My reading in James 1:15 (NASB) says: “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” May I personally say it in a more graphic way? Giving in to sin (our personal, consummate, seducing desire) is our choice — no one else to blame. When sin “grows up,” it can lead to “gravery,” now and in eternity.

The three sobering truths about sin I read here are:

  • SIN BEGINS WITH LUST. Another Biblical verse says all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, are not from God. The lust may seem pleasant and inviting, but it becomes bitterness in the end.
  • SIN LEADS TO DEATH. Sin is conflict against God and falling short of God’s glorious standard. Everyone has fit into this category, and the soul who sins will die.
  • SIN DEMANDS PAYMENT. These are wages due. In Roman days, they paid their soldiers for their service with victuals, a stipend of some type (usually food). I can illustrate a somber payment to common creatures in today’s world: 1) Frogs enjoying a bath in a kettle of warm water, but not realizing that water can soon boil and bring their death; 2) business executives often ending their tough workdays with a few martinis, leading to periodic intoxication and later to nightly blackouts; 3) a teenager taking a peek pornography, quickening the eye and a potential journey to devastating sexual addiction. All illustrations show sin traps are set and death knocks at the door. Therefore, nip sin in the bud!

If you remember, in the Bible the inception of sin started with one man. Ironically, the ultimate solution to sin is also through the greatest One Man. Only the undeniable love of the cross can crush undeniable evil. We are messy, but what can set us free is always God’s grace. We have enough of Christ’s redemption to overcome our sin, and no destruction can ever destroy redemption.

This is the divine message of Jesus Christ. It is the greatest fake news ever told, or it is the absolute truth. Jesus is either the greatest Santa Claus story, or He was God in the flesh who was crucified to pay the wages of our sins. We can choose to believe and accept Him and His payment.

I am grateful that Jesus took my wrongs on Him, He who never did anything wrong, so I could be made right with God (II Corinthians 5:21). I am also grateful that I no longer need to be driven to impress God, but daily I can live by faith in Jesus because He first loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). God’s grace has made it possible for me to freely love Him in return now and throughout eternity.