The Pandemic Of Sin (Part II)
Updated: May 25, 2020
By bro Joel Lee
Last week, we came to the realisation that sin has infected everyone, everywhere, since the beginning of time. What can be done to combat this neglected pandemic?
Thankfully, we find our answer in the Bible. Let’s return to the virus analogy from last week. To avoid contracting the virus, healthcare workers like myself don personal protective gear. This comprises a N95 respiratory mask to filter out the virus, a face shield, a protective gown and gloves, all to avoid direct skin contact with the virus. Combined, they act as a barrier to transmission for people in close contact with infected persons. Similarly, the Bible tells us of a personal protective gear we can wear to avoid contracting sin, albeit one that has a vastly different composition. It is a spiritual protective equipment:
Ephesians 6:13-17 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
All of them combined act as a barrier to the transmission of sin: If you have faith in God, you will be shielded from the worries and anxieties that plague people today (Matthew 6:25-34); if you are equipped with the word of God (otherwise known as the sword of the spirit), you will be able to resist the temptations that abound in the world. Apostle Paul too assures us in Ephesians 6:11 that this very set of equipment will safeguard us from sin and Satan’s schemes.
What else can we do to avoid contracting the disease of sin? Last week we talked about how the Singapore government quarantine suspect cases to reduce the risk of community spread. Similarly, we can do the same with sin.
1 Corinthians 5:11 – ‘But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.’
In this verse, Paul advised the church at Corinth to abstain from interacting with sinners regularly as the bad influence tends to lead others astray.
Lastly, and most importantly, is there any solution? Are we all doomed to eternal damnation? Just like how viruses have vaccines as a cure, Jesus is the vaccine/cure to sin. John 14:6 tells us ‘Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ We also know from John 3:16-17 that our salvation was obtained only through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is the universal vaccine available and accessible to all today. But again, as with vaccinations, one needs to comply with instructions for the vaccine to be effective. What do I mean? Vaccination works by introducing minute quantities of the virus into the human body to provoke an immune response and generate antibodies against the virus. But in order for the vaccine to be effective, one needs to follow the vaccination schedule and receive the appropriate dose of the correct drug via the appropriate route at appropriate times. Otherwise, if one is lax about it or, worse, have false beliefs about vaccines, antibodies may not be produced, or those generated may not be sufficient for immunity. Cases in point would be the new outbreak of measles in places like the Philippines and the US, due to a growing community of anti-vaxxers, people who falsely believe that vaccines are useless or may even cause diseases. For these people, the vaccine, although commercially available, is not effective.
Likewise, salvation through Jesus Christ as a cure to sin only comes through obedience. We need to follow God’s plan of salvation in order for it to be effective for us. That means that we have to believe, repent of our sins, confess Jesus, and be baptised for the remission of our sins (Mark 16:16, Luke 12:8, Acts 2:38) Jesus too plainly said so in Matt 7:21:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to rear its ugly head worldwide, disrupting economies, societies and even our way of life, it is indeed uncertain times that we live in. But let us have faith in God’s providence and not forget the larger pandemic out there, one that has been left unchecked and one that has inflicted all of humanity. As Christians, we have been cured of the disease of sin through obeying the gospel. We also possess the knowledge of this cure while most of mankind remains in the dark. The solution to the pandemic of sin is in our hands. Will we not share it today?