Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What a web we weave


I was visiting my mother in Scotland recently and having a look round her garden. One of the local artisans was painting her shed at the time, and so I was checking if the job was being done properly - this in itself is a bit humorous as I am 'Mr Not - DIY - International'. But, as dutiful sons do, I was checking to see if the paint was drying (I thought it did that itself!) and if the shed needed another coat. If you met my mother you would know that she wouldn't accept my word for it and would be checking later to see if the work was up to a satisfactory standard - which she did!

As I rounded the side of the shed I found this fine fellow. As far as spiders go he was pretty big. I was in Africa in July and thought that I had seen my fair share of big spiders but this one could punch his (or her) weight with the best of them. What a web he was building! It was impressive in size and complexity. 

Spider silk is very strong. Some have said that it is as strong as steel but I am told that at best it might be compared to steel when it come to tensile strength. Others say that relative to weight, the strength of a spider web rivals steel and Kevlar, the material used to make bullet-proof vests1.Tensile strength measures the force required to pull something such as a rope, wire or structural beam to the point where it breaks. The tensile strength of a material is the amount of tensile stress that it can be subjected to before failure. Putting it in simple language, a spiders web is very, very strong. The picture I have in my mind is of the web we often spin for ourselves. Words, decisions, choices, actions and so on spin a web that can trap us and from which we are unable to escape. 

The Bible teaches that sin is like the spider's web in each of our lives. It traps us and snares us and sometimes it's too late before we notice. The scriptures say that 'sin when it is fully grown, it gives birth to death,' James 1:15. The story of the first murder in the Bible describes sin as 'crouching at the door' waiting to pounce and take action in the life of Cain, Genesis 4.7. The Apostle Paul described in Romans chapter seven verses 7-11 the effect of our weakness to keep God's law (to do what is right) and the power of sin to deceive and destroy. There was nothing wrong with the moral code (the Law) but humans, because of inherited sin - Romans 5:12, have a sinful nature that responds to sin, temptation, evil etc. We are probably more familiar with terms such as lust, cravings, passion and desire but they all express the response to temptation that draws us into the web that sin is spinning in our lives.

At the end of the day we are all responsible for our actions. If, however, we do not recognise our weak moral character and our susceptibility to sin then we will be trapped by sin and act sinfully. This is the case for every human being 'we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' Romans 3:23. 

The glad news of the gospel is that 'Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,' 1. Corinthians 15;3,4. The death of the Lord Jesus met the demands of heaven's court (God's requirements) and makes it possible for our guilt to be removed and for us to be forgiven. The groundwork has been done and the offer of forgiveness is on the table. What determines whether we are forgiven and free of guilt is our response to the offer.

The appropriate response is to 'Repent and believe in the good news!,' Mark 1:15. This is the message that Jesus preached and he knew what he was doing and saying as He was the one who was going to personally atone for sin by dying at Golgotha, Jerusalem. 

In closing let me remind you of the summation of the gospel message as preached by the great apostolic preacher, Paul. In a classic appeal to his audience as recorded in Acts chapter 13 he sums up the offer of salvation in these words 'Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses. So beware that what is said in the prophets does not happen to you: Look, you scoffers, marvel and vanish away, because I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will never believe, even if someone were to explain it to you.”,

Could it be possible that God is doing a work in our day and people will not believe even if when it is explained to them. That's what happened in the past - it could happen again!



No comments

Blogger Template Created by pipdig