Why? Why? Why?

Read: Romans 7:7-25

The Houston Astros World Series Championship from 2017 recently took on a new discovery.  Major League Baseball (MLB) investigated claims that the team had installed a camera in center field which would tip pitches to the batters at the plate.  In other words, they knew what pitch was coming when the pitcher was winding up to throw it. This process of cheating was both elaborate and simple, but it was illegal and broke MLB rules.  The Astros Manager and General Manager both lost their jobs over this.

Why would professional athletes who were talented enough to make it to the top level of their sport be willing to cheat and risk it all?  Why would those aware of this allow it to continue? Why would the conscience of those involved not encourage them to put a stop to it? Shouldn’t the steroid era have been enough to learn from?  In Romans 7 the apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome. In verse 19 he says, “For I do not do the good I want to, but the evil I do not want to do, this I keep doing.” Paul is referring to sin in our lives.  The sin in our world that tempts us to cheat, lie, steal, and do all the things we know are wrong.

The important part of Romans 7 comes at the end of the chapter when Paul tells us how to be rescued from these things.  In verses 24-25 he says, “Who will rescue me… Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” If we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, he will do just that.  That is good news for all of us, because the sins of this world can and do affect us all.

The Astros cheating scandal is still a developing story and may end up including more players, mangers, and teams before all is said and done.  I hope those involved will respond in the way that fired Met’s manager Carlos Beltran responded in a statement to ESPN. Beltran was a player on the 2017 Astros and was recently hired as the Met’s new manager.  He said, “As a veteran player on the team, I should have recognized the severity of the issues and I truly regret the actions that were taken. I am a man of faith and integrity, and what took place did not demonstrate those characteristics that are so very important to me and my family.  I am very sorry.” 

I believe from that statement that Beltran most likely repented of his sin and asked Jesus to forgive him.  Yes, there were consequences that followed. He will not be able to manage even one game for the Mets this season and possibly beyond.  However, if he has repented of this to Jesus, he is truly forgiven and his guilt from the past will be erased even if human beings never forgive him.  That truth is what Jesus brought to all of us, his grace and forgiveness is always waiting for you and for me. 

Make it Personal:  No one sin is greater than any other sin.  All sin must be repented of and washed in the grace of Jesus.  What do you need to have washed clean in your life? Just say an honest repentant prayer to Jesus and ask for his forgiveness.  It is a free gift for all who will believe.

Have a blessed week, Pastor Glen Rhodes