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Summary: When Jesus said to "cut off" the eye or hand that caused one to sin ("stumble") what He meant was that we needed to cast off the heart set on the flesh. So, what causes you to stumble in your relationship with God?

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Crucifying Your Idols

Theme: Ridding the heart that cause us to stumble in giving our lives to God

INTRODUCTION

A. Problem: “If your right eye causes you to stumble…” Matt. 5:29

1. Answer: “Tear it out and throw it from you…”

2. Reason: “It is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be

thrown into hell.”

B. While Jesus was not advocating self-mutilation He was advocating a radical, but necessary way of life

in service to God.

1. All sin starts from a heart that is given over to the flesh.

2. Thus, what Jesus ultimately advocated was the crucifying of the heart to self, that it may be given

over to God.

C. In this lesson we spend time looking at:

1. Things that cause us to stumble.

2. How our hearts need to be changed before we can put away the things that keep us from giving

our lives to God.

I. THINGS THAT CAUSE US TO STUMBLE

A. Things that are sinful: works of the flesh. Gal. 5:19-21

1. Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality.

2. Idolatry, sorcery.

3. Enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying.

4. drunkenness, carousing… and the like

B. All that is in the world: lust of the flesh and eyes, pride of life. 1 Jn. 2:16

1. Things that are not sinful in itself, but are placed ahead of our God.

a. We go after careers with great financial rewards.

b. We live for times of pleasure and recreation: vacations, activities, etc.

c. In the end we justify these things because they are not sinful in themselves, yet are deceived

because such fruit outweigh the fruit we bring to maturity in Christ.

2. The true nature of the world ends up being just as harmful as the actual “works of the flesh.”

C. Our jealous God and Savior hates the idols we have set up in our lives.

1. He demands to be first in our lives. Matt. 22:37ff

2. He demands to be all in our lives. Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:11 (2:8)

II. OUR HEARTS NEED TO BE CHANGED

A. Without God’s intervening in our lives we are completely lost and condemned.

1. We try to be “strong” and “do more” yet still fail because of the flesh we live in.

2. Then, we strive with ever more “diligence” to “work out of salvation with fear and trembling”

only to fail again.

3. It is like endless New Year’s resolutions that fail, but with eternal repercussions. Rom. 7:24

B. Instead of changing our behaviors (what we do) we need to change our hearts (who we are). Matt.

12:33

1. We must allow God and His holy word to work in and through our lives.

2. Only when God works to “cut off” the heart of flesh are we truly circumcised are we able to be the

people God wants. Col. 2:11

3. Only when our hearts are changed – then the fruits of God will be manifested in our lives. Gal.

2:20

CONCLUSION

A. Brethren and friends, what are you doing with your lives?

B. Are the things of the world working its deceitful way in your life and causing you to stumble?

C. If so, crucify it and allow our Almighty God to change your heart by humbling before Him and His

will.


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