I saw the effects of it today in an old friend who is being ravished by a disease that has attacked his mental capacities to the point he has lost the ability to speak. I saw it in another friend who is fighting with the grief of losing their spouse to illness. It reared its head in the news of another family friend who found out their six year old has cancer and will be heading to chemo. Why is there any of this in the world? The short answer is sin. One man’s disobedience unleashed a torrent guilt, condemnation, sickness, and death. All sickness and death is a result of sin, even when the person suffering may not be suffering because of any specific act of sin in their life.
Seldom do we think about it with as much seriousness as we should, but it is all around us. It ravishes both those we love and those we consider enemies. Quite often, we play with it as if it were some tame animal that could never turn on us, but in reality, the only reason we think little of it is because it has already turned on us and has us under its sway. Scripture speaks of the exceeding deceitfulness of sin, and part of that deceitfulness is that it convinces us of its harmlessness, but when we see the havoc it has released upon this world we should think twice. The truth of the matter is that the sicknesses and death that plagues us are not the biggest problem. All have sinned and fallen short, our sin condemns us before a holy and just God, and part of its tyranny is to convince us that though we may not be perfect, we certainly don’t deserve the wrath of God. The deceitfulness of sin doesn’t stop there, it goes on and moves us to suppress the truth when we hear it and reject the very remedy for our condition.
Yet, by the grace of God, Scripture does not stop there; it goes on to tell us that, through Christ, all who have faith in Him have peace with God, and have been set free from sin (Rom 6:18). Though this does not mean we will never have to fight with our old nature, it does mean that the fact that we have turned to Christ is because the Lord, through his grace, has released us from sin’s ultimate deception. On top of this, he has promised that He will complete the work He has started in us.
This promise of Christ completing His work in us deals primarily with sanctification, but it doesn’t stop there. All of sin’s tyranny will ultimately be destroyed for the believer. Because of Christ’s resurrection, we too will be resurrected. Though we were sown perishable we will be raised imperishable. Though we have been sown in dishonor we will be raised in glory. And though we have been sown in weakness we will be raised in power (1 Cor. 15:42-43). Even though through one man’s trespass, death has reigned, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:17). So when you look around and see the ravishing effects of sin in yourself and the lives of those around you; remember to take sin seriously, and to trust in Christ who is greater than the tyranny of sin. For there is no condemnation, there is no disease, and there is no death as powerful as the life given to us in Christ, which is our hope of glory.