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Summary: A look at how the Seven Deadly Sins twist our God-created nature into something unnatural.

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INTRO

- There are certain conversations in life that I love.

o Last week, while at Physical Therapy for my shoulder, I wound up discussing Calvinistic theology and how it applies within a modern context with my therapist.

o You know…light conversation for 7:45 in the morning.

o She happens to be the daughter of missionaries, and when she discovered I was a pastor, there was a natural segue into faith and life.

• I have two degrees in biblical studies and Christian leadership, so having time to actually discuss the stuff I paid so much to learn about is kind of fulfilling.

• And then there are conversations that aren’t quite as fulfilling.

o If there are times when we’re looking forward to talking with someone, then there are also times when we dread doing the same thing.

o And the difference in those conversations is the subject matter.

o One of my roles as a pastor is to manage staff, and there are times when I’ve had to let staff go.

o A number of years ago, I had to fire a youth intern that worked for me.

o He was a really nice kid, but he wasn’t living up to the expectations that his position had, and after a certain amount of time, it was clear that he wasn’t willing to take his responsibilities seriously.

o I called him on a Wednesday night, and told him that I wanted to meet with him the next morning.

o And I didn’t really sleep well in the hours in between.

o What complicated that was the relationship I had with his dad, who was a friend and another pastor in town with me.

o But, in the end, I knew what needed to be done, and I had the conversation no one enjoys having.

• We’ve all lived out moments like that.

o Maybe you haven’t needed to fire someone, but you’ve known that the next conversation you’re going to have with somebody will be uncomfortable.

o Maybe it’s a close friend that you’re suddenly in the midst of a conflict with.

o Or maybe it’s a spouse who’s caught onto that little thing you’ve tried to keep secret from them.

o Or maybe its time to talk to your kids about sex, drugs and rock and roll.

o Two out of those three are awesome, within the right context.

• Regardless, there are crucial conversations in life that need to happen, even if we’re not looking forward to it.

THE 800 LB GORILLA IN THE ROOM

• Today, we begin a series that will be uncomfortable for us.

• It will be awkward for me as the speaker, and trying for you as the listener.

• And the reason it will be uncomfortable is because we’re going to talk about sin.

o Within the context of our faith, sin is the one thing that we are all aware of, yet we really don’t talk about it, let alone deal with it.

o But sin is what brings us to God in the first place, right?

o And so, there’s this weird paradox in regards to sin the longer we live as followers of Jesus Christ.

• On the front end of faith, I’ve found that people that are coming to Jesus will talk about everything.

o I’ve prayed with people to accept Jesus, and they will unleash a laundry list of transgressions in the heat of that moment.

o And I always do my best, while inwardly thinking, “Oh man, this guy’s really screwed up. Good luck Jesus.”

o But, in the light of the Cross and our sudden realization of how much we need its grace, we don’t hold back.

o We’ll talk about the magazines we saw as a kid that we know we shouldn’t of, or the candy bar we swiped from the grocery store when no one was looking, or addiction that haunts every waking moment of life.

o Because, when we compare our mistakes to the incredible love of Jesus Christ, we understand how much better that love is than the things that weigh us down.

• A funny thing happens the longer we journey in that faith, though.

o Where in the moment that we come to Christ we confess everything, the farther we journey down the road with him, the less we confess.

o I don’t know why it happens, but we stop talking about our sin, and we even start denying that its even there inside of us still.

o We start showing up in church every week, always making sure that we look like we took the time to clean ourselves up, and we try to appear to everyone else that things are going well and we left all of that old behavior behind us.

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