Sin, Satan, Salvation

By Melanie Henry

When our oldest son was born, a well-meaning colleague remarked that I would particularly delight in my child’s innocence. In their view, my son was not naturally bad but would simply absorb the ways of the world as he grew. I appreciated the sentiment, but I knew it not to be true! In fact, I was certain that wrongdoing would rear its ugly head in the heart and mind of my little boy because he, like all of us, was born a sinner.

The Bible makes it unequivocally clear that none of us are good or righteous (Romans 3:10). Romans 3:23 states that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. In other words, we can never live up to the perfect standards demanded by God’s holiness. Jesus is the only sinless person to have ever lived. His life exemplified utter righteousness at every point. From the manger to the tomb to the right hand of God in Heaven, Jesus was pure and spotless in word, thought and deed (1 John 3:5).

Unlike Christ, our hearts are completely deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). However, the very idea of our depraved nature is anathema to our society. We are so satisfied by our own inadequate, pitiful standards that we fail to recognise how desperately lost we really are. The reality is that we face the well-deserved punishment of death (both physical and spiritual) to pay the penalty for each sin we have ever committed (Romans 6:23). Not one of us is exempt. What a truly sobering thought.

But we are not without hope. Amid our sin stands a Saviour. Romans 5:9 shares the life-giving news that Jesus’ outpouring of love on the cross saves us from the righteous wrath of God! In love and grace, God sent Jesus to rescue us from our hopeless, helpless state. If we are a believer, when God looks at us, He no longer sees our sin. He sees the perfect righteousness of His Son. How do we respond to such abundant grace and deep love? With hearts of humble gratitude for the Saviour who suffered in our place.

Our struggle with sin, however, is by no means over. The author of sin, Satan, actively works in opposition to God, His plans, and His people. 1 Peter 5:8-9 depicts him as a ‘roaring lion, seeking someone to devour’. Satan is much more than a force of evil but is a strong, spiritual creature and the powerful prince of this world (Ephesians 2:2). He is a liar (John 8:44) who makes every effort to destroy our faith. Yet we need not have any fear of Satan since God has ultimate power over him and has declared what his outcome will be (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). The devil is no match for God. But we must not be complacent! 1 Peter 5 commands us to ‘be watchful’ and ‘resist’ our enemy, who desires nothing more than to lure us into defiance against God. So, what is our best defence against his attempts to destroy us? We must stand firm in our faith by saturating our minds with the Word of God and depending on His Spirit within us, who is stronger than any weapon of the enemy.

When we realise that we have been saved from a lost eternity and from the grasp of a powerful enemy, we are compelled and committed to share with compassion the love of Jesus with those God has called us to serve this summer.  We must not lose sight of the fact that that many of the boys, girls, and young people to whom we minister are in serious need of a Saviour.  Let’s proclaim Jesus as the answer at every given opportunity. And let’s do so with thankful hearts for the abundant life we have in Him.

Suggested passages for personal study:

As you read each passage ask yourself 2 questions:

  1. Who are you Lord? (ie. what do the verses tell me about God, His character and His actions)
  2. Lord, what would you have me to do? (ie. what action should I take as a result of these verses)

Monday: Psalm 103:10-12

Tuesday: Ephesians 2:1-5

Wednesday: 1 John 1:5-10

Thursday: Matthew 4:1-11

Friday: Ephesians 6:10-18


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