James 1:15 provides what is sometimes called “The Life-Cycle of Sin.” The verse tells us, “Then when lust is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” The passage describes for us the beginning, progression, and final result of sin in the life of man.
Two verses prior, James 1:12 gives what could be called “The Life-Cycle of Obedience.” This verse says, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” First, Christians must persevere, endure, and faithfully obey God’s instructions. Next, Christians will be “approved” or proven faithful through their obedience. Finally, faithful Christians will be blessed recipients of “the crown of life.”
Which of these two passages best describes our lives today? Is sin growing, flourishing, and thriving in us, or is our obedience to God’s word nourishing our souls and preparing us for an eternal reward? Like a fork in the road, we must choose which path we will take; both have a beginning, a progression, and an end. Will we choose obedience or sin? Will we choose life or death?