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Summary: The obvious sins of our hands we abhor, yet allow the obscure sins of our hearts. It is the obscure (hidden…internal sins of the heart) that I want to deal with the next several weeks. Most of us will not be overtaken by the deeds of our flesh, but

SINS THE SAINTS HAVE SANITIZED

(COVETOUSNESS)

Sins The Saints Have Sanitized - you may not know what the word 'sanitized' means, but if you were to look up any reliable dictionary you would find a definition something like the following: to make more acceptable by the removing of that which is unpleasant or undesirable in features. I feel that this is what we have done, as Christians, regarding certain sins.

The sins we have sanitized are usually internal sins rather than external. They are sins of the attitude rather than actions….although given enoughtime the attitude will manifest itself in an action.

I am not going to concentrated upon the more overt acts of wickedness into which saints lapse, as David did in his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. I am thinking primarily of sins of the spirit and not sins of the flesh (2 Corinthians 7:1 (quickview) ).

Take the prodigal and his elder brother for example. The prodigal was possessed of defilement of the flesh, but his brother, who stayed with the father had defilement of the spirit. We need to cleanse ourselves beloved of all defilement of flesh and spirit.

James 4:8 (quickview)  says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

Now ,I think, to a large degree, the church has created a problem because often the church focuses on the external life of the Christian, rather than the internal life. Now that's for obvious reasons because it's easier to police our external lives, it's easier to spot when we're doing….. something externally wrong and when we're doing external things right.

Now there is one group of people in the New Testament that warns us against this great danger of concentrating on externals at the expense of internals, and that is the Pharisees. They majored on the externals, and yet those externals, the Lord Jesus spoke scathing words against. In Matthew 23:25 (quickview)  the Lord said: 'Woe unto

you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess'. Internally they were a mess; externally things were right - and the tragedy is that we, as believers, can do the same.

The obvious sins of our hands we abhor, yet allow the obscure sins of our hearts. It is the obscure (hidden…internal sins of the heart) that I want to deal with the next several weeks. Most of us will not be overtaken by the deeds of our flesh, but many of us will be overtaken by the defilements of the spirit.

The solemn fact is that the majority of the unsaved will pass through a circle of saved men and women to come to Christ; as a result how imperative it is for the saints to be Christ-like so that no sinner would ever miss the way.

SIN OF COVETOUSNESS

Christ’s warns concerning covetousness! "Take heed

and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

Covetousness has been called "the mother of sin" because the desire to sin first arises in the heart before it finds expression in the act. Covetousness may not appear as bad as some other more outward sins, but in fact it is one of the worst sins because it spawns so many others.


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