March 07, 2018

Overcoming Our Sin

Proverbs 6:16-19; Matthew 5:27-30

Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

—  Romans 12:1

Many Christian parents have taught their children the song “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.” That’s because little eyes don’t just see another child’s toy; they can lead one to envy what another has. To remind adults about this, Jesus uses the example of a man looking at a woman lustfully.

The Christian tradition has often thought about how we offend God in the ways we use our eyes, hands, feet, and other body parts. The seven deadly sins, for example, are listed as envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and anger. All of these—and more—play a part in our disobedience to God.

The Christian tradition has also thought about what we can do with our bodies to please God. The seven virtues, in contrast to the deadly sins, are listed as kindness, temperance, charity, chastity, humility, diligence, and patience. And all of these—along with other good things—play an important role in our walk with God.

Anyone who thinks they can practice such virtues in place of their sins will find that they can’t do it on their own. But because Jesus paid the price of all our sin, the Spirit of God comes into our lives to work in us, making us new. The Spirit gives us the strength to resist sin and to serve God faithfully.

Do you believe this? Ask God’s Spirit to help you today!

I want to live faithfully for you, Lord, but I need the power of your Spirit to focus my eyes, direct my feet, and place my hands where you would have them be. Help me, Lord. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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