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In the 1940's, Johnny Mercer wrote and later recorded the song "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive". The beginning words of the song were "Gather 'round me everybody. Gather round me while I preach some. Feel a sermon coming on me. The topic will be sin - and that's what I'm ag'in. Settle back and just sit tight, while I tell you the story of the attitude of doing right. Gotta accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative"...etc, etc. You probably know the words of the song better than I do.

Today I want to talk about something we all know, something we all condemn in others, something we all do, something true Christians all hate.....the topic will be sin.

Sin Defined

1. Let's start this sermon by asking, "What is sin? Who commits it?"

1 John 3:4 defines sin very well.

(1 John 3:4 NKJV) Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Perhaps the KJV says it better: "sin is the transgression of the law." Sin is the breaking of the law. What law? As it turns out, any law. But today we'll concentrate on the law of God. As Judaism defines it: The Torah or instructions of God.

Everyone sins. It's a big, real part of our lives. 1 John 1:8 states it well.

(1 John 1:8 NKJV) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Paul, in Rom 7:15-21, describes just how much sin is a part of our lives:

(Rom 7:15-21 NIV) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. {16} And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. {17} As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. {18} I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. {19} For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. {20} Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. {21} So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

Rom 1:28-32 describes the attitude of many we see and read about in the news today:

(Rom 1:28 NKJV) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, . . . .

No, God has been kicked out of our schools and communities by court decisions and public officials and anti-God organizations who erroneously claim they are protecting the misconstrued constitutional right of separation of Church and State. We saw an example of this in the Courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama when the courts demanded the ten commandments be removed. Even Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Britain, has stated in her writings that America was founded on a dependency on God but now can't move fast enough to separate itself from God.

Continuing on in verse 28:

. . ..God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; {29} being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, {30} backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, {31} undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; {32} who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Sound like the people you see on TV and read of in the papers? Do you know anyone who does any of these things? How about us? Do we practice any of these things?

(Rom 3:9-18 NKJV) What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. {10} As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; {11} There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. {12} They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." {13} "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips"; {14} "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." {15} "Their feet are swift to shed blood; {16} Destruction and misery are in their ways; {17} And the way of peace they have not known." {18} "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Verse 9 is comparing Gentiles with the Jews. We Christians, Gentile or Jew, are guilty of these offenses also. Let's read verses 9 and 10 again, this time from the NIV:

(Rom 3:9-10 NIV) What shall we conclude then? Are we any better ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. {10} As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

Brethren, no one, not anyone, is perfect. Not even you and me.

Origin of Sin

2. Now let's talk about how sin originated. Why this deadly pull toward lawlessness? If God wants us to live a sinless life, why did He create the adversary, the devil, to lead us astray?

In Ezek 28:15 God describes Lucifer at the time of his creation.

(Ezek 28:15 NKJV) You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

God originally created sinless angels but for some their sinlessness didn't last. Lucifer rebelled and so did one third of the angels. It is apparent that even angels cannot be relied on not to sin. Three lessons can be learned from Satan's fall:

Lesson 1: Satan is spirit and presumably cannot be destroyed. However several scriptures indicate Satan may in fact be ultimately destroyed. Let's look at two of them:

(Ezek 28:17-19 NKJV) "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. {18} "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. {19} All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever."' "
(Isa 14:16-17 NKJV) "Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, {17} Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?'

For that reason Satan must be banished or destroyed so he can never again become a threat to mankind. His fate is also described in Leviticus 16 in the example of the azazel goat. 2 Pet 2:4 describes the fate of the angels who sinned during the days of Noah and are even now awaiting judgment by the Saints.

(2 Pet 2:4 KJV) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

'Hell', in this verse, is from the Greek word `Tartaru'. It means `prison' and this is the only place this word is used in the Bible. The fate of these angels is described in 1 Cor. 6.

(1 Cor 6:3 NKJV) Do you not know that we shall judge angels?. . .

God will never again give eternal life to any unproved being. He must be certain his future sons and daughters will be free from rebellion - forever. He has no stomach for seeing His sons and daughters end up with a fate like Satan's.

Lesson 2: God knew man would sin. This would give man a chance to learn from his mistakes. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not created and put in the garden of Eden for shade and for four-legged snakes to crawl in. God knew what He was doing.

But many who profess to follow Judaism or Christianity, even many sweet little old ladies, do not see the sin in their own lives:

(1 John 1:8 NKJV) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Sin is a central part of our life experiences and we need to recognize it.

Lesson 3: Mankind must learn that sin has ruinous consequences. Satan promotes lawlessness but mankind, even the '60s generation, must learn that lawlessness leads to death. Moses is a good example of one who, though raised in splendor, chose the right path:

(Heb 11:25 KJV) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Moses chose affliction rather than an easy, pleasurable, fun-filled life.

(Prov 9:16-18 NIV) "Let all who are simple come in here!" she [a foolish woman] says to those who lack judgment. {17} "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" {18} But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave.

Sin can be enticing and exciting, but it is deadly.

Today the people of Judah, greater Israel, and much of the world are choosing an 'anything goes' lifestyle. As a result, even government leaders are caught up in this philosophy. Corrective words from the Bible are ignored and rejected. Bibles are even rewritten to eliminate words and phrases the writer or the public prefers to avoid, often to appear to be 'politically correct.' Some people brazenly commit sins while others try to hide their lawlessness by attempting to appear righteous. The Word of God which they reject or ignore is very specific about this hypocrisy.

(Isa 29:13-15 NKJV) Therefore the LORD said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, {14} Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden." {15} Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?"

Today we see laws passed, judicial appointments of people of questionable character, and highly qualified judicial candidates excluded from our Courts by very unwise politicians of nefarious character and unscrupulous motivation.

Deu 28:15-64 describes the consequences of sin, the penalties of sin to be experienced by the tribes of Israel. As we read this rather long list of penalties for sins, consider how they could very well apply to our land and people one day soon:

However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: {16} You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. {17} Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. {18} The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. {19} You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. {20} The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. {21} The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. {22} The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. {23} The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. [The results of drought.] {24} The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. {25} The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. {26} Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.

skipping to verse 29:

....You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you. {30} You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and ravish her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. {31} Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. {32} Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. {33} A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. {34} The sights you see will drive you mad. {35} The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. {36} The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your fathers.

skipping to verse 38:

You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. {39} You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. {40} You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. {41} You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. {42} Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land. {43} The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. [shades of the so-called Palestinians in Israel and illegal immigrants in the US] {44} He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail. {45} All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. {46} They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. {47} Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, {48} therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. {49} The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, {50} a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. {51} They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. {52} They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you. {53} Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. {54} Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, {55} and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. {56} The most gentle and sensitive woman among you--so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot--will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter {57} the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities. {58} If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name--the LORD your God-- {59} the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. {60} He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. {61} The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. {62} You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. {63} Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. {64} Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods--gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. [Shades of the inquisition on Jews in Spain and elsewhere.]

These are all physical penalties of sins. But what of spiritual penalties?

(Rom 6:16 NIV) Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Do we enslave ourselves to sin? Do we give in to sin? Do we tell ourselves that sin just doesn't matter? Do we tire of the battle? If we give in to sin, we enslave ourselves to it. We are just like the drug addict who toys with the forbidden substance long enough to become enslaved by it, though he didn't intend to become enslaved when he started. Sin is very addictive.

(Rom 6:23 NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Broken laws cause death and suffering. It's just not worth it. But, as we said earlier, some may say, no one will know of this sin.

(Num 32:23 NKJV) "But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.
(2 Sam 12:13 NKJV) So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

Yes, David repented and meant it. But, one person's sin can cause another's death. While David learned that with the death of his infant son, both King Saul and Judas paid for their sins with their own lives.

Is sin that serious to us. Can we clearly see that sin is really dangerous? Do we agree that compliance with God's instructions is beneficial?

The next two scriptures describe the second death which awaits all sinners who are not forgiven:

(Rev 20:14 NKJV) Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

(Oba 1:15-16 CJB) "The day of Adonai is near for all nations. As you did, it will be done to you; your dealings will come back on your own head. {16} For just as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so will all the nations drink in turn; yes, they will drink and gulp it down and be as if they had never existed.

Repentance is mandatory

3. The third major point of this sermon is: We must repent of sin and seek forgiveness.

(Acts 2:38 NKJV) Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It's not always easy to truly repent of our sins, but it's something we must all do - often.

(1 John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But if we confess our sins before God and others we have sinned against, we will be forgiven. How can we learn the proper attitude of repentance?

Psa 51 contains David's words of true repentance for his sins when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed:

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. {2} Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. {3} For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. {4} Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. {5} Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. {6} Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. {7} Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. {8} Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. {9} Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. {10} Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. {11} Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. {12} Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. {13} Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. {14} Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. {15} O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. {16} You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. {17} The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. {18} In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. {19} Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar."

David's prayer of repentance teaches us that we must acknowledge our sins before God, request God's forgiveness and cleansing, and promise to turn around and live God's way instead of our own way.

Overcoming Sin

4. The fourth major point of this sermon is that we must overcome sin. This is something many never accomplish. This lesson was taught early in man's existence. In Genesis 4, God encouraged Cain to do better.

(Gen 4:7 NKJV) "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies [is crouching] at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

Cain was being encouraged and warned by God. He wanted Cain to change. His warning to Cain certainly applies to us. Sin's desire is to pull us down, but we can rule over sin. We must put sin out. We must strive for perfection. Is this possible?

In Romans chapters 6-8, Paul, recognizing that committed Christians are under grace (unmerited pardon), describes a Christian's proper reaction to sin better than I ever could. In chapter 6, he eliminates some wrong ideas regarding teachings about grace. In chapter 7, he shows that in the struggle against sin, the believer must not condemn the law. Then in chapter 8, he pictures sin as a powerful tyrant that cannot be defeated by human effort alone. It requires God's Spirit residing in the converted Christian. Paul concludes these chapters by pointing out how victory can be attained. We've read some of these verses before but let's read these chapters slowly:

Romans 6 – Being under grace:

(Rom 6 NKJV) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? {2} Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? {3} Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? {4} Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, {6} knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. {7} For he who has died has been freed from sin. {8} Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, {9} knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. {10} For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. {11} Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. {12} Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. {13} And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. {14} For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. {15} What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! {16} Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? {17} But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. {18} And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. {19} I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. {20} For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. {21} What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. {22} But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 7 – Don't condemn the law (instructions), a weakness of much of Protestantism:

(Rom 7 NKJV) Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? {2} For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. {4} Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another; to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. {5} For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. {6} But now we have been delivered from the [penalties of the] law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. {7} What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." {8} But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. {9} I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. {10} And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. {11} For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. {12} Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. {13} Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. {14} For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. {15} For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. {16} If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. {17} But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. {18} For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. {19} For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. {20} Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. {21} I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. {22} For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. {23} But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. {24} O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? {25} I thank God; through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 8 – Sin cannot be defeated without God's Spirit.

(Rom 8 NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, {4} that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. {5} For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. {6} For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. {7} Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. {8} So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. {9} But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. {10} And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. {11} But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. {12} Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. {13} 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. {14} For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. {15} For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." {16} The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, {17} and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. {18} For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. {19} For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. {20} For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; {21} because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. {22} For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. {23} Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. {24} For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? {25} But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. {26} Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. {27} Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. {28} And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. {29} For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. {31} What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? {32} He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? {33} Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. {34} Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." {37} Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. {38} For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, {39} nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can not overcome sin by ourselves. Overcoming requires the Holy Spirit.

(1 Cor 6:9-11 NKJV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, {10} nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. {11} And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

The wicked (sinners), who are led by the sins of the flesh, will not be in God's Kingdom.

(Psa 51:10 NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

God must create in us a clean heart.

God must be certain of us. He won't take any chances on us. That point was made earlier, but we must keep reminding ourselves of it.

(1 John 3:6 NIV) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

People who repeatedly sin the same sin don't know God. They are being led by the flesh, not by God's Spirit.

In conclusion, God can not sin because his character won't allow it. We must strive to develop that kind of character.

Let's rededicate ourselves to hanging in there and following God's Spirit, not the pulls of the flesh. We gotta accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell
July 27, 2013
Copyright 2013, Wayne Bedwell

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