October 19, 2005 • By Ed Wrather10.19.05
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. - 1 John 3:3-5 NKJV.
I like the way the “Message” translates this passage of Scripture: All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own. All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major DISRUPTION of God's order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program. - 1 John 3:3-5.
A supermarket in Exeter, Pennsylvania recently had an unexpected, and unwanted visitor. An eight-point buck deer was frightened by something out of the woods where it struck a parked truck and crashed through the front window of the supermarket. For more than an hour, the deer crashed and thrashed through the store from the meat-counter to the bread aisle. Shopping was disrupted as the buck caused terror for those who were unfortunate enough to be present. Kelsey Bracken, a cashier, was grateful to have been away from her register at the time. As Bracken put it, “I would have died. It ran right through register five.” The deer was eventually fenced in and trapped by two police officers using shopping carts. The officers were then able to shoot it with tranquilizer darts ending the reign of terror caused by the frightened deer.
The story of the deer in the supermarket gives a picture of a couple of spiritual things. First, it gives us a picture of what lawlessness is like and sin is like lawlessness. Lawlessness is like a large eight-point buck crashing and thrashing its way through a supermarket destroying everything that it encounters. There is no way to reason with lawlessness because it is uncontrollable and damages everything it touches. You cannot sit down and have a peaceful mediation session with sin because sin will eat you alive if you try to compromise with it. Sin is an animal, a dangerous, frightening animal that will tear you and everything and everyone you love apart.
Second, the story of the deer in the supermarket gives us a picture of some of the collateral damage of sin. Sin disrupts God’s plan for your life. Sin brings to a halt the blessings of God upon your life and prevents Him from molding you into the image of your Lord. Sin brings everything spiritually good to a standstill and brings a reign of spiritual evil into your life.
In order to prevent the disruption of the lawlessness of sin you need to be able to recognize it. Here are some ways in which sin is described in the Bible: “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23)”; “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17)”; “All wrongdoing is sin (1 John 5:17)”; and, “The devising of folly is sin (Proverbs 24:9).” John Wesley defined sin as, “a willful transgress (or breaking) of a known law of God.”
We have all sinned, and as long as we are clothed in human flesh, we will be capable of sin. The Bible confirms in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned coming short of the mark of perfection. That is the bad news. The good news is that we do not have to live in sin because through, Jesus Christ, the chains of sin have been broken if we know Him as our Savior. 1 John 1:9 tells you what to do to remove the sin and to return to God’s will and plan for your life: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”