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Sunday, June 21, 2015 am                    Perfection Index

 

GOING ON TO PERFECTION (21)
The Christian and Sin (3)
Dealing with Sin

 

This month we are addressing the subject of sin and temptation.  It is important that we understand these if we are to go on to perfection.  We have defined sin as missing the mark; a departure from God’s standard, either in doing that which is prohibited or failing to do that which is commanded.  Temptation is the enticement to do that which is wrong.  It is the tools of Satan to drag us away from God.  Toward the conclusion of our lesson last week, we briefly noted some things we can do to help us deal with temptation.   In our lesson this morning we want to expand these points and notice some others as we address how to deal with sin in our lives.

The fact is we have to deal with our sins.  Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death.  If we don’t address our sins, we will face eternal condemnation and separation from God. 

 I.                     Receive forgiveness

a.        Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is where dealing with sins begins.  You have to remove them.

b.       Obey the gospel if you have not – H,B,R,C,Bap=Forgiveness of sins

c.        Be faithful – Rev. 2:10.  If you have failed to be faithful, repent and confess your sins.  (Acts 8:22, 1 John 1:9)

d.       More on this next week as we address receiving forgiveness.

 II.                  It begins with our mindset

a.        We have to control the mind.   This year we have emphasized a proper mindset extensively.  This is where everything we do begins.  We must have understanding to deal with anything. 
This is equally true in dealing with sin. 
Why is lust (intense desire to have that which does not belong to you) sin, even when it is not acted upon?  (Such as bitter attitudes, a desire to steal something, or lusting after a woman) 
Because of the connection between thinking and doing.  As mentioned last week, I believe the “birth to sin” from temptation is the impure thoughts dwelling on something.  Then when it is acted upon, it brings forth death (James 1:12-15).

b.       Prov. 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Matthew 15:18–20, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

c.        Understanding this connection, we can see that dealing with sin begins with our mindset!

d.       Realize you don’t have to sin (mentioned last week) – 1 John 3:5-9, Romans 6:1-4, 11-12“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” (Romans 6:11-12)

e.       Make up your mind that you are going to serve God – Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:1-2
Get serious about serving God.

 III.                  Learn self-control

a.        Self-control and self-discipline are terms that mean we are in control of what we are doing.  Rather than letting sinful conduct and desires control what we do and do not do, and who we become - we discipline ourselves, even to the point of making ourselves do the right thing.

b.       Self-control is a godly quality – 2 Peter 1:6, Galatians 5:22-23, etc.

c.        1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul an example – he disciplined his body, bringing it into subjection…

d.       This includes our conversations - James 3:2 tells us that if we can control our tongues, we can control our whole body.  That is incentive to work on what we say!

e.       Every sin we commit involves self-control.  That is, we fail to control our urges and act, doing that which is wrong, or not disciplining ourselves to do that which is right.  Sometimes we need to force ourselves to walk away from a sinful situation or to do something even though we want to do something else.   That is what self-control is about.

 IV.                  Be on guard

a.        Last week we talked about the lure (James 1:14 – enticed).  It is the devices of Satan at work.

b.       WE must constantly we aware that he walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour – 1 Peter 5:8-9.

c.        Continually in scripture we are warned to be sober – a term that means to be alert.  At times this is dealing with preparations for the return of our Lord (1 Thess. 5:6-8)
1 Peer 1:13 says, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Romans 12:3 calls for us to think soberly, rather than selfishly. 
Romans 13:11-14 describes how it is high time that we awake out of our sleep and put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

d.       When we address the “gospel armor” – Eph. 6:10-13, we are preparing ourselves for the attacks of the devil – most of our armory is defensive.

 V.                   Control your environment

a.        When we consider temptations, lusts, and sin - they are often associated with the environment we find ourselves in.  There are some environments that tend toward sins more easily than others.  And there are some environments in YOUR life that will tempt you to sin.  There are places where immodesty is rampant, lustful moves are prevalent, profanity is used freely, and drinking is taking place.   Sometimes we don’t have to travel very far to find them.  Our object is to minimize our opportunities to sin, so we should carefully choose what we do, where we go and who we do those things with.  If some place is full of sinful behavior and we can avoid it, should we not do so?

b.       2 Corinthians 6:14 calls for us to not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers – we often relate this to whom we marry, but it goes much further.  If we want to avoid sin, we will avoid circumstances where unbelievers have the advantage.
1 Peter 4:1-3, we have spent enough of our past time walking in sin.
Prov. 14:16, “A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.
1 Corinthians 6:12“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Peter after being warned by the Lord, finds himself warming at the fire of the enemy.  That is where he denies the Lord 3 times (Mark 14:54)

c.        Choose your friends carefully -
Who you associate with can cause you to stand firm or go astray -
Prov. 1:10ff, “My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.
Psalm 119:63, “I am a companion of all who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts.

Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

d.       Run away from the lustful situations.

 VI.                Do things that will strengthen you spiritually

a.        Associate with your brethren - Romans 12:16 tells us to associate with the humble.
1 Peter 1:22 calls for us to love one another fervently with a pure heart.
Hebrews 13:1 simply says, “Let brotherly love continue.”

b.       Study – make God’s word important in your life
2 Tim. 3:16-17 – all scripture is profitable to make us complete
Ephesians 6:17, the sword of the Spirit is our weapon with which we fight  - it is the word of God.
Acts 20:32, the word of His grace which is able to build you up
In God’s word we learn about some of the devices of Satan, the power of God to overcome, how to live godly.  How to live at peace with yourself and others.  Etc.

c.        Prayer – we need prayer as part of our forgiveness.  But beyond that we can turn to God for strength in dealing with our temptations and our sins. 
Ephesians 6:18 – it is a part of our armor that we protect ourselves with.
Jesus in the Garden told His disciples to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation - Matt. 26:41
Again, the model prayer including asking His strength to overcome temptation – Matt. 6:13

d.       Assemble with the saints – give God of your time.   While some do this thinking it is all they are required to do, let us never dismiss the importance of assembling.  We need each other to combat sin in our lives. 

 VII.                2 Peter 1:5-11
We addressed this just a few weeks ago, but we are reminded that if we develop these qualities and perfect them, we can overcome our sins.

 VIII.            Faith is the victory –

a.        1 John 5:4, 4:4 – He is greater than He who is in the world.

b.       In struggling with sin, we should turn to God for strength.   We must believe Him (1 Cor. 10:13) 
We must know that serving Him is possible and trust Him
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5–6)

 

And there you have a handful of suggestions to help us overcome sin.  Perhaps there are other things to add to this list, but we find here help in dealing with that which will have a definite impact on our eternal destiny.  May each of us resolve to serve Him first and foremost in our lives.