Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sin’s Execution

Depending on what books you read, the word “execution” can mean different things. Brian White and I read the business book, “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” by Bossidy and Charan. They insist that our plans result in action, in active execution. We hear this meaning in the cliches repeated by sports team members: “we just need to execute better.”

That wouldn’t be a very nice game if they meant another meaning of the word “execute,” which is “to carry out a sentence of death.” Readers of history will come across many instances of both executioners and martyrs.

So which meaning do I intend by my title, “Sin’s Execution?” Both! First of all, sin works – it is active and it is productive, and it keeps on working in your life and mine. The trouble often is that our sin is more diligent than we are in our own spiritual watchcare. And so, the conclusion is, sin executes; it works.

But sin is, in the other sense, in the process of being executed. The sentence of death has been rendered on sin by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and sin is making it’s long, slow march to the gallows. The trouble is, it still wreaks havoc in the lives of passers-by, which includes all of us.

We would like to jump forward from the throng and stab sin to death. But – and this is very important – we cannot. It is beyond our power. In a strange sense, we have to say, sin is better than we are.

So what are we to do with Paul’s admonition in our memory verse to “put to death the deeds of the body” (Rom 8:13)? Here, we must put to death the various expressions of sin’s activity in our lives. We must keep pulling the weeds. But if we think that having once pulled the weeds, we have put an end to all that is wild and unwanted, we are dangerously fooling ourselves. I must conclude that I am not sin’s final executioner, but thankfully, Jesus is.

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