The Deceitfulness of Sin
So, what sins tempt you? Alcohol? The tongue? Pornography? The love of money? Gambling? What makes these things so enticing?
Is it the throwing up and hangovers that come from a bottle? The divided homes that come from angry words, severed friendships because of violated confidences due to gossip, or the loss of respect because of foul language? The metal health and family issues that destroy lives and families because of the scourge of pornography? Is it the loss of family because of a father that is never around since he is more attentive to his career than to his wife and family? Is it the neglect of family and wastefulness of precious resources associated with gambling that makes it so enticing?
No! No one gives into sin because of the ugly reality associated with the wiles of the devil. He makes sin look attractive. He promises a good time, love, pleasure, friendship, power, wealth, prestige, and all this life has to offer. The problem?
He is a liar! In John 8:44 Jesus says to the Israelites of His day, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
A lie is defined as “an intentionally false statement: …used with reference to a situation involving deception or founded on a mistaken impression. You see a lie does not have to be a “whopper,” or something that bears absolutely no truth at all. People tell “half truths” and “little white lies” all the time. We just mislead, misdirect, or “forget” some integral aspect to a story or statement. And we fall for it all the time. But a lie is a lie is a LIE!
So here is the truth about sin. Satan makes it look good, feel good, taste good and makes false promises and misleading statements about the outcome of sin. Consider his deception in the Garden of Eden. God had indicated that in the day that they would eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Satan told Eve that was not the case (Genesis 3:4). Then he lied about God’s purpose behind the command (v 5). Then notice the impression of the sin Satan was tempting her with… the tree was good for food,… it was pleasant to the eyes,… it was desirable to make one wise (v 6).
How sad indeed that Satan was able to deceive Eve with half-truths and bring about their death, shame, and the ever-increasing evil and influence of Satan in this world. Why didn’t Satan tell her what would really happen if she ate the fruit? Because had he told her the truth, she never would have done so.
Satan tempted Jesus the same way in the desert (Matthew 4). And why? Because sin is pleasurable on the front end. As someone once said, if sin felt like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, no one would do it! Sin offers an adrenaline rush, instantaneous pleasure and satisfaction, the promise of a better temporal life. Sin feels good!
How sad that so many are caught up by the deceitfulness of sin. “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful (Matthew 13:22). “…Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22). “…Exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
Dear friends, open your eyes to the realities of sin. It separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1–2). Sin deceives and kills (Romans 7:11). Sin brings death (James 1:15). Because we have all given in to the deceitfulness of sin and continue to fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), God, in His great love, sent His Son to die for our sins (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Because of what He did for us on the cross, we must do something in order to be freed from the shackles of sin: repent (Acts 17:30), confess His name (Matthew 10:32–33), be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21), and be faithful (Revelation 2:10)!