ODJ: prevention and cure

May 5, 2014 

READ: Mark 9:43-48 

If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out (v.47).

A Christian dentist in America had an attractive assistant. Fearing that he might be tempted to have an affair with her, he fired her. Later, the Supreme Court ruled that he had the legal right to fire the pretty female hygienist to protect his marriage. All of us sympathise with the young woman’s plight. Public opinion for what the dentist had done, however, was divided. Many criticised him for selfishly and unfairly punishing the nurse because of his own sexual lust. Others commended him for honestly recognising his own weakness and taking decisive action to prevent sinning against God.

Prevention is better than cure. Jesus would readily agree. We can’t entertain temptation. We must walk away from it. In fact, Jesus commands a far more radical solution: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. . . . If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell” (Mark 9:43-47).

In these startling words Jesus was using hyperbole to warn that sin is a very destructive force. It’s something to be “put to death” immediately and decisively (Colossians 3:5). In our struggle against sin, we’re to be radically disciplined. Half-heartedness and halfway measures simply won’t do (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Destroying our hands or eyes won’t remove sin, for it comes from deep within our hearts (Mark 7:20-23). Only Jesus’ atoning blood can remove it and change our nature (Hebrews 9:14). We need a spiritual heart transplant, not a surgical procedure to remove an appendage (Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Colossians 2:11-14). We need the sanctifying and transforming work that only the Holy Spirit can do (Romans 2:28-29). —K.T. Sim

365-day plan› Esther 4:1-17

Read 1 Corinthians 6:18 and note what Paul said to do in your efforts to resist sexual sin.  
From what sin do you need to flee? How can the Holy Spirit help you in your struggle?