I have just gotten over an attack of diverticulitis. I won’t go into the details but it’s not pleasant. Indeed, it’s quite unpleasant. Even after being on antibiotics for 10 days my energy level was still pretty low and I couldn’t work a full day for almost two weeks.
Now I’m sharing this with you because I want to talk about another illness that affects me–and you too, whoever you are. That illness is sin. Yes, nasty old sin, that condition that has been handed down over the generations like some sort of genetic deposit. I have blue eyes. My father had blue eyes. My grandfather had blue eyes. I’m a sinner, my father was a sinner, my grandfather was a sinner.
Now it’s not fashionable to talk about sin these days. People don’t like being told that there’s something inherently wrong with them. They want words of encouragement. They want to be told how very special they are, how God wants them to be all they can be and so He is busy up in heaven making all good things just for them. Everybody wants to have the dessert without having to eat the Brussels sprouts. But there’s no getting around it and no avoiding it–all of us who are human are sinners who cannot and will not stop sinning. I can have what appear to be brown eyes by wearing colored contacts, but my eyes will still be blue. In the same way, I can appear to the world like the quintessential “good person” but I’m still going to be a poor miserable sinner, unwelcome in the presence of God, no matter what the guy next door might think.
I’m not at all sure I would have gotten over the diverticulitis had I not gone to the doctor and received the correct treatment. Had I just tried to ignore it, I could very well have died. To defeat the genetic disease called sin I must seek the proper treatment too. That means I must meet Jesus Christ at the Cross on Calvary. I must receive the gift of faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and when I receive that divine medicine, then and only then can my deadly sin be defeated and then and only then can I look forward to eternal life in the presence of God.
Diseases can do all sorts of bad things to our bodies. But only sin can truly condemn us to eternal death. And there’s a cure for that–Jesus Christ, crucified and risen for me and for you.