Summary: The progression of sin and it’s results. How to overcome the progression.
TEXT: Prov 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
INTRO: Before I begin, I want to emphasize confess & FORSAKE. All I say, will be of no avail if we just confess. This place is not a Confessional booth, it is place to ask God’s help to FORSAKE or REPENT of any hidden sins the Holy Spirit will uncover.
Dr Herbert Lockyer in his book "All the doctrines of the Bible" defines the nature of sin in THREE ways:
1. "Sin is the breaking of a known command of God."
But that is not all, there are also those things we have left undone. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
2. "Sin is also the denial of the divine right to command. It is man overstepping divine limits, and denying the right of God to impose such limits."
People today, deny the absolute truths of the scripture, even the right of God to tell them what they should or should not do. They invent theories of evolution, because they will not believe that there is a God who will judge them according to His rules.
3. "Sin is the failure to attain to the divine standard."
We say this is missing the mark, or coming short of the glory of God.
I/ HOW DOES SIN HAPPEN?
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
1. There is a progression here, Lust, Sin, Death. First you see something, then you want it(lust), then you take it(sin), then death(spiritual separation)
The good news is that if you are in Christ, you can stop the progression of sin at any point
2. What does James mean when he says sin brings forth death? Death is separation, Physical death is separation from family friends, Spiritual death is separation from God. Sin is the cause of separation from a holy God. Hidden sin in the life of a Christian breaks fellowship with God during this life.
3. If you are a born again child of God, all your sins are covered with the blood of Christ. But your fellowship with God here and now is broken through unconfessed and unrepented sin.
4. If you are here today without Christ, let me say the only sin that will bring you Eternal Spiritual death is the sin of rejecting God’s free offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no sin or sins bad enough to keep you from heaven except rejecting Christ as your personal Savior.
5. Sin that is unconfessed, life long, and unforgiven because your sins have not been paid for by Jesus Christ will bring Eternal Spiritual death or Separation from God forever.
6. The last step in the progression of sin is to Hide Sin. We often hide sin from ourselves. Jer 17:9"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked"
In Rick Warren’s book The purpose driven life he says; "It is likely that you will need to confess some hidden anger and resentment at God for areas of your life where you have felt cheated or disappointed." He goes on to say, "Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship with God"
II/ LETS LOOK AT THE PROGRESSION OF SIN
TO SEE, TO WANT, TO TAKE, TO HIDE
A. ADAM & EVE (Gen 3:6-8) - Hid in the Garden
B. ACHAN (Joshua 7:20,21) - Hid the wedge of Gold
C. DAVID & BATHSHEBA (2 Sam 11:2-27) - David had Uriah killed
IV/ HIDDEN SIN GRIEVES THE HOLY SPIRIT(Eph 4:30)
"Grieve" means to afflict with sorrow. The Holy Spirit is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He is sad when we as God’s children fail to meet God’s standard.
Hidden sins will also Quench the Holy Spirit(1 Thess 5:19) The word "quench" means to "put out the fire". We can quench the fire in other hearts by criticism, jealousy, unkindness, lack of understanding etc. Or we can quench the fire in our own heart by sin, disobedience, worldly desires etc.
V/ SOMETIMES WE MUST FORSAKE SINS BEFORE PRAYER/WORSHIP
A. Achan and the Wedge of Gold - God said to Joshua;
Josh 7:10a "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?"
Josh 7:12b "neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you."
B. God said to Isaiah concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
See Isa 1:11-14; Isa 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
C. Jesus: Mat 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.