December 13, 2006, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Leadership, Uncategorized

By Walt Alexander

Yesterday, as I was reading 2 Peter 2, I was provoked by what Peter wrote about sin. Peter is writing to the church, warning them of false teachers and prophets. In explaining them, he tells the due judgment of the unrighteous (sinful).

Here’s what Peter taught me about sin:
1. Sin is the result of a sinful nature (v.12).
Just as sin in these false teachers and prophets is a result of their sinful nature, I am a sinner. This fact is unavoidable. Psalm 51:5 says, “in sin did my mother conceive me.” No one taught me to sin. I am a sinner by birth. Remember kids. Who taught them to not share their toys? Or who taught them to hit their sister or brother? Matter of fact, who taught me not to share my bread or coffee? No one. Indeed, it is our instinct to sin. We are driven about by our sinful desires and cravings.

2. Sin carries ignorance and deception (v.12).
These false teachers and prophets were blaspheming (speaking evil) about things they did not know. They were ignorant and deceived. They lacked knowledge of their evilness. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful and beyond cure, who can understand it?” So, my heart is deceitful. I must assume ignorance and not assume that I understand or have arrived at a sufficient understanding of my sinfulness.

This means I must not assume innocence after a conflict with a friend. I must question my motives and carefully investigate my heart by the light of the Holy Spirit.

3. Sin promises pleasure and delivers temporary pleasure (v.13).
Isn’t this true? Don’t you get some deceitful satisfaction in disobeying your conscience or in responding sinfully? That is because sin promises and delivers temporary pleasure. There is temporary pleasure in sex before marraige, lust, bitterness, slander, white lies, etc. But this pleasure is deadly.

This is quite sobering in considering seemingly good things. Sin is not merely in desiring inherently sinful things but in prizing perfectly good things too much. This means we must search all lives for good things that we love too much, like iBooks, iPods, cars, clothes, food, pleasing men, etc. These things are not inherently sinful, but they, like sinful things, compete with our passion for and satisfaction in God.

4. Sin is insatiable (“always needing more and impossible to satisfy”).
Just as these false teachers and prophets were never satisfied, my sinful cravings will never be satisfied. One of the biggest lies of temptation is: you will be satisfied. It promises that if you just give it this last thing, then it will be satisfied and the craving will be no more. Wrong. Sin will constantly be craving for more and more and more. It will never cease.

In fact, John Owen says that the more you give in to sin, or to a sinful craving, the more strength it has. The more you treasure up, the more treasure there is.

How are you doing?
Do you tend to respond to a post like this, saying, “That’s not for me”?
Do you think that’s not for me?
Do you think, “I am doing well right now in that area…I don’t need that”?

If that’s you, you are not alone. I often struggle with an accurate view of temptation. I often think I am not that bad off. Or I think, “God won’t care about this. This is just normal.”

Sin is unavoidable, serious, deadly, deceitful, and insatiable. It must be seriously considered and continually killed. As John Owen challenges us, “Be killing sin, or it be killing you.”


1 Comment so far
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This post was for me. I read that passage yesterday as well, but it really helped for you to outline the truths in these verses. Thanks Walt.

Comment by Chris Melander

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