In our present culture, by the time most children are sixteen years old, they have left a well-documented profile on the World Wide Web. Advertisers say, “We know more about you than you know about yourself.”
It is human to manufacture in our minds the kind of person we want to be known as and to make the effort to project that image to family, friends, and the public, but in reality we are the sum of our thoughts. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a). The Web records our idle thoughts, our curiosities, and our entertainments day after day in little snippets. One’s habits, preferences, interests, etc. are preserved, analyzed, and given a rating by service providers.
A person’s thoughts are no longer his own. Secrets are secret only at the whim of geeks, hackers, various government agencies, foreign governments, Google, and the businesses that purchase the information to tailor advertisements to individual tastes. Those who think their sins are hidden are self-deluded, living in a world of their own imagination. “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad” (Luke 8:17).
The promise of anonymity is an illusion. In order to hide sin, many turn to The Dark Net, an overlay network that can be accessed only with specific software or authorization. It claims to provide “hidden services.” Hidden? Hackers revealed the identity of thirty-nine million users of Ashley Madison, a site that promises an adulterous affair to anyone who creates a profile. One in five were women. Thirty-nine million users thought they were keeping their sin a secret by using a hidden, more secure layer of the Internet. Several suicides are attributed to public revelation of their access to this adultery site.
As a Google engineer once said to me, “We know everything about you—everything.” In time, everything will be broadcast from the housetops.
2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
As a drunk swears he is not drinking yet comes to a family gathering smelling of alcohol, gregarious beyond his pitiful state, suffering the disdain of family over and over again yet continuing his self-sabotaging obsession, so the lust of men and women draws them to the Net, against their better judgment, with a conviction that it will never be discovered and that no harm is being done.
Desire is a product of the flesh—fallen, sinful flesh—and it is more controlling than a ball and chain, making idiots of otherwise intelligent men and women. “The wicked desireth the net of evil men . . .” (Proverbs 12:12a). “. . . the desire of the wicked shall perish” (Psalm 112:10b).
“Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.”
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
There is a way to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us” (Hebrews 12:1). In Romans 6 Paul tells us three times that we are “free from sin.” Freedom from sin is not freedom from desire. It is freedom from the power of desire. When our Lord died on the cross and was resurrected, he accomplished both our justification from the penalty of sin and our freedom from the power of sin.
There is a little-known way of counting oneself dead to sin and alive unto God. It is an act of faith, and it is no more difficult or complicated than the event of being born again. Just as faith secures our salvation, faith secures our sanctification with equal effectiveness. The excuse that all men are sinners or that sin is too powerful is no longer valid. By faith you can cease sinning.
You can download my audio teaching of the book of Romans free of charge, or you can order an MP3 CD from us. If you will listen to the first eight chapters of Romans, you will know how to be free from sin.
If you want to understand freedom from sin more thoroughly, incorporating additional portions of Scripture, order the series Sin No More. Thousands have testified of freedom from sin through listening to Romans or Sin No More. What goes in comes out. It is time to put something holy in and get something holy out.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”