This is the last message in our series on the Se7en Deadly Sins. We have looked at them and realize the terrible impact each can have. Sin may look attractive and desirable. On April 12, 2009 at a Berlin Zoo, a woman had the same appeal toward polar bears, only to realize the consequences were not as pleasant. Likewise, when a person is enticed in sin it leaves them ravaged.
In all, this series has given us a deeper appreciation and sense of wonder for God’s amazing grace. There is not a single person who deserves God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness. However, God has chosen to punish His Son for our sin. Jesus’ death on the cross is the basis for our freedom from sin. He is the substitute for my punishment and He offers it freely to all who believe. Even though we have jumped into the den of sin, Jesus has rescued us from death. The fact of the matter for many today, even though rescued from the ultimate penalty of sin, many still suffer from the effects of den living.
This last message will reveal 2 truths about how we identify with the woman in John 8.
In this story, Jesus is approached by religious types concerning what to do with one who is caught in sin. The religious Law required the penalty of death, specifically stoned. Jesus’ response was filled with intrigue and surprise. His first response seemed juvenile, as a child avoiding answering his parents writing on the ground. No one knows what Jesus wrote/drew or understands why he did it. Jesus knew the Pharisees were trying to trap him. If Jesus allowed the woman to be set free he would be disregarding Moses’ Law. If Jesus condemned the woman he would be viewed as condemning and perhaps reported to the Romans for placing himself in the role of authoritative judge. After further questioning, Jesus told the woman’s accusers to start the condemnation if they were without sin (Deuteronomy 17:7). At these words, the accusers departed, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left. Each accuser knew they too were guilty of conspiracy, as well as other sins. Jesus outwitted his opponents. Even more, he challenged the woman to leave her life of sin.
Truth #1: We are all guilty. If we’re honest, each of the Se7en Deadly Sins impact our lives and make us shamefully guilty before God and others.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Truth #2 We should be growing.
God’s grace and forgiveness propels sinners toward freedom (Titus 2:11-14). When you experience salvation you realize that life is filled with multiple choices and treasures. However, there is only one choice and ultimately satisfying treasure – and that is glorifying Jesus Christ. In an earlier message I spoke about killing sin or it will kill you. Puritan preachers would speak of this as the mortification (putting to death) of sin. They would also speak of vivification, bringing to life Christian virtues and character traits. Each of the Se7en Deadly Sins have counterparts. List below:
The point is you cannot simply stop sinning. You must replace the sin with the Solution – that of Jesus.
12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must [forgive] . 14 Above all, [put on] love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
TAKING IT HOME
Parents should check out a recent article “Helping Your Kids Fight Deadly Sins with Life-Giving Virtues“
What aspects of den living exist in your life? What is your plan of escape?
Do you view God as a condemning judge or a compassionate Father? How does this passage relate to your answer?
What’s the difference between cheap grace (Romans 6:1) and empowering grace (Titus 2:11-14)?
Look at the Sin & Virtue list above. Where do you struggle the most? Where do you see accomplishment the most? Where do you want help?
Pray and ask God to help you fight and kill sin. Other helpful resources on this subject are