Summary: Through Jesus, we have the ability to have a fresh start.
A Fresh Start for a New Year
December 29, 2013 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Through Jesus, we have the ability to have a fresh start.
Focus Passage: John 8:1-11
Introduction: An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly he stopped and pointed to four plants close at hand. The first was just beginning to peep above the ground, the second had rooted itself pretty well into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree. The tutor said to his young companion, 'Pull up the first plant.' The boy did so eagerly, using only his fingers.
'Now pull up the second.' The youth obeyed but found the task more difficult.
'Do the same with the third,' he urged. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it.
'Now,' said the instructor, 'try your hand with the fourth.' The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tall tree and couldn't even shake its leaves. 'This, my son, is just what happens with our bad habits. When they are young, we can remove them readily; but when they are old, it's hard to uproot them, though we pray and struggle ever so sincerely.'"
From the Heidelberg Herald.
I. Sin Habits
a. The woman had been caught in sin
b. Many of us are “caught up” in sin: adultery, fornication, pornography, drunkenness, bitterness, gossip, lying, cheating, drugs, slander, idolatry, grudges, quick to judge, quick to anger, quick to speak your mind, selfishness,
c. "Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41 NASB)
d. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 NASB)
e. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB)
f. and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8 NASB)
II. Breaking the Habit
a. Jesus told the woman that He did not condemn her
b. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-5 NASB)
c. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB)
III. Victorious Life
a. Jesus told the woman to “Go and sin no more”
b. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB)
c. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NASB)
d. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 ESV)
Invitation: “being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:29-32 NASB)