Taking Out The Garbage
By Grant Phillips
A lot of guys don’t like taking out the garbage. As for me, I like seeing it gone. As soon as it starts accumulating, I round it up and get it to the outside garbage container. We have made a habit of putting nothing perishable into our kitchen garbage container unless it is first placed in a zip lock bag. Also, nothing is placed in the outside garbage container unless it is in a garbage bag.
Why do we dispose of our garbage? (Others may not go to the lengths we do, but hopefully, they still take out the garbage.) For that matter, why do we flush the toilet after each use?
I got to thinking about this the other day from a spiritual standpoint. Don’t we do these things to rid ourselves of something offensive?
Why do we bathe or shower? Have you ever smelled someone who seldom did so? There’s your answer.
It’s not rocket science. We remove certain things in our lives simply because they are offensive, and the longer they hang around, the more offensive they become.
When I began this article, I first changed the word “garbage” to “trash” because “garbage” just sounds so “offensive,” but the more I thought about it, I decided to change the word “trash” back to “garbage” because sin IS offensive. We need to realize that there is nothing pretty or nice smelling about sin.
Think about this…sin is even more putrid to God than it is to you and me. Don’t think so? Jesus died for us that we might be free of sin, its corruption, and its penalty. Sounds to me like sin is really bad.
If you have a minute, let’s take a quick mental journey together.
On the shores of Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942 or Normandy on June 6, 1944 once lay the mangled bodies of many soldiers. Sin brought death to a lot of good men.
Stand on the corner of Anywhere, USA and witness pimps auctioning off ladies for sex.
Travel with me to the red-light district of most large cities and behold the decadence that prevails.
Visit the hospitals of any town or city and witness the pain, misery and death that sin rewards all mankind.
No community is exempt of broken homes where every imaginable atrocity is laid upon the backs of the innocent.
Lest you think I forgot, many of our churches have become bastions of greed, pride, sexual perversion and denial of the Jesus they say they represent.
Mankind is drunk on sin. No beverage could ever bring us to the level of intoxication that sin has dealt us. We are so sloppy drunk we don’t know which end to put our pants on, or for that matter, whether it should be pants or a dress.
Any sin is egregious (outstandingly bad) to God Almighty, but we have sunk to depths unknown in the sewers of sin, and would make previous generations blush at our decadence. Why do I say that? I say that because we should know better.
“And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:47-48)
We today have the entire Word of God at our finger tips. Someone may say on judgment day they didn’t read it, so they didn’t know. That’s your fault. At least in this country (for now) anyone can get a Bible, even free of charge. Everything you need to know is there.
It is so easy for us to plunge to the depths of sin. For example, those hooked on drugs or pornography try it once. Then they try it again. Each time gets easier, and each time they need a greater fix until they are trapped by its tentacles. Another example; that first lie affected our conscience, but the second, third and fourth were easier and easier, until we became a habitual liar. This shows just how easy it is to be overcome with sin, but only one who is pure and without sin can see just how horrible sin really is. That someone is Jesus.
Do you know that God has been taking out the garbage since Adam and Eve brought down that old sin nature upon us all? Over the last 6,000 thousand years, roughly, mankind has not only garbage dumped planet earth, but even more importantly, we have corrupted ourselves. We have become the offensive garbage container of sin to a holy and righteous God. He is without sin. We are loaded with it, and no matter how much we scrub, it remains.
“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)
You and I can attempt to overcome sin on our own, but as long as we are in these earthly bodies that old sin nature within us will just keep pumping out garbage. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can make us new, not merely like new, but NEW.
“Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22b)
God has given us more than we can ever comprehend. We started out with a beautiful, garbage free, sin free world, but we chose through Eve and her husband Adam that we could take God’s place. Did not the serpent say, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) Be like God! Hardly! We became fools instead…Satan’s suckers.
In Genesis 3:15 God said He would send a Redeemer, and all who would come to Him believing would be saved. He would rid this world of Satan and make a whole new world for those spiritually born into His family.
Man has a natural tendency to attempt his own salvation. Listen, I can take the garbage out at our house, but there is nothing I can do to make it, the garbage, smell better. On the other hand, God can, because He can remove it once for all.
Even in the saintliest of minds, we are corrupted with the garbage of sin in our very being. We can work all our lives trying to remove that nauseating smell of sin, but only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us and set us free.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
When we come in faith to Jesus, asking Him to save us and clean us up, He does so. How is it that He can change a smelly old sinner? He removes the self-righteous garbage from our life, and then clothes us with His own righteousness.
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:14)
“and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;” (Philippians 3:9)
Doesn’t it seem the more we try to remove the garbage in our lives, we no sooner get it out the back door that it’s coming back in the front door? The apostle Paul wrestled with this. He talks about it in Romans chapter seven.
All of us are sinners (Romans 3:23). The difference between a believer and unbeliever is; a believer is a saved sinner and has a home waiting in Heaven, but an unbeliever is a lost sinner bound for hell.
How can we have our sins forgiven and be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ?
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus took our sin and its penalty upon Himself. In exchange He gives us His righteousness. You just can’t top that!