Summary: The deceptive philosophy that has overtaken the Church today.
March 13, 2011
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Last week we talked about a hollow and deceptive philosophy. I called it the “Big Lie”. Do you remember what the ‘Big Lie’ was? Here’s the background Scripture for it. The lie was told to Eve. She was innocent and pure and inexperienced with deception. Satan, in the guise of a serpent, spoke to her. He said,
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” Genesis 3:1-4
There it is. That’s the “Big Lie”. You can sin and not die. We hear it all the time. The world trivializes sin. Much of the church trivializes sin. I have heard some pretty elaborate theories on how to sin and get away with it. Have you heard the one that God looks through the blood of Jesus at our sin and can’t see them? Kind of like those decoder rings we used to get in cereal boxes when we were kids. Do you remember them? A piece of paper would have all kinds of letters on it printed with all kinds of colored ink. When you took your decoder ring and looked through the red glass, all the red disappeared and you only saw the dark letters. You could read the hidden message then.
Really? Do you think God does that? Do you think we can sin, do whatever we want, and God doesn’t see it? What do you think that does to our concept of God? Not too smart. Not too holy. Pretty easy to fool Him.
What does that do to our concept of man? We can sin. We don’t have to repent. We don’t have to change our life. Pretty appealing theology for sinners.
Then there is the banker theology. God is a divine generous philanthropist. It’s kind of like someone puts millions of dollars in our bank account and we can spend it however we want. There is enough to last our lifetime. Anything we want – anything we desire is all taken care of. It’s all paid for.
In this theory, Jesus paid the price for all our sin, past, present and future and we have a free ticket to heaven. All our sin is paid for, therefore, it doesn’t matter if we sin. Some people take it a step further and even say if you don’t sin – you are making the blood of Jesus useless. Therefore, sinning brings out the grace of God. Paul wrote about that to the Romans. He said,
“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more”
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” (Romans 5:18-20 -6:1)
There were some people who were saying that sin revealed the grace of God and the more we sin the more it reveals the goodness and grace of God. So, logically, they concluded that when we sin we actually reveal the goodness of God.
Sound’s like some pretty creative thinking to allow us to keep on sinning. The fact of the matter is, we like to sin. We WANT to believe the ‘Big Lie’. Sin is willful rebellion against God, as we talked about last week, and naturally we would much rather do whatever we want to do instead of answering to God. That, if fact, makes us god of our lives. We don’t like to surrender that spot to God or anyone else. We like to be in control. So we come up with all these creative ideas to remain of the throne.
There are two dynamics at work in the Christian’s life. Flesh and Spirit.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other,”
“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” Romans 7:21-23