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Summary: Developing a strategy to deal with sin...once and for all!

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“Burning Scrolls”

Acts 19:13-20

AC 19:13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

INTRODUCTION

• A concern I have as a pastor and as a believer is how we handle things that are contrary to the Word of God…I’m talking about sin this morning!

• Let’s break the battle against sin in five phases:

I. CONNECTION {vs 13-17}

• Is there a moment when the Lord made Himself quite real to you?

A sermon that really spoke to you

A powerful move of the Lord

An altar call that really touched you

• Are you in need of one of those moments today?

2CO 6:1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

II. CONFESSION {vs 18}

• The only sin that Jesus won’t forgive is the sin you won’t confess

1JN 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Face to Face

The Romans sometimes compelled a captive to be joined face-to-face with a dead body, and to bear it about until the horrible emanating smell destroyed the life of the living victim. Virgil describes this cruel punishment:

’The living and the dead at his command

Were coupled face to face, and hand to hand;

Till choked with stench, in loathed embraces tied,

The lingering wretches pined away and died.

Without Christ, we are shackled to a dead corpse -- our sinfulness. Only repentance frees us from certain death, for life and death cannot coexist indefinitely.

• Quit managing or justifying sin…confess and repent of it

III. CHANGE {vs 19a}

• There is a very crucial step that we must take after the prayer of forgiveness

Dynamite

Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in and his wife Bonnie was also injured, by a quarter-stick of dynamite that blew up in their car. While driving around at 2 a.m., the bored couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what would happen, but they apparently failed to notice that the window was closed.

• This is where we often fall short in our dealing with sin

Billy Graham had these comments about the disease running rampant in our world: "We’re suffering from only one disease in the world. Our basic problem is not a race problem. Our basic problem is not a poverty problem. Our basic problem is not a war problem. Our basic problem is a heart problem. We need to get the heart changed, the heart transformed."

• Are you willing to make the necessary changes in order to defeat sin and get closer to Jesus Christ?

Throw something away

End a dating relationship

Cancel/change a subscription

Avoid being alone at a certain time

IV. COST {vs 19b}

• A true commitment to Jesus Christ will cost you something

MT 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

Deaths of the Disciples

History tells us…

1. John died of extreme old age exiled to the island of Patmos.

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