Tearing Down the Walls of Sin
My children have two Bibles from which they get to choose to read each morning. One of the Bibles we read from is The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible which was put together by Jared Kennedy who serves as Ops & Family Pastor at Sojourn Community Church-Midtown in Louisville, KY. Recently we read the story of “The Walls of Jericho,” and Kennedy made a connection I had never considered:
“Why did God’s people win the battle? Was it because they marched around the city? No. Was it because they blew their horns? No. Was it because they shouted? No. God knocked down the wall. God gave Joshua the city. God won the battle for his people. How are God’s people saved from sin? Does going to church save you from sin? Will reading your Bible save you from sin? Will praying save you from sin? No. We can’t do anything to save ourselves. Jesus defeats sin for his people. Only Jesus can save us from sin.”
I highly recommend this Bible if you have younger children because this is the level of teaching they receive from it. We are on a trek to the Promised Land of Heaven and sin separates us from God; the walls of Jericho are like the sin in our life—it is the barrier between us and eternity in Heaven.
“You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.” (Joshua 6:3-5)
God did not give them a complex battle strategy. There was no attack plan to tear down the walls. They only had to march. The only requirement: obedience to God’s commands, no matter how simple they seem. Men can get so excited by action and fighting. We love movies that feature battles and combat. Along the way, we decide that the way to handle our sin struggle is to fight it ourselves. “I can overcome this urge. I can fight this battle.” And if you notice, most of these action movies are about one action hero going it alone. We love the idea of overcoming the enemy on our own, so we decide it’s weak to ask for help. We don’t tell anyone about our struggle. But this is not how God told the Israelites to overcome the walls of Jericho. Make no mistake: it wasn’t the marching, the trumpets, or the shouting that brought down the walls—it was God. And it is not through anything we do that sin is overcome—it is God who overcomes sin.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” (Acts 3:19)
“If we claim to have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” (Hebrews 8:12)
Confess your sins and repent and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us. Just like His instructions to Joshua and his army, it is that simple: we need to live in faithful obedience to those commands to confess and repent of our sins. When we do that, God has promised to make the walls of our sin come crashing down. It is not by anything we have done but by His grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness that the sin in our life can come crashing down, freeing us to enter into the eternal Promised Land.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.