The Deceitfulness of Sin


Eddie Cooper

Hebrews 3:1-15 includes the fact that Christ is superior to Moses. Just as Moses was a faithful servant in God's house, Christ, as Son, is faithful over the house of which He is builder. (3:1-6)

Notice in this reading that Christians are exhorted to: 1] Hear Christ's voice and harden not your heart. (3:7-11) 2] Exhort one another daily lest there develop evil and unbelieving hearts. (3:12-15)

The main point of our reading is a warning against a hardened heart.

If a person continues in sin, any sin, he will become hardened by the very nature of sin, by its deceitfulness. At first, our conscience may trouble us when we sin, but, as we continue to practice sin, our conscience becomes hardened.

"Hardened" is from a word that means to "make dry or hard" and is the word from which we have "sclerosis" which is the hardening of body parts such as sclerosis of the liver and multiple sclerosis. We have seen the harm that these diseases can do to the body, and, likewise, we can see what harm is done when one hardens his or her heart.

According to our text, SIN IS DECEITFUL. How is the heart hardened? It is by the "deceitfulness of sin." Herein lies the danger: Children of God may become morally obstinate, unwilling to listen to God at all (3:15), because of the deceitful appearances and impressions of sin.

Deceitfulness is defined as "to cheat, deceive, beguile, that which gives a false impression, whether by appearance, statement, or influence." Sin appears beautiful. Sin will try to convince us that immorality, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are beautiful. The "affair" is something "sweet and precious." I've had individuals, living in adultery, tell me that they are the happiest they have been in years. How can that be? The deceitfulness of sin!

Another question arises: HOW DOES SIN DECEIVE?

1] It deceives by our not taking sin seriously. Many make light of sin and suggest that the concept of sin is archaic and is no longer a useful concept. God gave His Son to free us from sin. (I Peter 2:24) The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

2] It deceives by our being ignorant of Satan's devices. (2 Cor. 2:11) We are fighting a terrible adversary, and some do not realize how powerful the devil can be. Some just know better. Jesus warned of the deceitfulness of riches. (Mt. 13:22) Many have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10).

3] It deceives by our being self-deceived. Often we are self-deceived: thinking possessions can make us happy (Prov. 10:15) and that the snares we set for others can give us freedom. Because the Gentiles refused to retain God in their knowledge ... they became vain in their reasoning. (Romans 1:24, 25) Sin offers happiness, but gives misery. It promises success, but produces failure.

Don't forget God's eternal law. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." -North End Church of Christ, 1301 West Virginia Ave., Parkersburg, WV 26104.


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