for that moment is all that the devil needs to get his foot in the door of our heart and then, little by little, begins to open that crack until he moves in for good.
In one small, rural community of Texas there are lots of cattle and, every once in a while, a cow wanders off and gets lost . A rancher was asked, how does a cow get lost? ’Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost."
Christians everywhere are in the process of nibbling their way to being lost. . . We keep moving from one tuft of activity to another, one spot of “green grass” in the pasture of sin after another, never noticing how far we have gone from home or how far away from the truth we have managed to end up until we are lost in the world of sin.
How many Christians have I seen fall back into sin because they began to nibble at the things of the world. Often those things don’t seem so bad. Maybe it’s just one time of missing church to watch a seldom played sports event like a Superbowl Game or a World Series Final. Maybe that little nibble is the smoking of just one cigarette or just one little adult beverage.
It all starts out so “innocently” at first. (Let me say that in the eyes of God sin is never innocently done. It’s all rebellion and even the simplest of sin carries with it a heavy price.) Surely this one time won’t hurt – but you see, that’s the problem, it’s never just this once.
There was a commercial that once aired on TV that advertised a certain brand of potato chip. The commercial put forth a challenge that said, “You can’t eat just one.” Why was that so true for most of us? It’s true because of our own appetite, our own desire for more of the same. We say that we can only eat just one, but how long does that bag of chips really last? Even if we only eat one today to show how “disciplined” we are, I’ll guarantee you that none of us ever throws away a full bag of potato chips. The commercial didn’t say, “You can’t eat just one today and then throw away the rest.” The challenge of that commercial left us with an open-ended time frame and I venture to say that there has never been a time when the challenge was met and all the chips were not eaten.
Like the cow eating the grass one bite at a time and the bag of chips that disappeared one chip at a time, we tend to nibble and bite at sin until it overcomes us. The subtlety of sin is it’s greatest danger and that’s why we must ever be on guard lest Satan destroys us through his wiles.