Sin is serious.
Sin is one of those words we may have become numb to. The seriousness of the subject does not strike us when we hear the word on a regular basis. Many of us from time to time forget how serious our sin problem is. What is your general disposition towards sin in your life? Is it something you consider often? Is it something you actively fight against?
Pastor Steven in his sermon on Sunday made it clear that there is no other destination for the road of sin other than death. This brings the seriousness of sin close to home when we consider our lives to be on the line. Sin ultimately leads to both physical and spiritual death but it also causes death in our lives along the way, destroying people, churches, families. How have you seen sin cause pain and hurt in your life and in the lives of people you care about?
We referenced Psalm 7 during our worship gathering on Sunday. In that psalm we see a picture of God as angry and wrathful against sin. In the same psalm, the writer refers to God as his shield. We tend to minimize our sin and at the same time minimize the idea of God's wrath towards sin. What we don't realize is that we are also minimizing our salvation in the process. Sin is serious and God's wrath is terrible but the righteousness that is ours in Christ is a might shield. We have been saved in a miraculous way from an aweful threat. Our salvation is great because both our sin and our God are great as well.
Father help us to realize just how amazing our salvation is because we understand ho serious our sin is. We are so tempted to minimize our sin and brush it off without turning to you in repentsnce. Draw our hearts to you and break them over our in that we may turn to the righteousness we have in Christ and nothing else.
Sin is seductive.
Most of the time we are not tempted by things we have no desire for. The danger of sin is that it is seductive, it tells us that we can fulfill our deepest longings outside of God's plan. Many times we don't even know we have crossed the line into sin because we are blinded by our own desires. We often turn the good gifts of God into idols. The key to fighting temptation is to know your own heart and know what you desire and where you seek comfort in life. What sins tempt you most and why do you keep turning to them for comfort? In what area of temptation do you need to be reminded that Jesus is better?
In his sermon, Steven talked about the analogy Jesus gives of cutting off one's hand, feet, or cutting out one's eye if they cause you to sin. He discussed the point that Jesus did not literally mean for His followers to cut off their hand, feet, etc. But that it means for us to remove ourselves from the ways in which we are tempted. In short, as quoted from the Puritan pastor John Owen, "Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you." What situations, places, media, or influences do you need to cut yourself off from in order to help remove the temptations to sin? What does it look like for you to kill sin in your own life?
Resisting sin and temptation is a battle that cannot be fought alone. Jesus has broken the power of sin for us and provided a support system in the church. Many times the reason we are seduced by sin is because we are isolated or removed from a community of believers. In the battle against sin in our life, it is crucial that we are connected to support system Jesus has established through gospel community. Being connected to other believers can serve as a way to keep us accountable and encouraged. Are you connected to gospel community? Do you allow those in that community hold you accountable and point you to Jesus?
Father, keep us close to you and your Word. Help us to see that temptations are ways in which we are told that we can get what we desire most in something or someone other than Jesus. In those moments we are tempted, stir our affections for Jesus. Help us to be mindful of the ways in which we are tempted and by your grace cut ourselves off from the places, situations, and influences that draw us back to sin. Keep us connected to gospel community so that we can be continually reminded that Jesus is better. Amen
Sin requires a sacrifice.
Earlier this week we talked about how we tend to distort the good gifts God gives us and make idols out of them, turning to them for the comfort we should find in Christ. Jesus calls us, at times, to give up good things for the best thing. If fighting sin requires a sacrifice on our part, what good things specifically might you need to give up in order to fight sin in your life?
We know that sin separates us from God because he is Holy and set apart. Earlier this week, we talked about how his holiness is the standard to which we are called. We miss that mark by a mile. Sin requires a sacrifice to restore our relationship to God. We know that Jesus was that sacrifice on our behalf. If we know these things about our condition and what Jesus has done to save us, how should we live in light of this knowledge?
How should we pray?
How should we worship?
If Jesus was the price paid for our sin, how should we deal with sin?
God, we know that sin pulls us away from you. The Bible says our hearts are wicked, but we want the abundance of our hearts to be grace and truth. Help us listen to you and trust you by faithfully reading the Bible, praying and spending time with other believers.
Austin Stone Worship Kids