Everybody's Free To
By Brent Pollard
Hopefully most of us still have a standard
of modesty that would not allow us to prance around scantily clad in the
great outdoors. Besides not wanting to invite the lust of a roaming
eye, we should also not want to so endanger our skin with harmful cancer-causing
UV rays. (God has many reasons for us to be clad modestly.)
Exposure is really dangerous! Thus, it is wise when even modestly
arrayed to wear sunscreen with at least a UV protection of 15. Most
of us, having taken no thought about such things, have likely already done
a great deal of damage to our skin. Luckily, there is a new procedure
that can enlighten us concerning our skin cancer risk. There is new
technology out now that allows a special camera to take a picture of one's
skin using UV light (a.k.a. black light). The final portrait is that of
the amount of damage already done to one's skin by exposure. A lot
of "beautiful, young" people look unattractive and ancient when the picture
develops. In a sense, it is really scary because it is like there
is an entirely different person inside you that most people will never
see until it is too late for you to repair the damage.
In like manner, far too many are
taking their chances by exposing their spirits to the weak and beggarly
elements of this world. The Bible, being a mirror for the soul (cf.,
James 1:22-25), demonstrates the effects this exposure has on the individual.
And, it is not a pretty picture. What at church appears to be the
honest and sincere Christian could really be the shriveled, hypocritical
pretender. Though one may successfully disguise this fact from man's
observation, it will one day be revealed when God shows everyone who that
person really is (cf., Ecclesiastes 12:14). And, at that moment,
it will be too late to undo the damage.
We need to put on our sin-screen
so that we won't be so damaged by wickedness that God, upon inspection,
would find spiritual cancer devouring our spirits. The process of
sin-screen application is readily available from God's Word and has already
been paid for by the blood of Christ (cf., Hebrews 9:14). All we
need to do is to grasp this gift of grace (cf., John 3:16) and follow the
instructions (cf., John 8:32; 17:17). Those instructions are as follows:
1. Put on Christ in baptism.
In Galatians 3:27 (see also Romans 13:14), Paul said that as many as have
been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (been "clothed" in Christ--NASV).
Since all spiritual benefits are to be found in Christ (cf., Ephesians
1:3), it becomes obvious that one needs to get into his covering.
Experts, such as the apostle Paul, have written detailed accounts touting
the rejuvenation that occurs to damaged spirits when one generously applies
this portion of the sin-screen (cf., Romans 6:1-7). Be warned, however,
that certain medical practitioners deny the necessity of the process.
They, of course, have no proof of their claims and we would suggest that
they thoroughly read the inspired journal of Luke the physician for more
information (cf., Acts 2:38; 8:12-13, 35-38; 10:47-48; 16:14-15, 30-33;
18:8; 19:1-5; 22:16). For even more information, consult Paul's references
to putting on the new man (cf., Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10).
These were written for those who already have on the first layer but points
out the truth, in some detail, of what took place when that initial layer
was put on.
2. Put on the armor.
Again our expert, Paul, shares with us another step to the process of applying
sin-screen. This bit of advice is for those who've already put on
their first layering of sin-screen, Christ himself. It would seem
that just putting on Christ is not sufficient by itself; that is, that
he can be put off if one is not faithful to continue in his covering.
Sometimes Christians that have put on Christ decide that they want to once
more expose themselves to the harmful radiation of temptation (cf., Romans
13:13). To fight this possibility, Paul urges that, once one has
put on Christ, he avoid the "hot spots" of sin (cf., Ephesians 4:25-29;
Colossians 3:8) and put on the armor of light (cf., Romans 13:12) as well
as the armor of God (cf., Ephesians 6:11-17). This second layering
is sure to keep us away from those "hot spots" previously mentioned and
will prevent the defeat of His initial covering of Christ.
3. Put on love.
Once the first layer of sin-screen has been applied and is secured by the
second layer of sin-screen (faithfulness), one must put on the final layer
to become perfected. This layer is love. It would seem that
sometimes when sin-screen protected Christians get around each other that
they want to mistreat one another. In this circumstance when the
unthinkable happens, it becomes possible for the two layers of sin-screen
to be "rubbed" off. Why such takes place defies all logic.
Most likely it is because they have willfully exposed themselves to sin.
This is a condition that hopefully all of us are willing to prevent.
We should all want eternal life and desire that also for all men (cf.,
Mark 16:15-16). Our sin-screen expert, Paul, advises us that with
the application of love we are able to overcome the strife that can present
itself between brethren (cf., Colossians 3:12-15). In so doing, one
can be assured that, with the three layers in place, he is completely protected
and can enjoy the eternal benefits of a spiritual cancer-free life (cf.,
Put on the sin-screen
before it's too late!