The Empty Deceit of Sin
Believer, the delicacies of sin are widely displayed and lifted up for all to indulge in. From movies to Netflix Originals to commercials to Facebook posts, everywhere we look, there are vices set like bear traps – covered up and entrapping in their grip. Like in Samson's life, sin comes at us like a roaring lion (Judges 14:5) that we can tear apart as easy as "one tears a young goat" (14:6). Then, we pass by the carcass of the lion again to see that honey has developed (14:9), and we stop to taste the sweetness of decay, death, and the sinfulness of sin.
Moments after, sometimes even seconds, the sweetness of decay shows it's bitter roots. Paul calls this the 'empty deceit' that we fall for (Colossians 2:8), foolish as we are to take the bait in hopes of chewing around the hook. Empty promises. Bitter taste. At best, sin is caramel covered onions on a stick that appear to be apples!
So, you've sinned again. Maybe it's the reoccurring sin that fades away, or it's like the hydra that bites with another head. Perhaps your battle with sin this week has been painful. We are not left without instruction. We are not left without good news.
You need to remind yourself, command yourself, and convince yourself from the Scriptures to hope in God and not to fall for the empty deceit of sin. We must see through the bait to the hook.
God cares about your desires and your fight against the flesh, the world, and the devices of the devil. Here is a list of what the Bible says is better – better than sin, better than lusts, better than the world's appetites, better than Satan's offers, and better than your own logic, thinking, hoping, dreaming, mind-wandering, and crooked desires that come from a deceitful heart.
We need a renewed mind (Romans 12:2). We need the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5) lest we be the fools of the world who 'trusts in his own mind' (Proverbs 28:26).
Beloved, you have a Wonderful Counselor. Heed his instruction about what is better:
- It is better to suffer for obedience to Christ, than for sin. (1 Peter 3:17)
- You have a better home in heaven than you have here lest you be covetous. (Hebrews 11:16)
- Your treasure is better and abiding in the heavenlies than what you will lose here. (Hebrews 10:34)
- To be with Christ is far better. (Philippians 1:23)
- Cutting and tearing out whatever we find precious that causes us to sin is better than losing our soul. (Mark 9:43, 45, 47)
- Better to be rebuked for our sin from a brother than quiet comfort. (Proverbs 27:5)
- "Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it." (Proverbs 15:16)
- "The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces." (Psalm 119:72)
- It is better to find our refuge in the Lord than in any ruler or power. (Psalm 118:9)
- It is better to trust in Christ than in any of man's promises. (Psalm 118:8)
- Better is one day in the courts of Christ than a thousand days with all the lusts, pleasures, opportunities, and mountains of wealth at our disposal. (Psalm 84:10)
- The eternal covenant of God's love in Christ towards me is better than life. (Psalm 63:3)
Believer, you were made to worship and find your happiness in the unshakeable assurance of the Triune God revealed in his word.
Jesus is better.
Take the truth of what is better to temptation, to the office, into suffering, to counseling, to your preaching, to your thinking, and to your every day living.