"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge its rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant treasures." Proverbs 24:3

I'm reading Hebrews now and I just came across this phrase:  “The deceitfulness of sin." Does that make anyone else shudder?  How creepy!!  Not only are we deceived into sinning, but our sin also deceives us!  What is this vicious cycle and how can I stay out of it?  After doing a little research on this topic I found myself going back to the very beginning in order to understand the source of sin's deception.

John 8:44 says that deceit is from Satan.  He is the “father of lies.”   In the garden of Eden, he questioned and twisted God’s commands to make them appear to Eve as legalistic and oppressive.  Once Eve started to buy into these lies, she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise”  (Genesis 3:6).  The deceit created a desire to have what was forbidden.  This lust was the product of deception.  Ephesians 4:22 says that our old self is being corrupted  “with the lusts of deceit.”  All sorts of desires spring up in us as we lend our ears to sources that question and twist God’s truth.  We are corrupted by them.  The tactics Satan used to deceive Eve are the same tactics he uses on us today.  He continues to use his craftiness to “lead us astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ"  (2 Corinthians 11:3).
James 1:15 tells us that we are then "carried away" by our lust.  We are "enticed" by it, and eventually lust “gives birth tosin.”  So not only does lust create more temptation and more deceit (for who does not lie to themselves or others in an attempt to justify their own desires) but, lust eventually leads to acts of sin.  Lust, if allowed to reproduce, will bear it’s natural offspring:  sin.
So that is how we can go from being deceived to committing sin.  The process, however, is not always so linear.  For lust produces more deceit, which yields more lust, which ends up in sin, which deceives us, and so on and so forth.  Deceit produces such a tangled web of lust and sin that even those who deceive others may not even realize that they themselves are deceived.  “Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived”  (2 Timothy 3:13).
Finally, the ultimate result of sin is that it  "brings forth death"  (James 1:15).  I believe this death can be both physical and spiritual.  Romans 6:23 says that the “wages of sin is death.”  We have to work at it!  It is a job that comes so naturally to us that we don’t even realize that we are employed in this line of work.  We work hard at sinning day after day, until we are paid what we are owed.  Then we questions our wages.  “This compensation package is unfair!” we say.  “I didn’t agree to these wages!”  But we can’t file a lawsuit against God.  We can't form a union, go on strike, and demand better pay.  He is the lawmaker, the lawyer, the judge, and the jury.  He sets the pay scale and signs the check.  Our wages are just and final.

But, praise God, there is hope for us menial workers of iniquity.  The end of Romans 6:23 says, “but, the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!”  

If we go back to Hebrews 3 we see that the Israelites who were hardened by the deceitfulness of sin fell away from God and did not enter His rest because of disobedience.  I am not interested in wandering in the desert grumbling about how small God is only to end up dying before I reach the promised land.  I want to rest!  I want the free gift of life!  I choose to accept the work that Jesus did for me when He gave up His own life on the cross.  Would you rather work hard for death or accept the free gift of grace that leads to salvation which leads to life?

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast." -Ephesians 2:8

When we follow Christ our blinders are off, our guard is up and we can experience freedom from the deceitfulness of sin.  

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