An Honest View of Sin

Good Afternoon Church,

I praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ this afternoon as I consider our first Easter celebration together and all the joy it brought to our family. How encouraging it was for my walk to contemplate the depth of God’s grace given at the cross and the glorious victory declared in the empty tomb. I pray often that we will never stop being in awe of God’s amazing love for underserving sinners like us! Today, I want to continue equipping you with a philosophy or perspective on life that will further enable and encourage you to live for the glory of God while walking in a world enamored with the glory of man. As you recall the first step in having a biblical worldview or philosophy of life is living with a High View of God. This world and all the people in it were created by Him, are being sustained through Him, and ultimately exist for Him (Rom 11:36). God is the almighty and holy Creator of all, and so all that is should live in awe of Him and in total allegiance to Him (Gen 1:1; Ps 115:1-3; 150:6; Dan 4:34-35).

Next, we saw the critical nature of seeing and embracing a Sufficient View of Scripture as the Bible is the very words of God being ultimately breathed out by Him (2 Tim 3:16-17). That means it is totally without error in all that it declares (Prov 30:5-6), completely infallible in all that it does (Jn 10:35), and utterly sufficient for saving and sanctifying sinners (Rom 10:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-5). So all that you need to rightfully know God and properly live for His praise and glory has already been given to you through His Word. The greatest issue for believers is not what we need, but it is what we do with what we have already been given! Are you following God’s Word while traversing this sinful world? Church, hear me when I say this:  you cannot be in the world and not be of the world if you are not in the Word (Jn 17:15-17; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Jn 1:15-17)!

The last biblical perspective we considered was living with a Low View of Man, which is paramount for protecting and purifying your walk! Everything in our world teaches, proclaims, and displays a high view of man, which also leads to a low view of God! Yet the Bible is diametrically opposed to this erroneous belief! Our world tells us that man is inherently good, and when he does wrong it is really an issue of his environment. However, the Bible lucidly denies this teaching and declares that man is utterly depraved and internally bent to do wrong from birth, because his ultimate problem is not his environment, but his wicked, sinful heart (Gen 8:5; Ps 51:5; Rom 3:18-23).

An Honest View of Sin

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Now we turn to another facet of our biblical worldview that helps us think rightly in a world gone wrong. The next vantage point to consider is living with an Honest View of Sin as you contemplate and embrace your ongoing struggle with and fight against sinful desires (Rom 7:14-25; Gal 5:16-17). Church I believe this understanding is desperately needed in our day, not simply because we live in a world that denies sin, but we are inundated with churches and spiritual leaders that overlook, minimize, and often redefine sin (Isa 5:20; Mt 23; 2 Pet 2:1-3). Thus, we live in a so called “Christian Nation” replete with conflicting voices and contradictory examples concerning Biblical Christianity that will actually confuse and compromise our walk if we are not careful (Rom 14:17). If you think I am stretching this point, just consider how much Scripture is given to the topic of dealing with, confessing, forgiving, repenting of, fighting, putting off, disciplining, evaluating, and confronting sin in the life of the believer (Lk 17:1-4; Acts 5:1-11; 20:26-32; Rom 6:12-14; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 9:24-27; 2 Cor 2:5-11; Gal 5:15; 6:1-5; Eph 4:25-32; Phil 1:27-2:4; Col 3:1-17; 1 Thess 5:12-22; 2 Thess 3:6-15; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 5:20-21; 2 Tim 3:1-9; Titus 1:5-16; Heb 12:14; Js 1:22-26; 1 Pet 1:5-17; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; Jude 1:20-21; Rev 2-3)! It is undeniable that you have an enemy that seeks to devour you (1 Pet 5:8) and you live in an evil world that seeks to distract you (Gal 1:4; 1 Jn 1:15-17). However, your biggest struggle in your walk as a follower of Christ is your ongoing propensity to sin (Gal 5:16-17; Js 1:12-15)! Yet, you would never come to that understanding by listening to the average sermon preached today, or by looking on the shelves in most Christian bookstores. I have often said that my biggest obstacle in my walk with Christ is me, and yet how quickly I want to overlook that truth! Thankfully, I am not alone as the Apostle Paul declared the same truths about himself (Rom 7:14-25).

Let me quickly highlight two key truths that will help you retain an honest view of sin in your life. First, if you are a believer, you must understand and fully embrace what the Bible proclaims in that the power of sin in your life has been destroyed (Rom 6:1-11; Col 2:9-15)! Praise the Lord through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, the shackles of sin that once had you enslaved have been utterly shattered by God! Sin no longer has dominion over you, so “stop sinning” is the testimony of Scripture (Rom 6:12-14)! This truth must be seen, heard, and embraced by all believers, as we stand complete in Christ and completely free from sin’s penalty and power (Rom 8:1-11). Secondly is, the fact that while sin no longer reigns over the life of the believer, sin remains in the life of the believer, creating this ongoing conflict between the old ways and the new desires (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 5:16-17; Rom 7:14-25). Thus, we truly do wage war every day as we live in a world at war against our God, and we live with a war raging within our lives as our sinful propensities seek to entice us, entangle us, and devastate us. Therefore, it is imperative that we see sin rightly and fight against sin passionately (Eph 4:25-5:21; Col 3:5-17). This is another reason why we need the church, the gathering of other believers, in our lives so that they can help encourage us, provoke us, exhort us, equip us, and further strengthen us in this fight (1 Thess 5:14-22). This is another reason why God has put spiritual leaders in our lives to humbly watch over us in providing protection, edification, accountability, and discipline (Acts 20:26-32; 1 Thess 5:12; Heb 13:17).

How encouraging it is to learn how God has providentially blessed us with all that we need to deal with this ongoing struggle with sin. He placed His Spirit within us, He has graciously given His Word to us, and He has specifically designed His church, in part, for us, so that we would not be alone or left to ourselves in our growth in godliness, which is tethered to our battle against personal sin! How thankful I am for this underserved blessing in my life as I seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, which demands that I deal with my own sin every day. This Sunday will be another opportunity for you to be further equipped in your fight against sin and your growth in holiness as we once again submit ourselves to the gaze of God through the preaching of His Word. We will return to our study through the book of Colossians as we contemplate further the gracious gift of reconciliation and God’s purpose behind it. I look forward to worshipping with you, and as you prepare your heart forSunday’s service I ask, are you persevering in your walk with Christ, or are you just pretending?

Yours for the Master,

Pastor Matt

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