Today is Tuesday so begin by reviewing the Book of Titus, then James 1:1-14, the move on to today's verse.
15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (NIV)
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (ESV)
I'm going to quote from MacArthur's sermon again:
James shifts metaphors away from hunting and fishing to childbirth, as he comes to verse 15 and discusses the nature of lust.....Most people think of sin as a solitary act or a series of acts or behaviors. God is saying here that sin is not an act, sin is the result of a process....
Sin begins with the desire. An emotionally longing after something that you think will satisfy you.
Then it moves from the emotion of desire to the deception of your mind, as you justify and rationalize going after the object of your desire, and you convince yourself that it will be fulfilling.
It moves from emotion, to the mind, and then to the will - you begin to design (MacArthur's going with "D's"!) how you're going to pull the sin off, and sin is conceived.
And then we have disobedience, where the actual act of sin occurs. We've moved from the emotion to the mind to the will and then to the behaviour, and we have given birth to sin, a child that turns out to be a killer. Death.
The wages of sin is what? death. Spiritual death separating the soul from God, physical death separating the soul from the body, eternal death separating the soul and body from God.....
The emotions lead the mind to rationalize. The rationalized mind leads the will to plan. And now the baby is born and the deed is done and it all began with the desire.
Sin is a process. In order to effectively deal with sin, we've got to fight it at the beginning. More on that tomorrow.
LeRoy Eims on the importance of Scripture memory: "I think two of the master strokes of the devil have been to convince people he doesn't exist, and that Scripture memory is only for children. He remembers the humility of defeat when Jesus Christ, who was tempted in all points like as we are, met him with the Word of God." (What Every Christian Should Know About Growing; p. 26-27)