Theme: The Folly and Filthiness of Sin
In this week’s lessons we look carefully at both what sin is and what it does, and then contrast that with our need for the Savior, who alone can deliver us from our sin.
Scripture: Psalm 53:1-6
The folly of sin. This is utter folly, of course, the fourth of Henry’s points. It is folly because God exists, whether we acknowledge him or not, and because it is certain that one day we will have to stand before him to give an accounting of every word we have spoken and every deed we have done. If you are a person who has been living as if there is no God, what do you suppose you will say to God on that day? What excuse will you make?
“I didn’t know you existed”?
How do you think that will sound to God who has gone to such lengths to reveal himself to you? He has revealed himself in creation, in Jesus Christ and in the Bible. Have you taken time to study creation for its revelation of God? To investigate the claims of Jesus Christ? To read the Bible?
“I didn’t think you were important”?
How insulting to God! You thought television was important, the latest football or baseball scores were important, your bank account was important. Didn’t you think God was important? Can you imagine how stupid that will sound to the exalted, almighty, all-wise God?
“I didn’t have time for you”?
You had time for everything else, everything you believed was important. If you have not exerted yourself to know God and to love and serve him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you will be revealed as the greatest of all fools on the day you must give an accounting. And you will know that you were a fool, whether you will acknowledge it openly or not.
The filthiness of sin. One of the deceptive features of sin is that it masquerades as something beautiful and desirable while actually it is hideous and destructive. The words the psalm uses are “corrupt” and “vile” (v. 1).
When Magic Johnson, the handsome and extremely attractive professional basketball personality, revealed that he had AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), the first, immediate reaction of the sports writers and pundits was jubilation that at last we had an attractive way to look at the killer disease. One newspaper I read actually spoke of the “smiling face of AIDS,” because Magic Johnson is so often seen smiling. Another paper said that we now know that AIDS is not a danger only for some groups of people but that anyone can get it. That is not true, of course. AIDS is not acquired by those who obey the moral law of God, except in a few tragic cases involving the transfusion of contaminated blood. As far as the “smiling face of AIDS” is concerned, well, anyone can smile at the beginning. It is the end that is horrible, and there are few deaths that are as horrible as those of AIDS sufferers.
The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov. 14:12). The Apostle wrote, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
Why is sin said to be folly?
Describe how sin presents itself as appealing when it is actually filthy and destructive.
Application: As a part of your daily prayers, ask the Lord to give you the spiritual perception to recognize sin for what it truly is, and then to turn from it.