The Deceptive Nature of Sin
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians is advice that we all must heed. Sin is deceptive in nature. It creeps up on people and catches them off guard. That’s why Peter sounds the following warning: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan is extremely skillful at his occupation. He is a liar and the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). The devil will resort to any means necessary, including outright deception, to send a soul to hell. As Paul, we must strive for a godly attitude “in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2:11). Satan’s sales pitch presents sin as fun, glamorous, popular, satisfying and good. However, sin ends up being more than we bargained for.
Sin takes you further than you want to go.
Satan works his deception a little at a time. First, he attacks the attitude. He desires an outlook that is complacent and comfortable with sin in the world. Next, he sells the lie that a person can commit a single sin, without making a lifestyle of it. Before long, men are ensnared in the habitual practice of sin, and Satan is the victor. He has clouded the mind, seared the conscience, hardened the heart, and turned another soul away from the Lord (Eph. 4:17-19). Satan is happy with small victories, winning a soul a little bit at a time.
Sin keeps you longer than you want to stay.
Sin presents itself as a momentary engagement, a passing pleasure, and a single night of fun. This is true, but there’s a catch. For the enjoyment to continue, the sin must persist. Jesus knew the nature of sin and proclaimed that “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (Jn. 8:34). In other words, sin is addictive. If we obey our lusts, sin will become our master (Rom. 6:12-23; 2 Pet. 2:19).
Sin costs you more than you want to pay.
While the pleasures of sin may be momentary, the consequences are not. Proverbs 13:15 teaches, “Good understanding produces favor, but the way of the treacherous is hard.” Physical sickness, STD’s, heartache, and broken homes are all consequences of sin. Sin also brings shame and guilt, stripping a person’s decency. Sin squelches hope, providing no sense of purpose for this life. If all of this were not bad enough, the greatest consequence will come after we die – eternal punishment in the lake that burns with fire (2 Thess. 1:8-9; Rev. 20:10, 15).
We do not have to fall victim to the lies of Satan, however. The Lord has granted us a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). To avoid the clutches of sin, we must keep a constant check on our attitude and our actions. We must first obey the Gospel and receive forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:15-16). We must hate sin and expose error (Psa. 119:104, 128; Eph. 5:11). We must “keep watching and praying” (Matt. 26:41). We must pay closer attention to God’s word lest we drift away from it (Heb. 2:1). We must make no provision for the flesh, choosing rather a life of godliness (Rom. 13:13-14; 1 Tim. 6:11; Titus 2:11-12).