10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
15 my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,
16 for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
17 For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,
18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.
19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
When we sin, we are not only taking life away from others (vv 11-12) but we are also taking life away from ourselves (vv 18-19). But sin actually has a threefold consequence: 1) Sin takes life from others, 2) Sin takes life from us, and finally and most despairingly, 3) Sin alienates us from God, who is the very source of life.
“But these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Though we’ve all sinned and not lived up to the glory of God, Jesus, in his unwavering commitment to glorify His Father and redeem His bride, has come and put to death the consequences of sin by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. Jesus paid for the consequences of sin by becoming the consequences of sin- “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died (his life was taken) for us” (Romans 5:8- note added), “He made him to be sin (Jesus became sin and all it’s consequences) who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21- note added), “God made (us Christians) alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross (the legal and damning demands of us not living up to the glory of God were put on Christ and nailed to the cross. Paper was not nailed to the cross, Christ was.” (Colossians 2:13-14- note added).
“Jesus paid for the consequences of sin by becoming the consequences of sin.”
By His death, Jesus gives us life. Furthermore, when Jesus gives us life, we are receiving life for ourselves and compelled to give life to others through the same type of sacrificial love that we have received- “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (you give life as I have given you life)” (John 15:12- note added). On either side of the cross- whether your trust and hope is set on the work of Christ in your place yet or not- sin takes life and Jesus gives life. Sin keeps taking. Jesus keeps giving. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11).
“Sin keeps taking. Jesus keeps giving.”
Are you giving life or taking life? Giving is all about Jesus. Taking is all about yourself. Giving glorifies God in Christ. Taking glorifies yourself. One is love and one is sin (remember the consequences of sin!). The only way you are going to give life is if you have received life and keep receiving life from Jesus, meaning you never go beyond the gospel; you always look to Jesus’ finished work for life!
“The only way you are going to give life is if you have received and keep receiving life from Jesus.”
May we be so enamored by the work of Christ in our place- to give us life by taking the consequences of our sin- that we would be a people who give and not take. In our homes, friendships, churches, small groups, jobs, neighborhoods, cities, nation, and in our world, may we give life by the proclamation of the gospel in word and deed.
May God be glorified as we grow ever more joyful in Him and may we delight in giving like he has given to us.