Tuesday, August 7, 2012

After a Ph.D. and 3 years of post-doc work studying cancer, Dr. Cecil Miller knows cancer all too well. He tells us that we all have cancer cells in our bodies, but our immune system recognizes those cancer cells and destroys them before they grow and develop into the disease. Cancer cells rid themselves of normal controls from the outside and do whatever they wish even to the peril and destruction of the whole body. They in essence lose their biologic compass and become self-serving, and, if not restricted, ultimately become self-destructive. A lot like sin!  Similarly we cannot “cure” ourselves from sin. We need an outside agent, the redemption from Jesus who suffered and died on the cross for our sins.

Dr. Miller makes several parallels between sin and cancer...

1. Cancer is a disease that originates from the inside. It is not caused by infectious agents or viruses (in most cases). Environmental factors can influence and enhance the growth but the cancer cells remain the persons own cells. Similarly, sin develops from inside our own hearts. Scripture says the heart is desperately wicked.

2. People cannot cure themselves from cancer; its answer is not inside us. We must take drastic steps designed to kill cancer cells, such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

3. Finally, we are seldom completely freed from cancer. We can stem the tide if treatment is successful. We may be in remission for years but there is always the potential of cancer returning. We must be very vigilant to be on alert and if there is any evidence of it reoccurring we must deal with it aggressively. Even though our sins are forgiven we continue have the capacity to sin again. We must constantly crucify the flesh and live in the Spirit otherwise the sin can return in our lives.

Excerpt taken from the November issue of Beyond VU.   
Dr. Cecil Miller heads the Biology Department at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA