Putting it away

“...let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely…” (Hebrews 12:1).

Admittedly, that is easier said than done considering sin touches the heart, speaks to it, and consumes it with various lusts. The temptation of sin is pervasive and every day, there is a gnawing at our flesh to indulge in its vices. Let’s be honest with ourselves, if sin wasn’t pleasurable to a certain degree or offered a bit of gratification, then where would be the temptation? If we tasted sin and immediately saw it bitter, we would have nothing to do with it. However, that’s not the case. Sin immediately tastes sweet, giving the heart an instant rush of pleasure, but it quickly fades away, leaving us empty and hungry for more.

We love our sin hence we find it so hard to turn away from it. Due to sin filling our fallen world, there is no escape from it entangling or ensnaring our hearts.

Or at least we think.

We must compare sin to Christ. Sin is the violation of God’s law in word, thought, and deed. Although it may be pleasurable for a moment or even a season, that enjoyment is temporary and costly. The consequence of sin has plunged this world into a perpetual state of decay and death. Individually and personally, sin has destroyed families, careers, and has been the death of countless people. All for the brief fading pleasure of sin, people will literally give up their own souls and lose their humanity.

I remember trying to help an individual as they were in the throes of addiction. They had lost everything and as they sat with every relationship ruined, the insatiable desire for more of their sin still caused them to behave almost bestial.

Then something happened. They saw Christ.

My dear friend saw Christ who is perfect and speaks to the soul even more powerfully than sin. This Jesus proclaims liberty to the captive (Luke 4:18) and never breaks a promise. He guarantees satisfaction to every longing heart that draws near (Jn 6:35, 7:37). You see, sin will always disappoint. It will always leave the individual more desperate and in more despair. But Christ never disappoints and every promise he has made toward individuals regarding eternal satisfaction has been secured by his resurrection.

When we come to understand the preciousness of Christ in comparison to sin, then the laying aside—or the putting away—of our sin is more than doable. The fleeting pleasure of sin cannot compare to the beauty, tenderness, and all-satisfying good found in Jesus, and to top it all off, he bids us, personally to come to him.

Yet there are many individuals, who will give mental ascent to the satisfying good that Christ offers, yet in their heart will say, “not yet, Lord.” To those I ask, what has that sin done for you? How has that particular sin served you? It hasn’t. Instead, you are serving it. It dominates your life and its desire is to destroy you. While Christ, on the other hand, has not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). Unlike sin, Jesus is a giver, not a taker.

Compare sin to Christ and you will see there is no comparison. See Christ and receive him and the sting of giving up that sin, whatever it may be, will be lessened to a greater degree. It is Jesus who makes the laying aside and the putting away of our sin worth it in the end.


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