Date: March 4, 2018
Be Killing Sin, Part 3
Text: Psalm 36, Romans 8:1-17
Pastor Matthew Burt
Wellspring Church Springfield, Ma.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
BIG IDEA: Be Killing Sin, Part 3
We have read this in our text this morning Romans 8:13: “but if by the Spirit you have put to death the deeds of the body, you will live”. The connection to Hebrews is that the author has said to us to lay aside THE Sin that clings so closely to us. We will continue to look at this for several more weeks. We don’t realize the depth and horror of sin because sin blinds us to sin. Like the frog in the kettle that doesn’t realize the water temperature has become so hot that he will die. Sin in my life is a grim battle. We all fight battles of one sort or another. We all have battles in our experience;loneliness, disease, societal evil. But there is one battle that is common and universal to each and every one of us. This is the hardest battle you will ever face because it is the longest battle you will face. It will not end until you step from this life to eternal live. This is the ongoing conflict with the sin that remains in our hearts. The remaining, indwelling, corrupt heart that fuels far too much of our thinking and acting. We all face this battle! Well not all of us. Just Christians. The non-believer doesn’t fight sin. They are not even aware of their rebellion. That person only knows about bad habits and destructive behaviors. They fight against those things. But the Christian fights a dread battle with a dread enemy. But the promise is this – if you put to death sin, you will live. The contrary promise is that if you continue to live according to the flesh then you will die.
Today we want to continue with the mortification of sin. Last week we looked at sin in its generalities. Sin is a principle. Yes we have been released from condemnation but remember that our issue is with the root of sin, not the fruit of sin. My issue is with Sin rather than with sins. So often we fight against sins and we make some progress against the fruit but we don’t get to the root. We make some minor progress. Our desire this morning is this: I want to know how I can fight this life long battle against sin since the battlemust be fought. I want to know who my enemy really is so that I might see sin in its lurid and vivid colors in order that I might have the motivation to practice the fight against sin. So that we may live.
OUTLINE FOR TODAY:
Point 1:Some additional truths about Sin
Point 2:Promise and command of Romans 8:13
Point 3: Mortification of Sin
Point I: Some additional truths about Sin
- Recognize or be aware that Sin has rewards.
Sin offers pleasurable rewards. None of us would fall for temptations if there wasn’t something pleasurable on the other side. Sin has a sweetness to it. Sin has a reward to it. We need to recognize this. We get this from the life of Moses. Moses forsook the temporary pleasures of sin. As sweet and attractive sin can be, the rewards of sin are temporary. One of the best examples of this is…. Write this on google – Pinocchio becomes a donkey! They have all these pleasures but then they turn into donkeys. Little boy skipping school but then turns into a donkey. What a picture of sin – the gifts of sin are temporary for a season. But the price of those pleasures is oh so high. If Pinocchio had known he would turn into a donkey he would never had skipped school. The law of sowing and reaping applies. You will reap what you sow. You will reap more than you will sow. You will reap sooner than you think.
- Recognize that the Sin rewards are always negative.
At the very least the result is wasted time or wasted resources. But at the other end of the spectrum is weakness, humiliation, slavery, and death.
- Recognize that Sin is on the inside.
Temptation comes and lights a desire that is already in you. In Psalm 51, David says you desire purity in the inward man. That’s where my washing needs to happen. Far too many of us think it is the fruit that causes problems.
- Recognize that the Sin that resides in me breaks the 4th
It never takes a Sabbath. It never takes a day off or a break. It never goes home at 5:30pm! It is a 24/7 issue.
- Recognize that Sin is wider, deeper, more pervasive and more powerful than I have ever realized or experienced. That is why we come back to it today.
Sin is a general defect of all righteousness and holiness and an inherent deordination, privation, depravity, evil disposition, disease, propension to all mischief, antipathy and aversion from all good…. And this is an evil, of the thorough malignity whereof no man can be so sensible and distinctly convinced, as in the evidence of tha conviction to cry out against it with such strange, strong, and biter complaint as Paul does in Romans 7 until hi understanding be, by Christ opened… (Edward Reynolds, one time Bishop of Norwich, Church of England, 1599-1666)
Our eyes are blinded. We don’t want to see what’s there. It is worse than I ever imagined.
- Recognize that everyone who sins is a slave to Sin.
This is in degrees. The non-believer is an absolute total enslaved captive. But everyone is a slave to sin.
Recognize that everyone who sins is a slave to sin (this is primarily true of the not yet saved). The longer one remains in the state of sin the more he is entangled, and the less capable he becomes of making an escape from it. There is no standing still with sin—it is always a downhill road in which every step gives an accelerated force, till you reach the bottom. Not everyone has the same temptations or weaknesses. One may be enslaved to drunkenness, another to covetousness, another to fashion, and still another may be given to self-righteous pride. These are only different aspects of sin. All are servants of sin who sin. All sin is enslaving. (Andrew Fuller)
- When I Sin, with one sin I open to door to all other sins.
I say to all sins, come in. The lock has been jimmied. To sin is to act without regard for the authority of God in this particular arena. Think about an area where you are disobedient to God. When we pursue that action and bite the bait of the temptation, we are saying to God – in this arena of my life you have no authority. The next thing we say is that you have no authority in any other area of my life.
“If you indulge in theft, for instance, you would with the same unconcern, commit adultery, robbery, or murder. A mind unrestrained by the Fear of God [may for a time be restrained by the fear of man but this fear of man will have but a feeble hold on him.” HE goes on to say, “Sin, in various shapes, being indulged. it will soon break out on open vices; for it is not in the power of a man, with all his contrivances, long to conceal the ruling disposition of his soul.” (Andrew Fuller)
- Every Sin will work to weaken and destroy my ability to resist other sins.
We have a conscience. But it can be weakened and seared by ignoring it. Maybe you have a new car or new clothes, you love how they feel or smell, and you take extra care. But then you get a stain and now it is worth so much less. That’s what sin does to our conscience.
- Sin will never ever satisfy.
It is never satisfied with one indulgence. Sin brings with it’s pleasure an appetite of more experience of that pleasure. It has an incredible ability to wet our appetite. Temporary pleasures that ask for more temporary pleasures. You don’t know that it won’t become a sin
- One Sin brings with it the necessity of committing more sins to go along with it. There might be lying that goes along with. There will certainly be the sin of hypocrisy. Sometime there is theft and bitterness that goes along with it.
- To leave Sin alone and not worry about killing it – will give strength to all other sins in my life.
One of Puritans (Hopkins) says it will be the ringleader lust of your life. Say you recognize that you have pride in your life. If you just leave that and not worry about it then all of a sudden, you say “if I had that car, house, position, spouse, etc” other people would think far better of me. So your pride fuels the covetousness. Or your pride goes the other direction and your pride is wounded. What comes out of that is bitterness, vengeance or hatred. The ringleader lust brings underling lusts to the surface.
- Sin will seek to give false peace where there is no peace.
Sin and my sins and my sinning are all acts of war against God. But sinning will seek to give us peace in our lives. Consider addictions: to anger, eating, drinking, sexual immorality. The person is going along seemingly ok. A temptation presents itself. What happens next is a struggle. Finally the struggle becomes so great that you give in. Right after the defeat comes soothing relief from the struggle and a bit of peace and you enjoy the peace that comes after the defeat. But it’s not long before that false peace evaporates. Just left with shame and sorrow. There was a false peace that lasted a little bit because there was a batlle. I have false peace when the quiet or calm that I feel has come from something other than the hatred of sin as sin against God. Sometimes a false peace can come when I logically and intellectually accept Christ. Peace only comes when I learn to hate sin and love what the Savior has done. A false peace comes quickly. False peace can happen when I take sin lightly. False peace is selective. If I live sin unmortified, it is going to bereave my soul.
Point II: Promise and command of Romans 8:13
But IF… we kill sin; we put it to death; we continue to fight against it then we will certainly live. There’s the good news –there’s the gospel. The good news is that you are going to win! Scripture says that if you pursue this battle by the power of the Spirit in your life, you are going to live. See life in two different ways. Obviously, this is eternal life- the presence of God forever. But let’s not limit abundant full life to then. Let’s draw life into the now. If you put to death the deeds of the body by the spirit, you will have your best life now. This is not necessarily physical health or material goods but the sweet spirit given peace and comfort – the soul prosperity of one who is living in accordance with God’s law and direction in your life. There is a promise here. This is so like God to make a promise attached to His commandment.
“The weakening of the habit of sin or list that it shall not, with that violence, earnestness, frequency, rise up, conceive, tumultuate, provoke, entice, disquiet, as naturally as it is apt to do.” (John Owen)
Point III: Mortification of Sin (to be continued next week)
Sin will never go away. Life comes from weakening the power of sin in your life. If you don’t mortify sin, then you die. Or you will never have a life of calm, fruitful – I will live with a low grade dying. Sowe need to put to death the deeds of sin.
Nextweek – steps we can take to put to death sin in our bodies.
Go with this encouragement – He that is within you is stronger than that which is in you. He that is in you has already won the battle.