Sinning is…Fun??

The writer of Hebrews describes the active faith of Moses who refused to rush headlong into the bountiful pleasures of Egypt. Hebrews 11:24–25 states, “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” The word for “enjoy” in the original language means “to cling tightly.” Moses did not want to hold on tightly to the fleeting pleasures of sin although he had every amusement at his disposal. As a member of the royal court of Pharaoh, he could have had all the women, money, food, and delicacies his heart desired. He had every pleasure imaginable at his fingertips. But instead of buying into the deceitfulness of sin, Moses understood that the comfort it offered was only fleeting.

This passage tells us that sin is pleasurable. We would not sin if we did not think it brought us pleasure. Sin feels good. Sin is fun. Sin promises excitement and allures us with the prospect of enjoyment. But these promises are empty. These pleasures of sin are fleeting. They are temporary. They only last for a season. Sin is so deceitful because it tricks us into believing that disobedience is fun. If we are honest with ourselves, we know all too well that sin can be fun. We happily rush into sin because we believe that we will experience ultimate pleasure at that moment. But what does iniquity reap in the end? We experience the crash and burn of this deception when the fleeting pleasure passes. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:7–8: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Paul warns us not to fall into faulty thinking that sin will bring no real consequences. We do not find this word “mocked” anywhere else in the New Testament and it means “to turn your nose up in contempt or mockery.” You can’t outsmart God and how he has governed the universe with the law of reaping and sowing. There is an unstoppable law that always remains true in agriculture. If you plant corn seeds, you will not reap strawberries. You will receive a harvest of corn. In the same way, in the spiritual realm, you will always reap what you sow. The consequences or the harvest may not be immediate, but the harvest will eventually come.

Here’s the adage: “Sow a thought, reap an act: sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit; reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” This constant sowing to the flesh leads to corruption which in the original language means a rotting corpse that slowly decomposes over time. The more you sow to your flesh, the more sin gradually pollutes your life until eventually, it ends with destruction. What are some examples of sowing to the flesh? Maybe you surf the Internet and find yourself trapped in a hollow world of pornography. Perhaps you struggle with bitterness where you can’t bring yourself to forgive those who have deeply hurt you. Maybe you’re driven by success to climb the corporate ladder at all costs, which makes you irritable around your family. Perhaps it’s an insatiable need to gossip where you lie and backstab to make yourself look better. Maybe it’s a spiral into materialism, greed, and envy where your appetite for stuff has led you into major credit card debt.

We face an enemy who promises a great deal of enjoyment, but in the end, all we receive is destruction. In addition to sin deceiving us with fleeting pleasures, our adversary the devil also tries to hide the consequences of sin from us. Sin fools us into believing that there will be no real damaging consequences for our actions. We may suffer a little discomfort here or there and maybe have a guilty conscience for a while, but the payoff for the pleasures of sin far outweighs whatever consequences we might have to endure. Not only are we blind to the immediate results of sin, but we fail to see the ultimate future repercussions for giving in to this deceptive enemy.

Sin is a ruthless enemy that has resulted from Adam’s fall in the garden. Sin is insidious. It is manipulative, devious, and never rests for a moment. May we all be watchful and not fall into temptation!

The Gospel in a Nutshell

Titus 3:3–7 gives us what I call the gospel in a nutshell. In these five verses, we find some glorious gospel declarations that tell us what God has done for us in Christ and how we can be assured of his love for us. This passage succinctly summarizes your identity in the Trinity. Paul writes: “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I want to encourage you with seven gospel declarations that emerge directly from this passage of Scripture that I pray you can use to saturate your heart and soul with the good news of God’s love for you in Christ. These declarations will help strengthen you in your identity.

Gospel declaration #1: The gospel tells me of my former identity as an enslaved sinner before trusting Christ. Paul reminds us that we were once foolish, disobedient, enslaved to passions and pleasures, and engulfed in our sin. In other words, that is not our identity anymore. The gospel tells me that I have a new identity. Praise you, Jesus, that you have taken me out of the kingdom of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of light.

Gospel declaration #2: The gospel tells me that God’s awesome mercy and love have come to me personally through Jesus Christ. I’m not the source of salvation. Salvation starts in the heart of God for lost sinners, and he chooses to shower us with goodness, lovingkindness, and mercy through sending Jesus.

Gospel declaration #3: The gospel tells me that I can in no way contribute to my salvation since God saved me by His grace alone. How do you preach this to yourself? You always remind yourself that God is sovereign in your salvation and that you can’t do any good work to make God love you more or love you less. As a believer God loves you perfectly—on your best day when you’re doing everything great for Jesus and on your worst day when you fail miserably, God’s love for you is constant. It doesn’t change based upon your performance one way or the other.

Gospel declaration #4: The gospel tells me that I have been born again as a new creation in Christ. Remind yourself daily that God has washed you. God has regenerated your heart. God has caused you to be born again. You are a new creation in Christ

Gospel declaration #5: The gospel tells me that God has richly given me the indwelling Holy Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us as the very presence of Christ. He empowers me to obey Jesus and promises to conform me to the image of God’s Son.

Gospel declaration #6: The gospel tells me that God accepts me, and I have a clean record before him. That’s what it means for God to justify you by his grace. God declares us as righteous. He wipes our record clean and gives us the record of Christ. We stand not guilty, clothed in Christ’s righteousness and not our own, and God accepts us on the basis of Christ, not our performance.

Gospel declaration #7: The gospel tells me that I have the hope of eternal life. Remind yourself daily that this is not your real home. You have a home in heaven. You will one day see Christ face to face. He has an inheritance waiting for you. He holds you in his grip and will never let you go. He will ensure that you make it to heaven. Allow the power of the gospel to affect your thinking, your affections, and your actions as you celebrate God’s amazing grace for sinners in his Son Jesus Christ.