Tuesday

The Sin That so Easily Entangles


Snake on a Pole in the Wilderness
The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
Numbers 21:8,9
The sin that so easily entangles today, is the lack of faith in what Jesus has done. I am not talking about lack of faith in Jesus as God in the flesh, but what I am talking about is the sin of going back to the Day of Atonement for forgiveness; the sin of wrongly using 1 John 1:9 as a Protestant Christian bar of soap of confession for additional forgiveness from God; the sin of going to the Catholic confession booth, then doing penance to get more forgiveness from God; the sin of confessing your sins to a priest in order to get right with God and have God forgive you more; the sin of saying prayers repeatedly asking for forgiveness as in using the Lord's Prayer as a cover for sins; the sin of thinking that you are going to repent of all of your sins; the sin of praying to the virgin Mary for forgiveness and using this as a conduit to God; the sin of having Jesus sacrificed on the alter of religion repeatedly as in the Catholic Mass to the masses; and the sin of having a mindset that you need to do something in order for God to do something for you as in practicing vending machine forgiveness.

Not looking upon, and accepting Jesus's finished work on the cross is the sin that entangles, snares, entraps, trips up, clings, and besets people today; as it did in the early days of Christianity with people going back to the day of atonement after hearing the truth of Jesus.

In chapter 12 of Hebrews, and in the first verse we read:
New International Version (©1984)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
New Living Translation (©2007)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Now, consider what was in chapter 11 of Hebrews to see the comparisons between heros of the faith. The whole of chapter 11 talks about faith, and then in the beginning of chapter 12, the writer summarizes and declares to being surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses. Faith is the keyword in Hebrews chapter 11. Chapter 12 tells us to fix our eyes upon Jesus and exhorts us to not lose sight of this.

Hebrews 11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Each and everyone of these witnesses exercised faith regardless of what the consequences meant for them, even to the point of some being mocked, tortured, whipped, stoned, sawed in half, killed, becoming destitute, afflicted, and tormented.

So, let's put the sin that so easily entangles, thwarts, and skillfully besetts in biblical context and understand the meaning of the Greek word used once in the bible, and translated to English as easily "Entangles" or "Besetts," and others, in the various bible translations:

G2139
εὐπερίστατος
euperistatos
yoo-per-is'-tat-os
Strong's Definition:
From G2095 and a derivative of a presumed compound of G4012 and G2476; well standing around, that is, (a competitor) thwarting (a racer) in every direction (figuratively of sin in general): - which doth so easily beset.
G2139
εὐπερίστατος
euperistatos
Thayer Definition:
1) skilfully surrounding, i.e. besetting
Part of Speech: adjective
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G2095 and a derivative of a presumed compound of G4012 and G2476

The opposite of faith is unbelief in what God has done through Jesus our Lord and Savior. It is the sin that so subtlety clings to a person, and in so many ways is undetected by many in the world of how the devil gets people to be tripped up by it and they don't even recognize it.

Let's get real, and realize the sin that so easily and skillfully entraps a person into believing the lie, and not believing the truth, that God was in Christ Jesus, and is no longer counting men's sins against them.

New International Version (©1984)
"That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

Exercise faith today in the finished work of Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior, and God who came in the flesh to bring new life to the dead. Focus your attention on Jesus not yourself. Look upon Jesus and live. Understand that God has forgiven you forever, and ever; now receive eternal life.

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