Sin Comes In Stages
I am currently preaching through the book of Joshua, and most recently we studied chapters 6 & 7 and the sin of Achan.
Achan disobeyed the Lord by taking some of the spoils of the victory following the conquest of Jericho.
We see a classic (and progressive) pattern in his sin:
He saw He coveted He took
This isn't an unfamiliar pattern.
Eve saw the fruit: noting that it was pleasant to the eyes & good for food
Lot - looked at Sodom, then moved his tent toward it, then moved to town, then lingered there.
In the New Testament, James records a description of the progression of temptation and the fall into sin. He describes the anatomy of temptation in progressive steps. His words are much like a scientist who dissects temptation and its as if he has been reading Joshua 7 and the account of Achan.
James 1:14-15 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (emphasis mine)
Stage one: DESIRE
Sin begins with a desire...but not all desires are sinful. We all have desires. They are normal...even God-given. You have a drive for thirst, hunger. In fact, when a person loses that desire, they often need medical assistance (such as a feeding tube or iv fluids) to help counteract the effect of the loss of desire.
Eating is normal - gluttony is sinful
Education is normal - cheating is sinful
Sex is normal - adultery is sinful
Sleep is normal - laziness is sinful
There is nothing wrong with your desires…what is wrong is when we try to fulfill those desires outside the will of God. When we seek pleasure that is beyond what God intended for that pursuit.
Every sin is, in some measure, a legitimate desire expressed in an illegitimate way.
The first stage of sin is desire. Next we will address the second stage: Deception.
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Christ-follower, husband, dad, friend & the Senior Pastor of Hardy Street Baptist Church.