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Summary: Part 4 in a 4 part series on the temptations we face and how to deal with them.


The Temptations We Face

Part 4, “After the Fall”

May 21, 2006

Pastor Brian Matherlee

Do you ever wonder if you have sinned too much or too badly for God to forgive you?

Tell the story of David and Bathsheba from 2 Samuel 11

At what point did David’s temptation become sin? Think about that while we consider another question....

What is sin?

*Show video illustration from Oxygen video “What is Sin?”

Sin is disobedience to the law of God. The Hebrew word for sin--hamartia—holds the idea of ‘missing the mark’ and ‘failing to carry out a duty’.

God has set the moral law for our benefit. It gives us parameters that guide living life to the fullest. Life can only exist with limits. Without limits we plunge into chaos, disunity and strife.

Let’s consider David again. When did the temptation of the beautiful woman become sin? It became sin when he entertained a second thought.

Four “nevers” about sin from this story:

1. Sin is never little

a. One sin will always lead to another unless we repent

b. David eventually violated no fewer than 7 commandments that began with a second look at Bathsheba.

i. He failed to put God first

ii. He made Bathsheba the object of his worship

iii. He disrespected his parents

iv. He conspired to commit murder

v. He committed adultery

vi. He attempted to deceive

vii. He coveted

2. Sin can never be covered up

a. A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up.

The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”—from sermoncentral.com

b. Numbers 32:23b, “...you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

c. Think of all the things David did to try to cover up his sins?

i. Manipulated Uriah, got him drunk & when that didn’t work, he had him killed.

ii. He involved his top general in the hoax.

iii. He married Bathsheba to look noble but in effect was only doing it out of selfishness.

3. Sin is never victimless

a. David himself

b. Bathsheba was harmed (& a participant)

c. Uriah

d. Joab, the general,

e. The firstborn child

f. David’s offspring

g. Israel (division of Israel took place under David’s grandson)

h. God

4. Sin is never beyond God’s forgiving touch

a. After David had sinned the Prophet, Nathan, confronted him.

b. The beautiful thing at the end of the story is that David came clean and confessed his sin.

c. David didn’t fall into the worst temptation—believe Satan’s lie that God will not forgive us.

d. The story of "Wrong Way Riegels" is a familiar one, but it bears repeating. On New Year’s Day 1929, Georgia Tech played UCLA in the Rose Bowl. In that game a young man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for UCLA. Picking up the loose ball, he lost his direction and ran 65 yards toward the wrong goal line. One of his teammates, Beeny Lom, ran him down and tackled him just before he scored for the opposing team. Several plays later the Bruins had to punt. Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety, demoralizing the UCLA team.

The strange play came in the first half. At halftime the UCLA players filed off the field and into the dressing room. As others sat down on the benches and the floor, Riegels put a blanket around his shoulders, sat down in a corner and put his face in his hands.

When the timekeeper came in and announced that there were 3 minutes before playing time, Coach Price looked at the team and said, "Men, the same team that played the 1st half will start the second." The players got up and started out, all but Riegels. He didn’t budge. The coach looked back and called to him. Riegels didn’t move. Coach Price went over to where Riegels sat and said, "Roy, didn’t you hear me?" The same team that played the 1st half will start the 2nd."

Roy Riegels looked up, his cheeks wet with tears. "Coach," he said, "I can’t do it. I’ve ruined myself. I can’t face the crowd out there."

Coach Price reached out, put his hand on Riegel’s shoulder and said, "Roy, get up and go on back. The game is only half over."

Riegels finally get up. He went onto the field, and the fans saw him play hard and play well.

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