My favorite country singer, Josh Turner, in his song “Long Black Train”, does a great job illustrating Satan, temptation, and sin. “There’s an engineer on that long black train, making you wonder if your ride is worth the pain. He’s just a waiting on your heart to say, let me ride on that long black train.” Satan is the engineer and the train is a physical representation of temptation. We are naturally interested in where that train is going, so we hop on…but once we do, we sin.
As Christians, we all struggle with sin and the temptation that leads to it. When we are young, we are taught right from wrong and we are expected to do what is right. However, it’s not that easy. Romans 7:15-17 actually explains why doing what’s right is not easy. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” If you really break this scripture down, you’ll see that even though we know what we shouldn’t do, we will do it anyway…that’s sin!
So, if we know the difference between right and wrong, and we still do what’s wrong, are we forced to ride that long black train forever? Josh sings in the chorus of his song, “You know there’s victory in the Lord I say, victory in the Lord. Cling to the Father and his holy name and don’t go riding on that long black train.”
Romans 14:23 says, “Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins so that we might be saved from sin. If we believe this and confess we need Jesus, we are saved. That’s the victory we receive in the Lord. Even if you hear a train whistle from a mile away, Jesus says to us: “Hey, you don’t have to ride that long black train.”