The Cancer of Sin

Hello Church,

I pray the love of God the Father and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will fill your hearts today! Our family praises the Lord that we have officially purchased a home in the “H” section of Bowie. We are grateful for the opportunity to live only minutes from the church and know that this will prove to be a blessing in many ways. We are not exactly sure when we will actually move in, as the home is a fixer upper, and we hope to get some things updated before taking up residence. However, we are excited to not have to live 30-40 min away and to begin planting roots in this community, so we are hoping to get in as soon as possible. Please continue to pray for our family during this tumultuous time of transition, as we seek to humbly grow in our dependence on God as well as rightfully enjoy His faithful providence in and over our lives!

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Cancer?” When I hear that word my heart is flooded with emotions because of all the friends and loved ones I have watched struggle with, and the family members I have had to walk with during, their battle with this sickness. I would dare say that all of us have been personally impacted in some form or another by that debilitating, divisive, and destructive disease. As one dear friend said to me just this week, “cancer stinks.” Yet, have you ever seen sin as cancer, meaning, have you ever considered the stark similarities between these two realities? In preparation for Sunday’s sermon I was once again reminded this week of how clear cancer illustrates the sad and sick nature of sin. I think it would be helpful to share a few of those comparative connections with you in order to further help us in our pursuit of God given holiness (Phil 2:12-13; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 12:14).

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The first descriptive comparison is seen in the word malignancy, which is defined in popular usage “as any condition that if, uncorrected, tends to worsen so as to cause serious illness or death. Cancer is the best known example.” This is exactly how the Bible describes sin, as it is birthed from the seed of man’s evil desires and spreads throughout his life and when it is fully grown it brings death (Js 1:14-15). Jerry Bridges in his book, Respectable Sins, says, “Sin is a spiritual and moral malignancy. Left unchecked, it can spread throughout our entire inner being and contaminate every area of our lives. Even worse, it often will ‘metastasize’ from us into the lives of other believers around us.” That is one reason why Paul commands Christians to not let any corrupting talk come out of our mouths but only that which is good for building up (Eph 4:29), lest we contaminate others with our sin (2 Tim 2:16-17) and worse grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). This is why the Bible commands us to put away all falsehood (Eph 4:25) and to not let sexual immorality, impurity, covetousness, filthiness, and foolish talk even be named among us (Eph 5:3-4). Moreover, this is why God commands the Church to deal with sin in its midst, lest the unrepentant, ongoing sin of one contaminate the lives of all (1 Cor 5:1-13; 15:33).

Next we see the fact that cancer is often subtle, starting out as a small spot or seed virtually undetected but eventually takes the entire life hostage to fulfill its ultimate mission of destruction. Furthermore, it is deceptive, often hiding in a “dormant” state while proactively tricking the immune system into thinking all is well so that the body’s natural defense mechanism does not detect the disease and fight back. This comparison is undeniable, as every man is born with the seeds of every sin dwelling in his heart from birth, and yet man naturally denies and suppresses the truth of this fact, lest he face the deadly consequences (Gen 8:21; Ps 51:3-5; Rom 1:18-23; 3:9-23; 5:12-14; Eph 4:17-18). Moreover, sin deceptively takes every life hostage (Col 1:13-14) and that is why the Bible repeatedly calls unredeemed man a slave to sin, because sin leads man down a path of self-destruction while at the same time telling him all is well (Gen 3:1-7; Lk 17:26-29; Jn 8:34-47; Rom 2:1-11; 6:16, 20-23; Eph2:1-3; Heb 3:12-14).

While it is true that everyone of us must own up to the fact that we have cancer spiritually, it is also categorically true that God has provided the remedy for dealing with these deadly disease (Jn 3:16-18). Therefore, we have lasting hope in Christ alone (Jn14:6) who took our sin upon Himself (1 Pet 2:24) and died in our place so that we might have our sins forgiven (Col 2:13) and live with Him and ultimately for Him (2 Cor 5:14-21)!  Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord, the only remedy for your sin (Lk 24:45-47; Rom 6:23; 10:9-13)? I pray that you have, and if not, we need to talk today! Moreover, I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday as we consider further the depth at which Christ has dealt with our sin and how believers are now free from the power of sin, because they are utterly complete in Christ. So why do we still struggle with sin? Come this Sunday and find out! See you there.

For His Glory,

Pastor Matt

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