INTRO: Not too long ago I shared with you a lesson based on this text. In that lesson I mentioned that the text might well be telling us that impatience might well be the besetting sin since it is almost a universal problem. This morning, though, I want to consider some other sins which can so easily beset us. These may not be as universally affecting as impatience. But they do touch so many lives and work their harm in doing so.
SOME BESETTING SINS?
1. Rom 12:3 not to think more highly ...
2. this has nothing to do with self-confidence or with knowing how God values us
3. it has to do with mentally and behaviorally lifting ourselves above others
4. Prov 25:27 and 26:12 pride is a subtle, self-deceptive thing ... ruinous by its nature
1. Eccl 7:9 anger resteth in the bosom of fools
2. I hear all sorts of justification for anger - and see the damage done by anger
3. carefully study the subject ... youll find that scripture does not have much positive to say about it!
4. Prov 16:32 its an issue of ruling our spirits
1. Heb 13:5 be content with such things as ye have
2. note how this statement is prefaced by a warning against covetousness! discontent leads there!
3. frankly, I am concerned by our insistence upon more and better ... it tends to establish worldly priorities
4. 1 Tim 6:6-8, 17-19 consider, too, v.10
D. Questionable thoughts?
1. Mt 5:28 here is the gravity of such contemplations
2. what we hear, what we see, what we read need to be carefully screened ... or well be dwelling on impurity
3. why garbage takes root in our minds I do not know ... but I know (from Biblical warnings) that they do
4. Mk 7:21-23 ... and defile the man
1. Lev 19:16 as a talebearer among thy people
2. factual, or not, gossip is damaging, violating ... and is motivated by anything but noble desire
3. we hide gossip under the guise of concern ... but if the passing on of information involving another person is not useful to that persons well being, it is probably gossip
4. Prov 11:13 are you a faithful spirit?
1. Acts 7:9 moved with envy, sold Joseph
2. envy always affects relationships and often leads to harmful behavior (as just read)
3. why can we not truly rejoice when others are advanced, when they possess something we dont, etc.? It comes to our not being satisfied with and within self
4. Rom 1:29 envy is sin! and in terrible company
1. Jas 4:3 that ye may consume it upon your lusts
2. the god of self is a difficult god to dethrone
3. even many folks who do good do it for very personal, selfish reasons ... note Lk 6:34,35
4. 1 Cor 13:5 seeketh not her own
1. Heb 10:32-35 But call to remembrance the former ...
2. discouragement causes a loss of spiritual progress and a loss of blessings!
3. causes of discouragement are a dime a dozen - but whether or not they will discourage us is our choice!
4. 2 Cor 12:9 having Gods grace is all we need!
CLOSE: Have we seen ourselves anywhere in these things? If so, we need to take positive steps to move away from them. Otherwise, they may well drag us down to losing our crown.
Cecil A. Hutson
30 September 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)