Flinch From Sin
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
John 14:27c AYour heart must not be troubled or fearful.@
Jesus wants His followers to keep the peace He gives them strong. To accomplish this, we have to remember Christ=s peace is inseparable from His presence. The peace He gives us is an atmosphere surrounding and accompanying Him.
This is why sin diminishes our peace. It distances us from the One who is the Source of our peace.
We need to fear any contact with evil. Pray the Lord will enable us to always flinch from sin.
We have been delivered from sin in order to enjoy peace. We don’t want to go backward, to revert. Peace of heart is too valuable to relinquish.
Sin is the sickness we should dread. A patient who has a bad disease finds peace, not by ignoring the symptoms, but by having them diagnosed, and aggressively controlling the illness itself with medical treatment.
Christ=s peace always rises from an accurate appraisal of our fallen state followed by accepting Him as the remedy. Our habit should be to repeatedly be confessing sin, repenting, and fleeing to Jesus.
Christ’s smiling presence ought to be our chief Treasure. He is worthy of our strongest affections. Jesus, without the world, is sufficient, but all the world, without Christ, is nothing.
A Swiss martyr, approaching his death at the stake, noticed the magistrate overseeing the execution was nervous about handling the distasteful task. The martyr took the magistrate=s trembling hand and said, AI am about to die by fire. Lay your hand on my heart. If it beats any faster than it ordinarily beats, do not believe my religion.@ As his hand was pressed against the martyr=s chest, the trembling magistrate realized the man was as calm as if he were going to bed.
We all want this kind of peace, a more settled condition of life than we have thus far experienced. Such peace is found only in enjoying the close, sweet, uninterrupted presence of Jesus.
John 14:28 AYou have heard Me tell you, >I am going away and I am coming to you.= If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father because the Father is greater than I.@
Jesus described His going away and His coming as one continuous process. There would be not even one moment of real absence. In fact, His going made His coming better.
The Father was greater than the Son in that Jesus had voluntarily taken a servant’s role. The garb of lowliness He had donned would soon fall from Him.
John 14:29 AI have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe.@
Jesus forewarned the disciples to forearm them. Difficulties continually come against us. Be forewarned. Stay on guard. Don’t be surprised.
John 14:30a AI will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming.@
Christ=s sensitive nature felt evil was approaching. He sensed a coming storm, an ill wind, and recognized the origin of the tempest.
A personal source and center was underlying all the treachery Jesus was about to confront. “The ruler of the world” was coming.
Not only were Judas, Roman soldiers, Herod, Caiaphas, and Pilate coming. Jesus knew the one inspiring and directing them all was Satan himself.
John 14:30b AHe has no power over me.@
As the conflict approached, Jesus was fearless. He stated in no uncertain terms His invulnerability against Satan. Since sin gives Satan his grip on people, he could find nothing in Jesus to take hold of.
The evil one’s sphere of influence stopped outside the heart of Jesus, the sinless One. There were no weak spots in Jesus on which Satan could gain a foothold.
No other person could ever make the claim Jesus made here. No one would dare say Satan has no beach-head in their heart. In each of us is weak, spiritually iffy soil on which Satan can plant his feet and say, AThis is mine.@
We all have within us flammable, combustible hay and stubble which the Afiery darts of the wicked@ can too easily ignite. Satan’s seductions too often find a responsive chord within us.
John 14:31 AOn the contrary, I am going away so that the world may know that I love the Father. Just as the Father commanded Me, so I do. Get up; let’s leave this place.@
Jesus had said the disciple’s love for Him would be proved by their obedience. He now applied the same criteria to Himself. Jesus would prove His love to the Father by showing perfect, absolute obedience.
Jesus approached the conflict with confidence, knowing the forces of His enemy would be broken at Calvary. He knew the resulting victory would be His forevermore.
Jesus did not die due to physical necessity, but as a result of His own free choice. Even as He chose when and where to be born, He also chose when and where to die. He chose to be born in humiliation, and chose to die in even deeper humiliation.
Jesus was not dragged into the realm of death. He voluntarily invaded the domain of Satan. The King of Glory entered the Devil=s own pit, and vandalized it irreparably as He exited it.
Christ faced His conflict with courage and confidence. His followers should imitate His example when they face the challenges of life.
The Earl of Dundonald’s ship once came under such intense fire that his men refused to man their guns. Knowing the courage of his wife, he asked her to fire one of the guns, thereby showing his men how to do their duty. The moment she started firing, the men were shamed into returning to their posts, and won the day.
We, too, should be ashamed if we quiver before the forces of evil. Our Master met them alone and won the victory.
Jesus now indwells us. His strength is now our strength. May His bravery make us bold.