Sunday, June 27, 2010

What is Sin - Part 9 : Happiness over Holiness

WHAT IS SIN?
Part 9 - Trading Holiness for Happiness
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


INTRODUCTION

Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, was asked by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano what, in his opinion, are the "new sins."

He cited "violations of the basic rights of human nature" through genetic manipulation, drugs that "weaken the mind and cloud intelligence," and the imbalance between the rich and the poor.

My question to Monsignor Girotti;

Since when does sin have to do with the violations of “human nature”?

On the environment, both Pope Benedict XVI and the late Pope John Paul II frequently expressed concern about the fate of the Earth.

During Benedict's papacy, Vatican engineers have developed plans for some Holy See buildings to use solar energy, including cells on the roof of the auditorium for pilgrims' audiences with the pontiff.

My question to the Pope;

Since when does sin have to do with the violations of “the earth”?


Sin IS a violation against the will of God.

Sin IS a violation against God Himself,

NOT human nature, NOT the earth, NOT social issues...

Sin itself is self-centeredness, the acorn from which it all grows.

Individually, that means 'I live for myself, for my own glory and happiness, and I'll work for your happiness if it helps me.'

Communally, self-centeredness is destroying peace and justice in the world, tearing the net of inter-woven-ess, the fabric of humanity.

Even some people who say sin is real still steer by a compass of moral pragmatics, not a bright line of absolute truth.

People say, 'I have high moral expectations of myself and others, but I know we are all human.'

We find a comfort zone of morality, a kind of middle-class middle level where we think we are doing well.

We cut the grass. We don't double-park. We take a grocery cart back into the store; all the while, we ignore the larger issues of sin.

Instead of violating the law of the Creator, sin becomes more a matter of etiquette.

… We want our kids to play well in the sandbox and know their place in line.

We want people to do things decently and in order. But it's etiquette of morality without the ethics.

The result is that when we do things we wish people wouldn't do, there's no sense of guilt or shame because we have been exercising etiquette of morality without ethics.

It is ONLY through the ethics of God’s law of morality do we truly see sin.

Paul tells us, it was not until he understood the law did he understand his sin.

The worlds view of sin changes with the social and economic state of the country.

We begin to view sin, not as God views it, but as we view it through our social and moral views, which change with the times.

When sin becomes socially acceptable, no longer is it considered sin in the eyes of the world.

If we get our view of sin from the world, we too will change our views.

We then begin to confuse our relationship with God, and the need for Christ.

Without understanding, we are sinners, there is no understanding that we are in desperate need of a savior.

When we do not understand Christ’s role in our salvation, we lose our role in our relationship with God.

Our selfish, self-centered and sinful wants confuse happiness in life for the lives of holiness God calls us to live.

Do you have a correct view of sin?

Not what the world is telling you sin is, but what God says it is?

Have you traded holiness for happiness?





SCRIPTURE READING

Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 13:11 & 12
11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.

1 Peter 1:16
for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

1 Peter 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:10-12
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives12as you look forward to the day of God and wait eagerly for its coming.

Are you living a holy life, or;
I.                   ARE YOU TRADING IN HOLINESS FOR HAPPINESS?
a.      Statistics on US view of sin (conducted by phone survey of US citizens in 2010)
                                                              i.       87% Adults believe there is SIN
                                                           ii.       75% believe resurrection of Christ literally took place
                                                         iii.      65% US adults believe they will go to heaven
                                                         iv.      .05% US adults believe they will go to hell
                                                           v.       45% believe pre-marital sex in sin
1.      81% believe adultery is sin
2.      This reflects the social view that you should not cheat on your spouse, but if you are not married, you can do what you want.
                                                         vi.       56% believe abortion is a sin
1.      I wonder what the percentage would be if these same people were asked if it was a sin to kill a 1 year old baby?
                                                      vii.       52% believe homosexuality is a sin
1.      Again, social influence at work.


b.     How we view sin (confusion about what sin IS)
                                                              i.      74% believe racism is a sin
                                                           ii.      41% believe harming the environment is a sin

Although the scripture tells us “to him who thinks it is sin, and does it, it becomes sin to him.”, when society begins telling others what sin “IS”, our views begin to change.

How does God view sin?


c.      How God views sin
                                                              i.      Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
1.      Adultery, (violation of the marriage bed)

2.      fornication, (The incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons, male or female; also, the criminal conversation of a married man with an unmarried woman.)

3.      uncleanness, (moral impurity)

4.      lasciviousness, (Looseness; irregular indulgence of animal desires; wantonness; lustfulness.)

5.      Idolatry, (The worship of anything whether idol or image made by the hands of man or which is not God)

6.      witchcraft, (The practice of spells, sorcery, the control of others through manipulation,  enchantments, or any power other than God)

7.      hatred, (not treating others in love)

8.      variance, (alteration of something formerly laid, i.e. the foundation of Christ and what He taught)

9.      emulations, (effort or ambition to excel over someone else)

10. wrath, (violent anger)

11. strife, (the act of trying to “out-do” or be superior to someone else)

12. seditions, (dissention, causing rifts between others)

13. heresies, (dis-union from the faith)

14. Envyings, (to have resentment or discontent towards someone else for who they are or what they have, a desire to poses the goods of another)

15. murders, (killing for any reason other than self-preservation or protection of others, i.e. in times of war, or defense of home, property or another person)

16. drunkenness, (to get drunk)

17. revellings,(to indulge and partake freely in parties, i.e. “to let your hair down”)

18.  and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


                                                          ii.      I Corinthians 6:9-11  9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Corinthians warns us...”do not be deceived!”

Sin is defined by God alone!

Do not deceive yourself into thinking that sin is OK just so you can continue to live in it because this is what makes you happy...

Living in sin is NOT true happiness, but a distracting lie of the devil.

“...He just told you not to eat it because He knows you will become like God...”

Satan promises us the ultimate gifts to entice us to sin against God.

“...bow down to me and I will give you the earth...”

Satan said these words to Jesus to keep Him from going to the cross for US!

True happiness in life is NOT getting what you want, and never having troubles!

II.               TRIALS AND TRIBULATION IN SCRIPTURE
a.      True happiness
                                                             i.      What we expect and want
1.      everything to go our way
a.      God is in control not us...HIS WAY

2.      nothing to ever go wrong
a.      wrong is a term of perception...what WE think is wrong, may actually be right!

3.      to never get sick or become ill
a.      We live in sinful fallen flesh, it IS NOT perfect, and it IS MORTAL and MUST eventually die!
                                                                                                                                     i.      this is why the scriptures tell us we will receive a NEW body that is IMMORTAL and PERFECT!

4.      to be rich and never poor
a.      “rich” is too often defined in monetary terms...but TRUE treasures are in heaven!  All money and riches of this world are going to “pass away”!

                                                          ii.      What the Bible teaches
1.      The bible tells us true happiness is in the fact that we are “saved” and a redeemed people who are going to be with the Lord when we die!
2.      Life is not easy and carefree, especially is you are serving the lord!

                                                       iii.      Apostles life
1.      Matthew - killed by sword in Ethiopia
2.      Bartholomew (Nathanial) - martyred in Armenia, flayed to death by a whip.
3.      John - imprisoned on Patmos
4.      James - Acts 12:2  Put to death by sword at King Herod’s command.
5.      James brother of Jesus - thrown from the pinnacle of the temple over 100 feet, then beat him to death with clubs.
6.      Paul
a.      2 Corinthians 11:23-33 I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.
b.      Why?
                                                                                                                                      i.      2 Corinthians 12:7-10 7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
                                                                                                                                   ii.      This is why the scripture says, “...we have a peace that surpasses understanding.”
1.      These things take place in our lives, and we don’t lose our minds...people can’t understand.
2.      But scripture tells us why we keep our cool...
a.      Matthew 7 & Luke 6 - building your house on the foundation of rock (Jesus) instead of sand (anything other than Jesus)



CONCLUSION

         Do not be deceived...   SIN is defined by GOD ALONE, and it is written in His Holy Word

         Do not be deceived...  If you are living in SIN, you will NOT enter the Kingdom!

         Do not be deceived... you MUST REPENT and ask the Lord for forgiveness...THEN you are forgiven!

Many ask, “How do I know I’m saved?”

If you do not have a new relationship with your sin...then you do not have a new relationship with the lord!

If you have not been driven to the Lord with a heartfelt cry for His forgiveness for your sin against Him, then you have not repented.

We know we have salvation, not because at one time we repented, but that we continue to repent today.

Repent, ask the Lord for forgiveness and be forgiven!