Deadly disease running rampant in our area

By Robert C. Oliver - Contributing columnist

This is not a warning issued by any of the federal, state or even local health agencies. This is a warning that is issued by the word of God. This is because the disease in question is not one that attacks the human body, but one which attacks the spiritual person. The disease in question is “sin”. There are actually three strains of this virus or disease. They are: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (I John 2:16). But be warned, they are all indeed deadly. The prophet Ezekiel wrote, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). And, the apostle Paul stated, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23). The death that results from this disease is spiritual death, separation from God. As Isaiah told Israel, “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:2). The signs and symptoms can often be observed in examining the body and it’s actions, but the real damage is taking place with the inner man. Since it results in a spiritual death rather than a physical one, the end result of succumbing to this disease is far worse than a disease that destroys the physical body. Jesus once stated, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). Jesus also posed the questions, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37). We might also add this warning concerning this spiritual disease, it is no respecter of persons, it will attack any and all. Paul wrote, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and the apostle John, writing to Christians wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:8, 10).

Thanks be to God that though there is not but one cure for this disease, there is a cure. The cure for this disease is blood. We are not talking about getting a blood transfusion in some medical facility. Not just any blood will cure this terrible disease. Though God required the shedding of blood under the old law of Moses, the Hebrew writer tells us that, “…it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). The only blood that will provide a cure for the deadly disease of sin is the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! The Hebrew writer recorded, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12). Paul stated, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). Peter stated, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-19). John stated, “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5). The blood of Christ is the only cure for the disease of sin!

Knowing the severity of the problem of sin and knowing the only cure possible is the blood of Christ, we would ask, how does one administer this soul saving cure? Again we need to heed a warning in finding the answer to this question. Beware of spiritual snake oil salesmen! Not every method espoused, proposed and promised will provide the cure desired. Just as the snake oil salesmen of old peddled their fake cures for all kinds of ailments, so do many peddle false cures for the disease of sin. Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). The apostle John wrote, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). Peter’s warning states, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (II Pet. 2:1-2). So how does God’s word show that we come in contact with and apply that soul saving blood of Christ? Paul tells us that “…so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death” (Rom. 6:3). In His death is where Jesus shed His blood. Following this Paul said that as Jesus was raised from the grave, we too are raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Just a few verses later, Paul says that at the time we obey that form of doctrine previously mentioned, we are then made free from sin and have become the servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18). For those already in Christ who are infected with sin, Peter said to repent and pray to God for forgiveness (Acts 8:22) and the apostle John said that we are to, “confess our sins” and the Lord “is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). The disease is real. Take the only cure possible.

By Robert C. Oliver

Contributing columnist

Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.

Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.

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