Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can you sin without suffering?

J. Sidlow Baxter, a godly pastor from another generation said: "We cannot sin without suffering." Yet we live in a culture that takes issue with that statement. If I fail financially, I have the right to be bailed out. If I fail morally, I have the right to a fresh strings. If I lose my job through carelessness or dishonesty, I have the right to another job of equal qualilty and benefits. But the Bible paints an entirely different scenerio. Over and over again in Scripture we are confronted with the reality of sin followed by suffering. Elisha's servant, Gehazi, can testify to the truth of the sin/suffering syndrome. He lied to Naaman regarding the reason for taking money from him, falsely representing Elisha the prophet. He lied to Elisha about his journey to ask for money from Naaman. He ended up with Naaman's leprosy [ II Kings 5]. Suffering follows sin.
In every city in America there are signs of sin followed by suffering. We have hospitals, clinics, de-tox centers, and funeral homes. There are crimes of violence, murder, as well as stealing, cheating, & embezzeling...all leading to the suffering of victims and their families.
When God planned redemption for sinners, the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross was a necessity. Christ took our place, suffering for our sins for He had none of his own. The only way that the suffering for sin can be mitigated is through Christ Himself. Christ must save me from my sins. He alone gives grace for the consequences of sins committed. He alone atones for and removes the guillt and condemnation that my sin rightly deserves. Thank God for the cross! Can you sin without suffering??? Think it through!

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