I’ll Take The Pecan,
But Please Remove The
I love pecans! One of my favorite times of year is the fall when pecans begin to drop everywhere, candies and pies are made, and my stomach becomes very happy. But if you have ever cracked a pecan open and eaten it, you may have experienced one of my least favorite tastes. See, the thing is, if you aren’t very careful to scrape the entire hull out of the grooves of each pecan, you might think you’ve just put a spoonful of dirt into your mouth. The pecan tastes great, but once it leaves its shell, all of the remains of that shell and its hull must be fully removed for it to be the tasty treat it has the potential to be.
This reminds me of what must happen when a person is converted to Christ. A Christian must consider him/herself “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans ). When a person puts Christ on in baptism (Galatians ), he makes a choice to leave the worldliness behind and submit to God’s will. Since no one can serve two masters (Matthew ), a Christian must definitively choose God over all other things.
So, it is a problem when Christians try to be “in Christ” and “of the world (John ) at the same time. Christians can no more accomplish this than can a pecan is sweet with pieces of its hull still hanging on. Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2) The “hull” that takes away from the sweetness of your faithful Christian life may be some bad habit that has carried over. It may be some relationship that hinders you from giving God His proper place in your life. Whatever it is, let it go before it is too late to be what God intends for you to be.
It is clear that Christ endured the cruel death on the cross so that if we “die to sin and live to righteousness” we can have our sins “healed,” or forgiven (I Peter ). All that is left is for you to allow Christ to remove the bitterness of sin from your life when you obey His commands to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts ).