Bible and cross

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand against the schemes of the Devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Have you gotten the COVID vaccination yet? That question has generated a lot of heated discussion recently. Some will answer that they are vaccinated. They wanted to do everything they could to safeguard their body against this awful disease. They also state that we should get vaccinated to help safeguard the lives of others.

Others argue they won’t get the vaccine because it’s “my body and my choice.” They point out that people who have gotten vaccinated still get COVID. They also contend that there are potential harmful side effects that some say you can get from the vaccine. I’m not here to try to settle this argument. Many people are already firmly entrenched in their beliefs on this issue. This discussion will probably continue as long as COVID remains a threat.

God’s Word that we’re looking at today looks at a different disease. It’s called sin. This disease affects us all no matter who we are or how well we take care of ourselves. Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” You can’t get vaccinated against sin. You can’t get rid of it by healthy living. The temptation to sin is often stronger than our desire to resist. In the daily struggle to try to obey the will of God, we will fall short of what God expects many times. The end result of sin is always the same. Romans 5:12 said, “Death spread to all people because all sinned.”

But God’s Word tells us that our struggle against sin isn’t hopeless. God has provided the vaccine that we need to combat sin. He tells us to “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” He tells us to “Put on the full armor of God.” The way that we put on the full armor of God is to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and to trust its saving message. We couldn’t overcome sin; Jesus overcame sin for us. Jesus, the true Son of God, sacrificed his own innocent life to save ours. As 1 John 2:2 said, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the whole world.”

Sin will remain with us as long as we remain in the world. But God provides the cure that overcomes sin for us. Put on the full armor of God through the Gospel of Jesus. Believe that in Jesus Christ alone all your sins are fully forgiven. Then sin will not triumph over you. Then you can be sure that eternal life in heaven is yours.

— The Rev. Greg Tobison is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson.