War On Sin
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30, NKJV)
Here Jesus uses a figure of speech and did not speak literally. Sadly, some have taken it so and have mutilated themselves in mistaken efforts in the pursuit of holiness. For example, the famous early Christian named Origen castrated himself on the principle of this passage.
The trouble with a literal interpretation is that it does not go far enough! Even if you did cut off your hand or gouge out your eye, you could still sin with your other hand or eye. When all those are gone, you can especially sin with your mind.
Jesus stressed the point that one must be willing to sacrifice to be obedient. If part of our life is surrendered to sin, we must decide that it is more profitable for that part our life to “die” rather than to condemn our whole life.
This is the one thing many are unwilling to do, and that is why they remain trapped in sin or never come to Jesus. They never get beyond a vague wish to be better.
“The salvation of our souls is to be preferred before all things, be they never so dear and precious to us; and that if men’s ordinary discretion teacheth them for the preservation of their bodies to cut off a particular member, which would necessarily endanger the whole body, it much more teacheth them to part with anything which will prejudice the salvation of their souls.” – Matthew Poole
Father God, we are in a war on sin. We fight against the temptations that we all face to turn from You, to satisfy our fallen nature. We pray to strengthen our relationship with You that we will overcome and prevail in this deadly war on sin.
1 Year Bible Reading