This wild, untamable beast is in everyone’s house. It is not a dog or a cat—far from it. It is more ferocious than the most aggressive predator you know of, more vicious than the fiercest lion, and more insidious than the most cunning snake—yet more alluring than any treasure you have known. Its grotesqueness is indescribable: horrific stench, insoluble filth, unimaginable ugliness.

Some think they can tame it and control it, and for a time they can do so by keeping it locked up in a cage. This strategy is doomed to failure, however, for eventually they feel sorry for the beast and decide to release it from confinement. “Just for a short while,” they assure themselves, “and then back in the cage it will go.” Then it wreaks utter havoc and destruction in their home. But it won’t stop there. It will jump through one of the windows and attack others in the neighborhood, affecting them as well. Only with difficulty and pain can the beast be returned to its cage. Nevertheless, sooner or later the owner’s heart will once again go out to it, sympathizing with the beast and longing to release it yet again. Thus the horrible cycle will repeat.

The only way to deal with the beast is to exterminate it. Complete annihilation is the only solution. There can be no mercy for it: A knife must be taken to the beast’s throat, or a gun to its head, so as to destroy it once and for all. Again, though, our love for the beast works against us even there. How hard it is for us to take such drastic measures against it. We sympathize with it, foolishly take pity on it, and pamper it, telling ourselves the lie that the beast is really not all that bad.

“[S]in is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Gen. 4:7b)

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom. 8:13)

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” (Col. 3:5–6)

2 Responses to The Beast

  • Andrew says:

    Hello Jeremy,

    I have found your blog to be quite interesting, and it was this particular post’s title that caught me, “The Beast.” It rings very true that sin is a beast and that we as believers are in a constant struggle with it, and also that we mess up sometimes; but it seems that you’re missing the aspect that Christ died and gave grace. There is grace for us.

    The flesh wants to fulfill our worldly satisfaction, but our Spirit is what resists. If I have an issue that I’m fighting to overcome, and I slip up, would God not lend grace to His child? I would be one to agree with you that our sin can affect others around us under the condition that they know we are followers of Jesus. I have a friend who’s a practicing homosexual and sings in his church choir and works in the church. If members who were weak in their faith were to find out, I’m positive that some of them would falter and find that their faith has been shaken. The devil and his demons are vicious and will do anything to prevent people from seeing the true freedom that comes with furthering the kingdom.

    There is no way we could ever annihilate sin, and it’s plain in the Scriptures. It’s God’s punishment for the actions of Adam and Eve. There is no way we could ever destroy a sin we’re struggling with apart from grace. We must co-labor with Christ. He won’t do it for us.

    As true ambassadors of Jesus, we must follow His commandments: Loving God with everything, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. I see so many “Christians” like those from Westboro and other street evangelists that hold up signs that tell others that they’re going to hell if they don’t repent that are speaking DEATH, when we are called to speak LIFE. The Gospel is a message of life, not death, and Jesus and His disciples never did anything to bring harm to another, emotional or physical, in their ministry.

    These are just my thoughts.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hello Andrew,

      Thank you for your comments. It’s always nice to receive feedback from readers.

      I’m not so sure, however, that I was “missing the aspect that Christ died and gave grace,” as you put it, simply because the intention of this post was not to address that subject. My intent was simply to accentuate the very real, very deep hold that sin has on us and that the utmost diligence and care need to be exercised in one’s Christian walk. In other words, I was focusing on our part in sanctification, not God’s part.

      Our sin can affect others around us even if they don’t know we are followers of Christ. In fact, the sins of unbelievers surely have an impact on those around them.

      I agree that we can never annihilate sin, at least not in this life, and I also agree that we need to colabor with Christ. Those are good points. Nevertheless, we are told in Scripture to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. In addition, we are told, “if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13). We also must not overlook the command to “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). The idea of putting sin to death here and now is not alien to Scripture.

      I’m not familiar with the evangelists from Westboro, but I will tell you that I do street evangelism and telling others that hell awaits them if they don’t repent is part of the gospel message. The bad news must be given in order for the good news to be truly good news. The bad news is part of the gospel message because without it Jesus Christ is nothing more than a good example for us to follow rather than the savior who bled and died to save us from that hell we are warning people against. Thus, warning people about hell and urging them to repent is anything but death; it is part of the life-giving message of the gospel. In fact, I would say that anyone who does not include those unpleasant truths in their gospel presentation is actually preaching another gospel, and if it were a pastor doing it, I’d leave his church (in fact, I’ve done so in the past for this very reason). Paul gave strict warnings against those who preach another gospel: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9, ESV).

      Woe to us if we omit any part of the gospel message. True love gives people what they need, not necessarily what they want. If we truly love our neighbor, we will warn them about the dire consequences of sin while also pointing them to the Savior. True love can do no less. It would be nothing short of cruelty to hold back any aspect of God’s revelation that a person needs to hear to avoid impending doom.


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