Sunday, July 11, 2010

What is Sin - Part 10 : Who is Your Master?

Part 10 - Who is your Master?
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Romans 2:24
As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Many call themselves Christians, yet continue to live a sinful life.

This is nothing new, the Sadducees and Pharisees did this as well, and Jesus confronted them for it.

God’s Word speaks of it, and warns against it.

It is easy for one to say, “I’m saved.”, or “I know the Lord.”

Is it you know of Him, or do you truly know Him?

When was the last time you examined yourself, and searched for sin in your heart?

Today we are going to take a serious look at ourselves, and examine whether or not we should call ourselves by the name of the most high.

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ, or as Jesus puts it, just another actor playing the part of one.

The truth will be revealed by how you think, speak and act, and the scriptures define for us what type of thinking, speaking and behaviors are of the Children of God, and which are of the sinful lost...

I pose this question to you today.

Is God’s name being blasphemed among the unsaved because of you?

I.                   THE LAW OF GOD

The Law, also known as, the commands, the Ten Commandments, the Law of Moses, etc. is the written definition of God’s holiness.

This is a list of God’s “standards” of excellence, and demanded of anyone who claims to be “a good person”. 


                                                             i.      God knew no man could keep the law.  That is why He gave it to begin with.

                                                           ii.      James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
1.      Have you ever told a lie?
2.      Have you ever taken something that was not yours?
3.      Have you ever looked with lust, or desire?
4.      You are a Law breaker...

Over the generations, the Sadducee’s and the Pharisee’s had twisted God’s law, taken away from it, and added to it, until they reached a point where they thought they were keepers of the law, and all others were sinners.

However, Jesus clarified the law to them, showing them just how strict the law is, and that it is not up for debate, discussion, inclusion, delusion or anything other than the Word, which God gave them.

Matthew 5:21-22a
 21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

Murder is not the same as killing.  Killing takes place as an accident, or time of war or self defense.  Murder on the other hand is the killing of someone for gain, either of possessions, or other selfish motivation.

Jesus states, God considers even anger towards your brother as murder.

And goes on to say that if you call him names out of anger, you are in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:27-28
 27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus made clear, there is no way around the holiness of God.

Paul tells us, the Law does not save us or make us righteous, but condemns us and shows our guilt.


                                                             i.      If they are impossible to keep, why have them?
1.      To show how sinful we truly are.
2.      To show our need for a savior.
3.      To show who Christ is, as the only one who could keep them, proving He was the Lord Himself.

Matthew 5:17-20
 17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Lord tells us that if we are to be called great in heaven, we are to practice and teach these commands.

Why practice them if we can’t keep them?  Because that, in essence, is following the Spirit of God and the narrow path which leads to righteousness.

Not that we never falter, but that when we do, we continue in obedience.

Why do we teach them?

Because they will convict a soul to turn the Lord for saving.

Paul said, “It wasn’t until I understood the Law, did I see my sin.”


                                                             i.      Have you judged yourself lately?

                                                          ii.      Have you looked at yourself and asked;
1.      Do I have sin I refuse give up?
2.      Am I holding on to sinful behavior?
3.      Am I excusing words, deeds or thoughts against others?
4.      Have I stepped from the narrow path to the broad?
5.      Am I continuing to sin against my Lord?

                                                       iii.      Examine yourselves...see if you pass the test!

                                                         iv.      It’s time to get off the’s time for meat!

I Corinthians 3:1-3
 1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

When we continue to live in sin, and continue to be worldly...we are destroying God’s Temple!

I Corinthians 3:16-17
 16Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

When we live in sin, live worldly lives, we are desecrating the temple of God!

And we will not enter the kingdom of heaven, but be destroyed for the destruction we have caused on the Temple of God.

I Corinthians 18-19
 18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.


Romans 1:18-25
 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Speaking of those who know the truth, yet choose to live in sin.

These are not mere unsaved sinners needing the Lord, but those who work against the truth of God, suppressing it.

It is time for us to grow up, stop living in our sin, stop excusing sinful and worldly behavior, stop disgracing the Temple of God...stop merely getting by on the milk of salvation, and start moving forward in the meat of God’s Holy Word!

II.               THE LAW OF GRACE

a.      THE BATTLE
                                                              i.      Romans 8:5-8   5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

                                                          ii.      Paul states the battle between the Flesh and Spirit is ongoing.
1.      You must crucify your flesh daily!
a.      We know we are followers of Christ and have salvation, not because at one time we repented, but that we continue to repent today.
b.      Pick up your cross daily and follow Him.
c.      You must walk in the Spirit, not after the flesh.

b.     THE BODY

                                                             i.      SOUL
1.      Our soul is our life and who we are.  It is what God breathed into us that makes us different from any other creation.

                                                          ii.      FLESH (BODY)
1.      Simply created from dust, and will return to dust upon death.  It is sinful because of the fall of man, and is unredeemable.  This is why we receive a new body which is perfect and everlasting after we die.

                                                       iii.      SPIRIT (GODS)
1.      This missing piece in our lives, without the Spirit of God, we cannot resist the flesh, and it is our master.  It is only by accepting and submitting to the Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit, which enables us to chose another master, the Spirit of god Himself.

a.      TWO PATHS, TWO MASTERS (Flesh / Spirit)      
                                                              i.      Matthew 6:24  No man can serve two masters:
                                                           ii.      Which master is your soul following...and serving?
1.      flesh & sin
2.      Gods Spirit

                                                              i.      You can only travel in one direction at a time...there is no other option.  You either are growing closer to the Lord, or further away.  There is no third choice.


                                                             i.      FLESH (THE BROAD PATH)  -= S I N =-
1.      Colossians 3:2-11 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

2.      Ephesians 5:1-7  1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, slander or vulgar joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.

                                                          ii.      SPIRIT (THE NARROW PATH)  -= OBEDIENCE =-

1.      Colossians 3:12-14   12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

2.      Ephesians 5:8-14  8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
      rise from the dead,
   and Christ will shine on you."


Colossians 3:15-17
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Ephesians 5:15-21
 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk, which leads to wickedness.

Instead, be filled with the Spirit
(make the spirit your master). 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Romans 12:1-3
Living Sacrifices
 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (because our bodies are the Temple!)—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (in Ephesians 5:17, don’t be foolish, but know this!)

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment (JUDGE YOURSELF!), ...

Romans 12:9-21  Love
 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
   "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Romans 2:17-24
...if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; 18if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."